Asia’s Largest Compressed Biogas Plant Inaugurated in India

Asia’s largest Compressed Biogas (CBG) plant was inaugurated in Sangrur, Punjab by Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri on 18 October 2022. This is an important milestone towards making the country a leader in clean, green energy production.

The plant has been built with an FDI of ₹220 crore by Verbio AG, one of Germany’s leading bioenergy companies. The plant will process 300 tons of agricultural waste (Pirali) and use 45,000 acres of farmland waste, in 10km radius of the plant. The current production capacity of the plant is 6 tons (of CBG) per day, expected to increase to 33 tons per day. It will also produce 600-650 tons of Farmland Organic Manure (FOM). It will employ 390 people. The plant will lead to an annual reduction of 150,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

What is CBG?

Biogas can be generated from biomass like agricultural waste, cattle dung waste, municipal solid waste etc, via anaerobic decomposition and is an environment-friendly alternative to energy sources like fossil fuels. Biogas thus obtained comprises of Methane (55-60%), CO2 (40-45%) and traces of H2S and water vapour. This Biogas can be further purified to remove CO2 and H2S, such that the composition of Methane is atleast 90%. This can then be compressed and stored in cylinders or transported through pipelines. The type of Biogas thus obtained is called Compressed Bio Gas (CBG).

H2S is a corrosive gas and a high concentration of CO2 reduces the calorific value of Bio Gas. Thus, purification of Biogas is desirable and makes the gas more efficient for commerical purposes.

As per IS 16087 : 2016 Standard, the composition of CBG should be as follows:

S. NoCharacteristicRequirement
1Methane percentage (CH4) (minimum)90%
2Only Carbon Dioxide percentage (CO2) (maximum)4%
3Carbon Dioxide (CO2) + Nitrogen (N2) + Oxygen (O2)
percentage (maximum)
10%
4Oxygen (O2) percentage (maximum)0.5%
5Total Sulphur (including H2S) mg/m3 (maximum)20 mg/m3
6Moisture mg/m3 (maximum)5 mg/m3
Source: Whitepaper on Compressed Bio Gas (CBG) The Fuel of the Future by IOCL

Also, as per the IS 16087:2016 specifications, the following specifications shall also be met:

  1. CBG shall be free from liquids over the entire range of temperature and pressure encountered in storage and dispensing system
  2. The CBG shall be free from particulate matter such as dirt, dust, etc.
  3. CBG delivered shall be odorized similar to a level found in local distribution (ref. IS 15319)

Since Methane is the primary component of Natural Gas, CBG is a viable alternative to CNG. It can replace CNG in automotive, industrial and commercial uses. India is abundant in biomass, and if this biomass is not disposed of in an environment-friendly manner, it is gives CO2 emissions and polluted the water and air in the area. For eg, Pirali burning in northern states is a burning issue in all of northern India, literally and figuratively. Using the same agricultural waste for production of CBG will lead to cleaner air, and clean energy for vehicles and industrial uses.

This is a big step towards India’s realization of its Net Zero goals.

References:

Whitepaper: Compressed Bio Gas (CBG) The Fuel of the Future by IOCL

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