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Stubble may be used for bio-gas

Stubble may be used for bio-gas

In a nationally coordinated project, efforts are on to produce bio-gas for kitchen use and quality manure for fields using bio-methanation of rice straw by anaerobic digestion method. Six domestic level paddy straw-based bio-gas plants have been installed in Punjab for field trials and further study is in progress. Minister of Science &Technology, Health & Family Welfare, and Earth Sciences Harsh Vardhan recently stated in the Rajya Sabha.

The R&D project has been supported on refinement and demonstration of an integrated process technology for conversion of crop residues into ethanol and methane for use as transport fuels, he said.

A major focus on agriculture waste/stubble management (waste to wealth), alternative to burning, has been taken up under waste management technologies programme and proposals are being considered.

Stubble burning in northern India have become a major headache over the years. It not only causes acute respiratory infections, especially among children and vulnerable groups, but also costs about $30 billion per years. This was the finding of the US-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and partner institutes in March last year.

“Poor air quality is a recognized global public health epidemic, with levels of airborne particulate matter in Delhi spiking to 20 times the World Health Organization’s safety threshold during certain days,” said Samuel Scott, IFPRI Research Fellow and co-author of the study, in a statement. “Among other factors, smoke from the burning of agricultural crop residue by farmers in Haryana and Punjab especially contributes to Delhi’s poor air, increasing the risk of ARI three-fold for those living in districts with intense crop burning.”.