Pune-based Praj Industries has demonstrated a CBG production plant that utilises a proprietary microbial consortium made from feedstock such as agri residues and press mud, earlier this month. The plant was inaugurated by Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on November 6, 2020.
CBG which is also known as Renewable Natural Gas or RNG, forms part of Praj’s Bio-Mobility portfolio which uses captive bio based feedstock to produce carbon neutral transportation fuel across all modes of mobility.
According to an estimates, India imports more than 80 percent fossil fuel, which is likely to increase to 90 percent in the near future. Transportation is the single largest user of fossil oil and third largest green-house gas (GHG) emitter. India is committed to reduce its green-house gas emissions by 30-35 percent by 2030 and it has become imperative to commercialise alternative indigenous energy sources derived from advanced biofuels technologies.
Moreover, biofuels like CBG produced from agricultural crop waste is also an alternative to the burning of agri-residue after harvesting.
As per a statement issued by Praj, the company has executed more than 50 biogas plants in the past 20 years. Most of these are operating on industrial waste streams. Its latest technology which has multi-feed flexibility is automated and offers several other benefits through its signature L-EPC (Licence – Engineering procurement and construction) and O&M model. Additional advantages include round the year biogas production, best in class yields, more efficient degradation and gas upgradation, and low utility footprint.
Commenting during the virtual launch, Javadekar said, “ The conversion of agri residue and biomass to biofuel is also in keeping with the government’s goals towards Atma Nirbhar Bharat.”
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Pramod Chaudhari, executive chairman, Praj Industries, said, “The CBG demo plant is another step closer to reducing carbon emissions and pollution. Besides reducing the import of natural gas and crude oil, our technology will boost entrepreneurship, economy and employment in rural India”.
Biofuels, a renewable transportation fuels in gaseous and liquid form and complements fossil fuel sources. The government had launched the National Biofuels Policy 2018 and Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) initiative to promote Compressed Biogas (CBG) as an alternative, green transport fuel. Under this initiative, 5,000 CBG plants are expected to be rolled out across India in a phased manner. They are expected to produce 15 million tonnes of CBG per annum, which is about 40 percent of current CNG consumption of 44 million tonnes per annum in the country, generating direct employment for 75,000 people and producing 50 million tonnes of bio-manure.