'From the kitchen, to the kitchen' method sets trend

'From the kitchen, to the kitchen' method sets trend

'From the kitchen, to the kitchen' method sets trend

With non-renewable sources of energy getting dearer, public seem to have got more inclination towards the bio-energy concept, setting ‘from the kitchen-to the kitchen’ trend.

Several households in the district, especially in rural areas, have started installing domestic bio-gas units to meet the day-to-day fuel requirements, as the LPG problem is dominant. 

Srikesh, who produces domestic bio-gas units at his manufacturing plant - Izon complete biogas solutions in Shaktinagar, speaking to Deccan Herald said that already 41 units have been installed in Mangalore, Kasargod, and rural areas of Puttur and Sullia in a span of one year, since he started manufacturing the units, as a self-employment. Apart from individual houses, bio-gas units have been installed in hostels and old age homes, he said.

The design

The domestic bio-gas unit mainly comprises of two parts - a tank at the bottom and a dome at the top, attached to the tank. There is an inner jacket which separates the dome and the main tank, where the slurry is collected. A water jacket lies in between the two portions to ease the floating of the dome. The kitchen waste is added through a channel at the outer surface of the tank.

The regular sized domestic biogas unit has 1.3 meter diameter and 7 feet height. There is another commercial bio-gas unit, with 1.5 meter diameter, and is meant for hotels and hostels, he said. 

The bagasse will automatically eject from a separate pipe, when the waste is filled, and could be collected easily. The bagasse makes good manure. For flower-bearing plants, bagasse and water are mixed in the ratio of 1:10 and for coconut trees, it could be provided as it is, Srikesh said. 

How it works?

In the beginning, cow dung is added to the tank and left for five days. The dome above the tank rises when methane gas is produced and ready to use. The bio-gas is supplied to the bio-gas stove in the kitchen through a pipe. 

In the later stage, domestic waste like vegetable waste, fish waste, meat waste and equal amount of water is mixed to form slurry and is added to the tank. However, citric items like lemon, orange, pineapple, non-biodegradable substances like plastic and also hard substances like bones cannot be added to the tank. 

The capacity of domestic biogas tank is 800 litres. Per day, maximum of five kilograms of waste can be added to the tank. More waste can be a problem for methane formation.

About 2.5 cubic meters of gas produced can be used for nearly six hours, for a single burner bio-gas stove. The cost for the installation of the total unit, along with bio-gas stove, comes up to Rs 25,000. With the regular use of the biogas, it is possible to reduce the usage of LPG.

Trendsetters speak

William Colaco, English teacher at Government High School, Kasaba Bengre, who has been using the bio-gas plant from three months in his house in Shaktinagar said it is more energy-savvy as there are seven members in the house and kitchen waste is available in abundance.

Vegetable waste along with non-vegetable waste and also leaves from his garden, are added to the tank.

“It will take minimum two days for the formation of methane. That means that the gas which is now available is from two day old waste. Now, the family could save three times more LPG than before and now it is used only as a substitute,” he said.

He said that usually he adds kitchen waste to the tank once in 4 days. An investment of Rs 25,000 is worth, compared to the cost of firewood and LPG. Also, it is a lifetime investment. “We make the best use of bagasse. Earlier, we used to put the kitchen waste directly to trees and plants. But, with the use of bagasse, we got double the yields and we have the satisfaction of using organic manure produced in the house.

While the organic manure available outside is costlier,” Colaco added. K Muralimohan Bhat of Mudipu, who spoke to Deccan Herald, preferred domestic bio-gas unit for preparing ‘Naivedyam’ (Rice porridge offerings to God) for Pooja, over the LPG as the LPG is not considered auspicious for cooking Naivedyam. The bio-gas unit produces no smoke. We use only cow dung for the unit and it is far better than using firewood which produces lot of smoke. 

Srikesh revealed that plans are on to design a commercial unit in apartments as alternative fuel for generators and added that he is hoping to get subsidy from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. There is a need to create more awareness on biogas plants. The utilisation of kitchen waste can reduce landfill to a greater extent, he added.

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