Biogas is a kind of biofuel that is generated when organic waste gets decomposed. The animal waste, food scraps, vegetable and fruit peels are broken down in an anaerobic environment (an environment devoid of oxygen) to release a mix of gases like methane and carbon dioxide, which can replace natural gas – in cooking and in CNG cars. It is also used to generate electricity by further processing biogas at Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants – a standard practice in developed countries – but still a challenge in developing countries. Keeping in view the importance of renewable energy sources, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) is planning to set up a biogas plant in Islamabad.
Establishment of First-ever Biogas Plant in Islamabad
To have a biogas plant in the capital city is going to help manage food waste in the long run. There are many benefits of using biogas as an energy source. Firstly, it helps recycle food waste. Secondly, it can produce energy that can be used as CNG in cars. Thirdly, through biogas generation, waste material that otherwise pollutes a landfill site is converted into a productive resource.
Before we further discuss the benefits of generating biogas, let us first discuss how this technology will benefit the people of Islamabad in managing food waste and also in converting it into a renewable energy source.
On September 25, 2019, the ICT administration approached the Capital Development Authority (CDA) planning wing to seek their approval to set up a biogas plant at Sabzi Mandi in Islamabad. On a daily basis, a lot of food waste is generated in Sabzi Mandi, but it is not recycled. The CDA’s planning wing visited Sabzi Mandi – the proposed site and gave its recommendations to the market committee and Agriculture Department of ICT to set up a biogas plant in the area close to Software Technology Park at I-9, Islamabad.
Documentation and other formalities are expected to be completed in a week and it is expected that the project will be ready within a period of two months. If this is successful, it will give a new avenue for recycling of bio-waste, which, until now, was merely dumped on a landfill site without recycling it. The biogas plant in Islamabad will surely help in protecting the environment in the long run.
Advantages of Setting up a Biogas Plant
How will the new biogas plant in Islamabad help in dealing with climate change? Let us check out what are the benefits of generating biogas.
- Biogas is eco-friendly
- Helps in controlling pollution
- Produces organic fertilizer
- Healthy cooking alternative
- It can be used as CNG
Biogas is eco-friendly
It is a renewable and clean source of energy. In fact, gas produced through bio digestion does not contain pollutants. It helps in fighting global warming as no combustion takes place during the process, which means there are zero emissions of greenhouse gases, which contribute to global warming.
This is one of the major reasons why the usage of biogas has become even more popular, especially in developing countries. Biogas plants utilize methane emissions to capture this harmful gas and use it as a fuel. This also reduces dependence on fossil fuels like coal and oil.
Helps in controlling pollution
An overflowing landfill site will not only spread foul smells but will also release toxic liquid that might seep into deep, underground water sources. Therefore, another big advantage of having a biogas plant is that it will not only remove food waste but will also improve water quality. The anaerobic digestion in a biogas plant would not allow parasites and pathogens to flourish; which will effectively reduce the spread of waterborne diseases. In a way, biogas also helps improve sanitation and hygiene.
Produces organic fertilizer
A by-product formed in biogas plants is equally beneficial for the environment. It is an organic fertilizer and a perfect substitute for chemical fertilizers. Whatever is left off in the biogas plant is a digestate or, as it’s more commonly known as, organic fertilizer. The fertilizer that is discharged from it can accelerate growth in plants and also provide resilience to diseases, whereas commercial fertilizers can pose risks – of which food poisoning is quite common.
Healthy cooking alternative
In rural areas, biogas can be used in place of firewood for cooking purposes. Biogas burns cleanly, leaving fewer pollutants in cooking than in any other fuel. Therefore, a biogas plant in Pakistan can also help with development in rural areas.
It can be used as CNG
Bio-CNG is compressed biogas having high methane content. It can replace conventional fuel and leave lesser greenhouse gas emissions thus being environment-friendly. This will help people depend on biogas instead of commercial CNG as an alternate in transportation. Biogas can also be converted into various renewable automobile fuels such as syngas, bio-CNG, liquefied and gasoline biogas.
The government of Pakistan is implementing many other environment-friendly practices like the recent ban on plastics. Similarly, CDA’s plans to have a biogas plant in Sabzi Mandi Islamabad will also help Pakistan address climate change and combat global warming. People of Islamabad will also have a cleaner Sabzi Mandi as the food waste will be collected and sent to the biogas plant.
What do you think of this recent development measure by the government? What are your views about CDA’s decision to set up a biogas plant in Islamabad? Do share your views with us on firstname.lastname@example.org. Do subscribe to Zameen Blog – the best lifestyle blog in Pakistan for regular updates and informative posts.