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Home News Power Sector News Namakkal to generate clean power from chicken litter

Namakkal to generate clean power from chicken litter

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Chicken litterChicken droppings, which do not get a second look even by most poultry farmers, are used in generating electricity in namakkal, a non-descript Tamil Nadu village. At a time when big power producers are leaving an unmistakable carbon footprint, this method uses clean means, earning the company a clean development mechanism certification.The chicken droppings produce methane gas at a farm in Goundampalayam in Namakkal district and the gas is converted into electricity using a patented technology of a local farmer-turned-entrepreneur. The farmer sells the dried litter slurry generated as a residue as manure for farmers. He uses a method based on an Israel technology and converts the remaining liquid scum as liquid NPK (nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium) fertiliser. Though generating energy is not new to the region as a handful of farmers are producing gober gas to generate power for captive use, the district hasn’t seen the complete conversion of poultry waste into useful products.

A few years ago, Chennai-based GK Bio Energy was producing power from poultry litter in Namakkal and was supplying 1.5 mw to the grid using a foreign technology. It is said the company closed due to mismanagement. But sources say a German company has tied up with an Indian partner to re-vitalise this plant.

Known as the poultry hub of India, Namakkal has 80% of the poultry business concentrated within the 50-km radius in the city. The district produces 2.5 crore eggs a day, which generates a turnover of around Rs 7 crore per day. The layer bird feed industry alone makes a turnover of another Rs 7 crore a day.

A layer bird generates litter of around 50 grams a day and the 3.5 crore layer birds in the district produce 1,600 tonne litter per day.

Subhashri Bio Energies (SBEL) MD S Durairaju told ET that if the total poultry litter in the district is collected and processed, nearly 16 mw power per hour can be generated along with 800 tonne manure and 10,000 litres of liquid fertiliser as by-products.This translates to 60 mw power per hour potential for the whole country as nearly 6,000 tonne poultry litter is generated in India every day. It is benefiting the farmers as they get to earn around Rs 13 per layer bird in its lifetime from just its litter. It is actually 30% of the profit that a farmer earns through a layer bird in its lifetime of 1.5 years.

SBEL, which was started in 2004 with an investment of Rs 60 crore, today has capacity to generate 3.75 mw power per hour. At present, the company has an agreement with TNEB to supply 2.5 mw per hour through grid. “We use 10% of the power generated for captive purpose to run these processes. In future, when we produce electricity to full capacity, then we will have the option to sell to outside parties also,” said SBEL executive director D Salai Sivaprakasam.

The indigenous method was initially conceptualised by Mr Durairaju and a pilot project was put in place in 1998 with an investment of Rs 1.5 crore. Following its success, the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources (MNES) sanctioned the existing project and chipped in with Rs 6 crore as government subsidy, besides giving tax exemption to import of machinery.

In reality, the poultry litter is more damaging to the fields due to uncontrolled disposal practices. It was also contributing to emission of greenhouse gases namely methane and carbon dioxide thus polluting the atmosphere.

Tamil Nadu Co-operative Marketing Federation (Tanfed) special officer A Sankaralingam said the organic manure (PSO6) from SBEL is being sold through primary agriculture credit societies in Tamil Nadu for the last one year.

Source- Economic Times

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