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Friday, March 19, 2010

Bio digester

       This was my second project, actually third one because I was never able to complete my second project (Charge controller of Ultra caps). I started doing this as an solution for providing lighting to rural village.
We (My whole class) actually went to a village called Neelgarh in Ratapani sanctuary (now a tiger reserve).
       I observed the following things in that village:
1) They had no lighting for evening hours, that is, from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM.
2) Almost all of the villagers were farmers.
3) They had plenty of sunlight.
4) Village was covered by hills from most of the directions so there was a little wind.
5) Biomass was available in abundance.
      We were asked to give a solution for 35 houses in just Rs 50,000. Moreover, the solution should be portable, easy to use, simple cheap etc etc...

      Since biomass was cheaply available we (Me, Gautham, Kaustav) went for it. For that, I (Gautham was in chennai buying gas lamps and Kaustav was in Kolkata collecting data) designed a 'floating type bio digester' in which gas could be produced. The methane gas generated could be then used for lighting of the houses during the night hours. I was helped by Mr Qureshi in fabricating the digester and install in energy Center for further use. I actually made four different designs according to the requirement and the pics you see now are actually the five and the final design. This is one of its kind of design and was being tested on such a small scale for first time in Bhopal (I am not sure whether it was first of it kind in India)
      This idea works on principle of anaerobic digestion. Micro organisms decompose biomass in the digester and produce methane and carbon dioxide. It takes about 15 days to start up the whole process and produce good amount of gas. It is necessary to seperate carbon dioxide from gas mixture or else it would never glow. For that we used a simple test tube filled with solid KOH and passed in the gas. KOH adsorb carbon dioxide and only mixture of combustible gases is left.
      We then filled it in a petra max cylinder and it was ready for use. LIGHT up the rural India with cheap, safe, user friendly product. Our model was judged by industrialist, entrepreneur as well and college faculty. We were award first prize and that was it, the whole story of my second project.