Converting Waste to Energy under Swachhta Program


Farm waste recycling through vermin-composting :  Traditional method

  Composting is carried out by accumulating farm waste (animal wastes, crop residues, waste from fodder etc.) in manure heaps in open space for months together by the farmers in the Himalayas. This process takes about 6 to 9 months, and still waste material is not stabilized which may attract termites and other insects along with plant pathogens in the fields after its application. Under open conditions, aerobic degradation takes place slowly at the soil surface, without reaching high temperatures for complete decomposition of farm waste. Further, this method is a major cause of odour and fly problems in rural areas. During this period, the manure remains exposed to the sun and rain. Considerable amount of methane is produced from the manure heap due to the partial decomposition. About 50% of N and P and 90% of K in farmyard manure are water soluble. These water soluble nutrients are liable to get washed off by rain water.

Compost pits prepared to convert farm waste into good quality manure

  Hence, half of the nutrients are lost from the manure even before it is applied to the soil. Very little attention was paid to the process conditions like optimum temperature for complete decomposition, aeration, ammonia loss etc. Hence, scientific composting methods like vermin composting is highly required to obtain nutrient rich, high quality manure to solve the above mentioned problems. Ten vermin composting beds were completely filled with the biomass obtained during the cleaning digested with cattle dung before releasing earthworm.

       Making Energy Efficient Oven for Pine Needle Briquette


  In the Uttarakhand state pine needles are considered as forest waste. Pine needles are one of the main reasons for massive and uncontrollable forest fires during summer season. According to the Uttarakhand Renewable Energy Development Agency (UREDA), total area of pine forest in the state is about 3.43 lakh hectare. These pine forests produce about 20.58 lakhs tonnes of dry biomass every year in the state. So, there is an urgent need to develop a technology that would help in management of this problem and utilize pine-needle waste for energy.

Conceptual drawing of the oven

 In collaboration with GBPNIHESD, Kosi and District Administration, Almora, it was decided that the technology for converting pine needle to usable fire briquette should be popularized. Technology for coal briquette making was already available with GBPNIHESD. The stove was modified from a design already available with ICAR RC for NEH, Umiam. The modifications were mainly done to do away with the requirement of welding, which is generally not available with the village black smiths. For this purpose 37 blacksmiths were trained on 28th November 2016 at ICAR-VPKAS Almora. District Magistrate, Almora and several other officers were present during the entire day. Certificates were given to the trainees. It was decided that the local blacksmiths be trained in making the chullha. The fuel can be used during the off season or round the year for the production domestic energy. The collection of needle from nearby area will keep the home, village and surrounding clean. The technique will make the domestic use of fossil fuel at door steps of villagers. This method of use of the pine needle will also keep the safe from fire hazards to the Uttarakhand. If the villages of the pine needle affected area will be clean, than people can freely devoted their time in other useful activities like education, sports and better livelihood earning.