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Delhi buses to run on biofuel

According to reports, Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses will soon be running on fuel derived from vegetable waste and sludge from treated sewage. The Centre has struck a deal with the Swedish government to set up a compressed biofuel plant at Delhi Jal Board’s Keshopur sewage treatment plant (STP).

The fuel produced at the plant, which will start functioning in two years, will be cleaner and cheaper than CNG, a Jal Board official said.

He said they are stuck with a mounting pile of sludge at their STPs, with no way of disposing it. “At several plants we have started biogas production, which will be used to run certain operations there. The production of biofuel will take place the first time. A feasibility study has been carried out for this pilot project. The Centre and the Swedish government will soon sign an agreement for cost sharing on an equal footing for the project estimated at Rs 25 crore,” said a DJB official.

Biofuel will be produced using both sludge and organic compostable waste from a nearby wholesale vegetable market. About 20,000 cubic metres of compressed biogas will be produced daily at the plant.

“Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited will also be roped in for their expertise in the matter. The fuel produced will be cleaner than CNG and will also be cost effective. After DTC expressed interest, Keshopura was selected as the site for the project especially since there is a CNG station nearby,” said a senior DJB official. “Agreements are to be signed between the agencies involved. A detailed study is being carried out and pricing is also being worked out, keeping in mind CNG prices. If it’s not cheaper, it would make no sense producing the fuel on a large scale,” added the official.

The Keshopura STP has two plants, both of which are undergoing renovation while another will be constructed shortly. A separate facility will set up for the production of biofuel.

DJB is already producing biogas using sludge at two other plants – Rithala and Okhla. At Okhla, the biogas is being supplied to about 2,000 households. However, DJB plans on discontinuing the project for the time being. Three other STPs are also set to get biogas production plants – Dwarka, Yamuna Vihar and Kondli. At these plants DJB is exploring the option of producing power using biogas.

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