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Rotten Vegetables are Transformed to Electricity in this Indian Market

Every day, tonnes of food goes unsold in markets worldwide and this food ends up as waste in landfills. In India itself, 6.87 crore tonnes of food are wasted each year. On a global scale, this amount transforms into a gargantuan 130 crore tonnes of wasted food.

Abin Joseph
Bowenpally Market In Hyderabad
Bowenpally Market In Hyderabad

Every day, tonnes of food goes unsold in markets worldwide and this food ends up as waste in landfills. In India itself, 6.87 crore tonnes of food are wasted each year. On a global scale, this amount transforms into a gargantuan 130 crore tonnes of wasted food.

Imagine if we somehow managed to convert all this wasted food into power that we can harness to, power lighting, buildings, and kitchens to feed people who actually are hungry. This is what Bowenpally market in Hyderabad, India does- convert food waste into biogas which can be used to power up bulbs and be used in the kitchen.

According to Bala Malaiah Owner Of Shri Balaji Trading Company“If it rots it’s not useful so thats why we use them in biogas plants,”.It’s also difficult for farmers to carry back the vegetables that haven’t been sold as they might rot on the way

Hence the veggies are chopped up and placed on a conveyor line that carries the material to a shredder, which further breaks down the food into smaller and more uniform particles. In a single day, it handles the same amount of vegetables that 150 Indians eat in a year. A grinder crushes the mixture into pulp, which is pumped through underground tanks and into two digesters.

Sandeep Karajanagi of the Ahuja engineering services who were vital in the deployment of the biogas converter explained that the “So anaerobic digesters basically have bacteria that are bred in the absence of oxygen and they actually eat, essentially, the food waste that we are putting in there and give out methane and carbon dioxide,”.

As organic things decay, they send these greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. However, due to the vast quantity of food waste, landfills are the third-largest source of human-caused methane emissions, after only fossil fuels and agriculture, which were also one of the key points of discussions in the recent climate summit.

So if we are gonna end up emitting those gases why not harvest and use them in the form of Biogas before actually releasing them back into the atmosphere. At Bowenpally, this natural fuel is stored locally in four huge balloons until it's ready to be used and then this power to run a canteen kitchen that serves roughly 800 meals per day. Aside from energy, this plant creates another valuable byproduct fertilizer which is utilised by the farmers at the market who use it to spread on the same fields that they grow vegetables in.

Dr  A.Gangagani  Rao, who is the Chief Scientist of CSIR, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology and also the chief scientist on the project, was of the opinion that “By using this fertilizer, their soils are also getting better. Their crops yields are better, and the crops are being sold at a higher cost because organic vegetables are now very costly nowadays, organic rice and all these things,”

This innovative technique if utilised correctly at places that actually have problems with food waste can actually be very instrumental in helping with the energy crisis while also providing farmers with fertilisers to enrich their lands with nutrients.

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