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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

 Biogas in a Bottle
ARTI - 2006 Ashden Award winner
Two technology students in India could be on to a winning idea. Inspired by our Award winners, ARTI in India who turn kitchen waste into biogas for cooking, these students want to develop the technology to store biogas in cylinders as an affordable substitute for LPG. Whilst studying at the Indian Institute of IT, Design and Manufacturing in Madras, they’ve already attracted development funds from angel investors to help them get closer to making this a reality. Not even content with this, they have their sights set on becoming social entrepreneurs using other green technology ideas. We’ll certainly be watching with interest over the coming months to see how they get on.

(Image: ARTI in India build household biogas plants that create fuel from spoilt food)

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CHENNAI, INDIA: Disappointed with galloping LPG prices burning your pockets? Don't worry. Two students from IIIT DM (Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design and Manufacturing), Kancheepuram, an institution incubated by IIT Madras campus, have come up with a cost-effective bottled biogas fuel which not only acts as a substitute for your cooking gas but also helps manage kitchen waste.

Biofuels As Future Fuels (BAFF), a project by Kunal Bhambhani and Swagat Sharma who are on a mission to bring in a bottled biogas while keeping the environment clean, has already drawn the attention of many.

“The inspiration behind the BAFF was the amount of waste we noticed in Indian cities. A large chunk of the waste is coming from our kitchens,” say Kunal and Swagat. “We were aware of various gobar gas projects initiated by the government in rural areas, but we want to develop something on that lines for the urban India too.”

But what inspired them the most was ARTI, an Ashden award winning technology in Pune that uses kitchen waste to run biogas plant. “We thought a step ahead and we wanted to use the idea to produce a bottled biogas, which acts as a substitute for cooking cylinder.”

The new cylinder will help the cities remain clean, as it uses the waste from vegetable markets, hotels and residential areas.

It may take a while to make their dream a reality, as a compression technology has to be built to use the gas in a compressed form as a substitute for LPG cylinder. But they assure that the new cylinder will be priced Rs. 100 less than the existing price of the gas cylinders.

Since they want to start a manufacturing unit of household gas cylinders with the compression technology, the initial capital is going to be huge. However, the duo did not have to sweat it out to raise funds. A few angel investors came forward to help them. They will provide a total of Rs. 60 lakhs in two tranches -- Rs. 15 lakh initially, and Rs. 45 lakh later to market the product.

“There is no point in building a prototype as it is not a small machine. So, we plan to have an experimental set up and then go for a proper investment of Rs. 2 crore and start manufacturing compressed gas,” they explain.

Kunal and Swagat have no plans to sell the idea to anyone. “It's our idea and both of us are motivated to make this a reality. We do not want to remain just technologists. We want to be social entrepreneurs and bring about a positive change in the society. We are not just getting rid of the waste but we create renewable energy too. Ours is a green product.”

They are not just going to be satisfied with just one product. “We do not want to restrict ourselves to just biogas alone. We want to produce many more green products. Biogas is only one of them,” they say.

“We know that biofuel and biodiesel also have the potential. That is why we have named our product, BAFF (Biofuel as Future Fuel). We want to see the logo of BAFF all over India like that of Indian Oil. That is our dream.”
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1 comment:

  1. hi i am sangeeth from Coimbatore i need the bio gas tank please send me the full detail and pries send it mail sangeeths82@gmail.com phone+919952519217