According to reports, work is on full swing in Rajapalayam municipality of Virudhunagar district for the fabrication of digester to convert biodegradable waste into electricity. The project, which is believed to be the first in the southern districts, is expected to produce 40 kW of power from next month.
The Tamil Nadu government had in February this year announced that steps would be taken to produce green power from biodegradable waste and the Rajapalayam municipality was one of the first to take steps towards achieving this. The municipality has its garbage dumping area near the foothills of the Sanjeevi hills in Kothankulam spread over an area of 25 acres. Now, work is underway for constructing the 10.5 m diameter digester, which will produce gas through the process of biomethanization technology and this gas in turn would be utilized to produce electricity.
The municipality produces 55 tonnes of garbage on a daily basis and five metric tones of biodegradable wastes are separated from it every day. The five metric tonnes would go into the production of methane and the residue from the plant that is the treated liquid, which remains after producing the gas would be used as plant fertilizer. The plant itself, which is being built at a cost of Rs 90 lakh is a pre-fabricated one. The power which is expected to be produced by the end of August this year is said to have the capacity to light up to 800 tubelights. Initially, the power produced would be deposited with the TNEB substation in Kothangulam and would be deducted from the municipality power bills.
Once the project comes into effect the municipality is expected to see a reduction in power cuts which has been plaguing the people of this region. “We have faced even 10 hours of no power situations and any improvement would be welcome,” the residents say. According to the municipality commissioner Ramasamy the system is equipped with anaerobic digesters and modified up-flow anaerobic sludge bed reactors which would produce the green electricity. While part of the slurry would be utilized for fertilizer, a part would be used for operating the plant through a specialised system.
According to sources, the environmental impact through this project would be immense as it would help to reduce carbon-dioxide emission by about 500 metric tonnes every year, when the plant goes operational. The chairperson of the municipality Dhanalakshmi said that they plan to go for another bioenergy plant next year, based on the success of this one.