onon Living inLiving in
with Nature!with Nature!
Harnessing Bio-Harnessing Bio-
Methanation forMethanation for
Energy Generation &Energy Generation &
Most of the world’s public water hasMost of the world’s public water has
become undrinkable due to sewagebecome undrinkable due to sewage
infiltration into groundwater. Unlessinfiltration into groundwater. Unless
something is done now to restoresomething is done now to restore
the environment and curb pollution,the environment and curb pollution,
the future will be very challenged inthe future will be very challenged in
terms of meeting the world’s waterterms of meeting the world’s water
Sewerage Statistics:Sewerage Statistics:
It is estimated that a community of 10,000It is estimated that a community of 10,000
people can generate 40-acre inches ofpeople can generate 40-acre inches of
sewage effluent per day or an equivalent of 1sewage effluent per day or an equivalent of 1
million gallons of wastewater.million gallons of wastewater.
Sewage: 1 person = 100 gallons pd = 1.46Sewage: 1 person = 100 gallons pd = 1.46
acre inches paacre inches pa
25 persons = 2,500 gallons pd = 8 kWhrs pd25 persons = 2,500 gallons pd = 8 kWhrs pd
2.4 kWhrs = 1 x 100 W Bulb = 24 hrs2.4 kWhrs = 1 x 100 W Bulb = 24 hrs
Types of Liquid
Municipal Liquid Waste
Environment:Environment: Encompasses theEncompasses the
Inorganic Biosphere that we inhabit; theInorganic Biosphere that we inhabit; the
inter-dependent Organic Life Forms andinter-dependent Organic Life Forms and
the Life Supporting Ecological Systemsthe Life Supporting Ecological Systems
that have evolved to work in harmony inthat have evolved to work in harmony in
order to sustain Life.order to sustain Life.
Biological:Biological: Taken to mean all livingTaken to mean all living
creatures be they zoological or botanical.creatures be they zoological or botanical.
Bioenvironmental Management:Bioenvironmental Management: TheThe
attempt to minimize the impact on theattempt to minimize the impact on the
environment of Biological activity can beenvironment of Biological activity can be
termed as Bioenvironmental Management.termed as Bioenvironmental Management.
Biological amelioration/ remediation or usingBiological amelioration/ remediation or using
Biological means to improve or rectify existingBiological means to improve or rectify existing
harmful conditions. A more cost effective method asharmful conditions. A more cost effective method as
compared to incineration or physical and chemicalcompared to incineration or physical and chemical
remediation methods.remediation methods.
The amelioration of our degraded environment is bestThe amelioration of our degraded environment is best
carried out by employing biological remedial measurescarried out by employing biological remedial measures
that are low-cost and ecologically sustainable.that are low-cost and ecologically sustainable.
Solid and Liquid Waste is increasingly beingSolid and Liquid Waste is increasingly being
processed by Microbial Agents (Bioaugmentation) andprocessed by Microbial Agents (Bioaugmentation) and
Plants (Phytoremediation) to provide recycled waterPlants (Phytoremediation) to provide recycled water
for aqua, horti and agriculture. Disposal of waste isfor aqua, horti and agriculture. Disposal of waste is
more effective where there is partial recovery ofmore effective where there is partial recovery of
energy and salvageable material.energy and salvageable material.
History of BiogasHistory of Biogas
10th century BC - Used to heat water in10th century BC - Used to heat water in
16th century – Used to heat water in16th century – Used to heat water in
17th century - Flammable gases found to17th century - Flammable gases found to
be emitted from decaying organic matterbe emitted from decaying organic matter
1776-1778 – Methane discovered and1776-1778 – Methane discovered and
isolated by Alessandroisolated by Alessandro
Volta.Relationship between the amountVolta.Relationship between the amount
of decaying organic matter and theof decaying organic matter and the
amount of flammable gas producedamount of flammable gas produced
History, contd.History, contd.
1970s - Energy crisis renewed interest in1970s - Energy crisis renewed interest in
1970s - 80s - Lack of understanding and1970s - 80s - Lack of understanding and
overconfidence resulted in numerousoverconfidence resulted in numerous
China, India and Thailand reported 50%China, India and Thailand reported 50%
failure ratesfailure rates
Failures of farm digesters in U.S.Failures of farm digesters in U.S.
approached 80%approached 80%
Reasons for FailuresReasons for Failures
Inadequate operator training.Inadequate operator training.
Management failures.Management failures.
Benefits oversold.Benefits oversold.
Operations too small to justify digester.Operations too small to justify digester.
High costs of Infrastructure.High costs of Infrastructure.
Excessive operating costs.Excessive operating costs.
Unreliable market for biogas.Unreliable market for biogas.
Impurity of Gas produced.Impurity of Gas produced.
Lack of appropriate microbial inoculation.Lack of appropriate microbial inoculation.
Prevailing Contractor System.Prevailing Contractor System.
What’s Different Now:What’s Different Now:
Improved designs and better understanding of O&MImproved designs and better understanding of O&M
Cogeneration to raise volume of Methane captured.Cogeneration to raise volume of Methane captured.
High prices for liquid fuel & natural gas.High prices for liquid fuel & natural gas.
Market evolving for biogas energy.Market evolving for biogas energy.
Microbe culture in Laboratories.Microbe culture in Laboratories.
Methods of scrubbing gas produced along-withMethods of scrubbing gas produced along-with
valuable by-products evolved.valuable by-products evolved.
Possibility of deploying Multi-Use, Integrated Plant toPossibility of deploying Multi-Use, Integrated Plant to
address different problems simultaneously.address different problems simultaneously.
Revolutionary new Low-cost, Low-carbon, Super-Revolutionary new Low-cost, Low-carbon, Super-
Insulated, DisasterInsulated, Disaster -proof Construction developed in-proof Construction developed in
System of CDM/ Carbon Credits created.System of CDM/ Carbon Credits created.
The odor potential of a well digestedThe odor potential of a well digested
waste is considerably reduced.waste is considerably reduced.
Further Treatment & BioaugmentationFurther Treatment & Bioaugmentation
can eliminate foul odors.can eliminate foul odors.
Digested waste has slightly less fertilizerDigested waste has slightly less fertilizer
value than non-digested waste, but it isvalue than non-digested waste, but it is
more readily available to plants. It ismore readily available to plants. It is
simply converted to a more useful form.simply converted to a more useful form.
A methane digester is large andA methane digester is large and
expensive. The expense stems from theexpensive. The expense stems from the
fact that it must be well-insulated, air-fact that it must be well-insulated, air-
tight and supplied a source of heat. Thetight and supplied a source of heat. The
size of a conventional digester is equal tosize of a conventional digester is equal to
15-20 times the daily waste volume15-20 times the daily waste volume
A very high level of management is required.A very high level of management is required.
A methane digester can be extremely sensitive toA methane digester can be extremely sensitive to
environmental changes, and a biological upsetenvironmental changes, and a biological upset
may take months to correct. Methane generationmay take months to correct. Methane generation
ceases or is very low during an upset.ceases or is very low during an upset.
Start-up--usually the most critical phase ofStart-up--usually the most critical phase of
methane generation-is difficult. Methane-methane generation-is difficult. Methane-
producing bacteria are very slow-growing, andproducing bacteria are very slow-growing, and
several weeks are required to establish a largeseveral weeks are required to establish a large
bacterial population.bacterial population.
Methane is difficult to store, since at normalMethane is difficult to store, since at normal
temperatures the gas can be compressed but nottemperatures the gas can be compressed but not
liquefied without special, very expensiveliquefied without special, very expensive
Methane can form an explosive mixture ifMethane can form an explosive mixture if
exposed to air.exposed to air.
Environmental BenefitsEnvironmental Benefits
Reduces odor fromReduces odor from
land applicationland application
Protects waterProtects water
Reduces pathogensReduces pathogens
Weed seed reductionWeed seed reduction
Disease vector controlDisease vector control
after digestionafter digestion
Greenhouse GasGreenhouse Gas
Biological treatment is the mostBiological treatment is the most
economical of waste treatments availableeconomical of waste treatments available
In biological systems, the dynamics areIn biological systems, the dynamics are
biochemical as opposed to chemical, andbiochemical as opposed to chemical, and
the active agents are living entities.the active agents are living entities.
Where one would have to increase theWhere one would have to increase the
quantity of chemicals proportionally toquantity of chemicals proportionally to
deal with a higher load of reactant, in adeal with a higher load of reactant, in a
biological system the biological additivebiological system the biological additive
can grow to help compensate forcan grow to help compensate for
increased loadings.increased loadings.
NATURE NURTURES!NATURE NURTURES!
We must NurtureWe must Nurture
Nature in order toNature in order to
ensure that itensure that it
continues to nurturecontinues to nurture
Challenges have toChallenges have to
be faced with lo-be faced with lo-
cost, innovativecost, innovative
and eco friendly,and eco friendly,
The septic system is aThe septic system is a
biological process.biological process.
Like any living thing, it has certainLike any living thing, it has certain
nutritional requirements to functionnutritional requirements to function
properly and functions best in a suitableproperly and functions best in a suitable
However, the best first step in optimizingHowever, the best first step in optimizing
the performance of a septic system is tothe performance of a septic system is to
have a complete ecosystem of thehave a complete ecosystem of the
organisms required for the most completeorganisms required for the most complete
breakdown of the waste.breakdown of the waste.
Bioaugmentation TotalBioaugmentation Total
System ManagementSystem Management
If the microbiological population can be viewedIf the microbiological population can be viewed
as a workforce, then the consultant or systemas a workforce, then the consultant or system
manager is responsible for keeping themanager is responsible for keeping the
workforce productive.workforce productive.
He must maintain the integrity of the microbialHe must maintain the integrity of the microbial
The system manager must provide anThe system manager must provide an
acceptable work environment by controlling theacceptable work environment by controlling the
key system managers such as pH, temperaturekey system managers such as pH, temperature
and oxygen levels.and oxygen levels.
He has to know when to lay off workersHe has to know when to lay off workers
through wasting to keep the populationthrough wasting to keep the population
young and vital.young and vital.
The successful system manager knowsThe successful system manager knows
when to hire new workers to providewhen to hire new workers to provide
special skills not found in his workforce.special skills not found in his workforce.
Finally, he must compensate them withFinally, he must compensate them with
nutrients to ensure good growth and anutrients to ensure good growth and a
healthy population.healthy population.
Bioaugmentation is the mechanism toBioaugmentation is the mechanism to
provide these skills workers.provide these skills workers.
Tensegrity is a contraction ofTensegrity is a contraction of
tensional integrity structuring.tensional integrity structuring.
“Tensegrity describes a structural-“Tensegrity describes a structural-
relationship principle in whichrelationship principle in which
structural shape is guaranteed by thestructural shape is guaranteed by the
finitely closed, comprehensivelyfinitely closed, comprehensively
continuous, tensional behaviors ofcontinuous, tensional behaviors of
the system and not by thethe system and not by the
discontinuous and exclusively localdiscontinuous and exclusively local
compressional member behaviors.compressional member behaviors.
The Mongol Tent was named “Ger”,
which gave rise to our Urdu word “Ghar”
and was adapted by the Turks as the
“Yurt”, the source of our language “Urdu”
arising from the plural “Yurtu” or group of
Sizing a Plant:Sizing a Plant:
Amount & Type
Operating Cycle of
Size of Digester
R aw Material
Benefits of Composting:
Serves as the principal storehouse for anions such as nitrates, sulfates, borates,Serves as the principal storehouse for anions such as nitrates, sulfates, borates,
molybdates and chlorides that are essential for plant growth.molybdates and chlorides that are essential for plant growth.
Increases CEC (Cation Exchange Capacity) of soil by a factor of 5 to 10 timesIncreases CEC (Cation Exchange Capacity) of soil by a factor of 5 to 10 times
that of clay.that of clay.
Acts as a buffer against rapid changes caused by acidity; alkalinity; salinity;Acts as a buffer against rapid changes caused by acidity; alkalinity; salinity;
pesticides and toxic heavy metals.pesticides and toxic heavy metals.
Supplies food for beneficial soil organisms like earthworms, symbiotic NitrogenSupplies food for beneficial soil organisms like earthworms, symbiotic Nitrogen
fixing bacteria and mycorrihize (beneficial fungus).fixing bacteria and mycorrihize (beneficial fungus).
Serves as recycling sink for organic waste and green manures (animal manure,Serves as recycling sink for organic waste and green manures (animal manure,
crop residues, household refuse and leguminous plants collected within andcrop residues, household refuse and leguminous plants collected within and
outside the farm) and thus keeps environment clean and hygienic.outside the farm) and thus keeps environment clean and hygienic.
Softens the soil by introducing fibrous matter.Softens the soil by introducing fibrous matter.
Increases soil water retention capacity.Increases soil water retention capacity.
Makes plants more resistant to pests and disease through improved nutrientMakes plants more resistant to pests and disease through improved nutrient
availability and uptake, resulting in healthier plants with strongavailability and uptake, resulting in healthier plants with strong
immune systems.immune systems.
Prevents soil acidification.Prevents soil acidification.
UK Estimate:UK Estimate:
If just 5.5 million tons of food waste was treated by
AD we could generate between 477 and 761 GWh
of electricity each year – enough to meet the needs
of up to 164,000 households. Compared to
composting the same amount of food waste,
treating it with AD would save between 0.22 and
0.35 million tons of CO2 equivalent, assuming the
displaced source is gas-fired electricity generation.
But at the moment we only AD 50,000 tons of food
waste each year - 0.4 per cent of the UK s food‟
ERM (2007), “Carbon Balances and Energy Impacts of the Management of UK Waste Streams”
By now, I am sure that all will agree that theBy now, I am sure that all will agree that the
discussed exercise is not only badly needed, itdiscussed exercise is not only badly needed, it
is also highly desirable and affordable.is also highly desirable and affordable.
A CMD Project that commands carbon CreditsA CMD Project that commands carbon Credits
is the requirement of the day.is the requirement of the day.
In this manner, given seed money for initialIn this manner, given seed money for initial
establishment, a recycling of Capital along withestablishment, a recycling of Capital along with
Socially Generated Waste is made possible.Socially Generated Waste is made possible.
In this case we do not have to ask “How muchIn this case we do not have to ask “How much
will it cost, rather ask what will it cost not towill it cost, rather ask what will it cost not to
implement the Project?”implement the Project?”