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Energy from waste: IFAT India 2016 focusing on sustainable use of waste for India
According to Germany Trade & Invest, the company that deals with Germany's external business and the marketing of the country as an economic location, the Indian environmental technology market is on a double-digit upward trend. IFAT India 2016 offers an opportunity to benefit from this highly promising national market. India's leading trade fair for environmental technology will be held at the Bombay Exhibition Center (BEC) in Mumbai from September 28 to 30. In addition to water and waste water treatment, core topics of the fair will also include solutions for modern waste management.
The volume of waste generated annually in India can only be estimated—depending on the calculation method used it is somewhere between 42 million and 243 million tons. This is based on a study published last year by the Öko-Institut, Institute for Applied Ecology in Berlin, and IFEU, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research in Heidelberg—on behalf of the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA). According to the publication, more than 90 percent of waste generated in India ends up in unsorted landfills, thus giving rise to persistent environmental problems. Much of the waste material could be recycled, or could contribute to meeting the energy needs of this vast country with its almost 1.31 billion inhabitants. The Waste Management World magazine reports that the Indian government aims to generate 700 megawatts of power from waste across the country in 2019.
Utilizing the high organic content for biogas
Around 50 percent of the total volume of waste on the subcontinent is organic material. The Indian Ministry for renewable energies has estimated that up to 5,000 megawatts of power could be generated simply through consistent use of the biogas from biogenic residues that accumulate in the country's sugar mills.
The German Biogas Association and the Indian Biogas Association (IBA) entered into a Chamber and Association Partnership at the end of last year aimed at developing the highly-promising biogas market more effectively in the future. "Biogas offers our country a major opportunity both in terms of the economy and environmental protection. Development in Germany is ample proof of the potential offered by biogas for ensuring clean and sustainable supply of energy," says IBA Managing Director Gaurav Kedia. And according to the Biogas Association, the association partnership not least offers new sales opportunities for German biogas companies, some of which are already active in India. The partnership is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Thermal utilization is another option
Thermal utilization offers another technology option for converting waste into energy. However, waste incineration plants have only been developed in a few isolated cases in India to date and often with unsatisfactory results. One impediment here, among others, was that the calorific value of Indian domestic waste is rather low compared with European or U.S. standards.
Moreover, there is no garbage fee schedule to support economic operation. If these difficulties could be surmounted, not only would this benefit society and the environment in India directly, but could also contribute to global climate protection. The analysts in the above-mentioned UBA study therefore come to the conclusion that Indian greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by up to 25 million tons per year by expanding the sorted collection and recovery of recyclables as well as by incinerating non-usable residual waste in efficient incineration plants.
Exploitation of the energy content of waste at IFAT India
Both the opportunities offered by advanced biogas usage and those presented by thermal utilization of waste can not only be found at the exhibition booths at this year's IFAT India, but will also be covered in the presentations and discussions in the trade fair's extensive supporting program. Interested companies still have until the end of July to register as exhibitors: http://www.ifat-india.com/application.