LPG shortage is bothering all the LPG consumers these days. Biogas systems using kitchen wastes can supplement the LPG in our households leading to the saving of at least half of LPG consumed. Families depending on LPG alone who may use a cylinder (14.2kg) a month can extend the cylinder usage for another month if the biogas is also utilised, which means that the investment on biogas can be paid back in about 3 years considering the subsidies also. If we add other feedstock like non-edible oil cakes along with kitchen waste we will get more biogas.
A domestic biogas system will cost about Rs.9,000 for a medium size family. If the Government can subsidise the biogas plants to such an extend that it is attractive for all households, it will be beneficial for the country in many ways. It may be noted that the Government is spending Rs.311 per cylinder as subsidy (The Hindu Feb 5, 2008) for domestic consumers. The various benefits are as follows.
• Can reduce the demand for LPG – saves fossil fuel, reduces dependence on imported petroleum thereby saving foreign exchange.
• Better solution for disposal of kitchen waste without stench – better environment, reduces the burden on the waste processing by Municipalities / Corporations.
• The slurry produced by the biogas plants is known to be good fertiliser – better for agriculture also.
• Utilisation of clean energy which might otherwise be lost.
Awareness should be created among the public on the economical and other benefits of domestic biogas plants.
ARTI Biogas Plant: A compact digester for producing biogas from food waste
The Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy | 2007 International Finalist: BIOTECH, India