New Delhi, January 2023.
TheGreenBillions Limited (TGBL), a company specialising in consulting, managing, and executing sustainable initiatives, has announced its association with The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to set up first plant in India to extract green hydrogen from biomass and municipal solid waste. TGBL’s wholly owned subsidiary Variate Pune Waste to Energy Pvt. Ltd. (VPWTEPL) will be managing and utilizing the municipal waste of 350 TPD of Pune for generating hydrogen for a period of 30 years. The project aims to extract clean hydrogen from municipal solid waste in a pioneering initiative. The company is discussing with other state municipalities across India to implement and set up similar plants in the future.
Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited (BECIL), a Central Public Sector Enterprise of Government of India will provide the Project management consulting and Variate Pune Waste to Energy Private Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of TheGreenBillions Limited, will implement the project to convert Pune’s municipal non-recyclable waste into hydrogen.
The Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) from the waste would later be utilised to generate hydrogen using Plasma gasification technology. The technology has been developed while closely working with the Bhabha Atomic Research Institute (BARC) and the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.
Mahatma Phule Renewable Energy & Infrastructure Technology (MAHAPREIT), a Maharashtra government undertaking, has proposed to offtake the hydrogen generated at the facility and develop logistical infrastructure for hydrogen transportation to industries for this. For the first phase of the project, MAHAPREIT proposes blending in the city gas distribution network in Pune by partnering with Maharashtra Natural Gas Ltd (a joint venture of GAIL (India) Ltd and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL). The joint efforts by MAHAPREIT and GAIL can help the proposed hydrogen blending project set a benchmark for a circular economy with hydrogen generated from the city’s waste and blended back into its gas distribution network.
According to Prateek Kanakia, PhD, Chairman and Founder, TheGreenBillions Limited, “The growing Indian economy is witnessing an increase in demand for energy from all sectors. The situation has put a lot of pressure on Indian energy reserves to meet the ever-increasing demand. It has increased the focus on identifying and developing alternative energy sources, mainly green and clean sources that do not harm the environment. With the rising demand from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to generate Clean Hydrogen, it is essential to find alternatives to foster clean hydrogen in the country. We recognise that an efficient garbage collection and disposal system is crucial for quality urban solid waste management. Especially in India, unsustainable garbage management affects living spaces for many cities. Our association with the Pune Municipal Corporation is a step forward in mitigating these demands.”
Official statement from Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited (BECIL), “With this project, Pune city can reduce upto 2.5 million MT CO2e, more than 3.8 million MT waste would be diverted from the landfill and around >1,80,000 estimated households will be served directly. The Municipal solid waste (MSW) otherwise being dumped in low lying urban areas will be diverted, saving upto 689.5 cubic meter space every day and 25.16 hectare of precious land per year.”
This waste will comprise biodegradable, non-biodegradable and domestic hazardous waste and would be segregated at the TheGreenBillions’s facility in Pune using optical sensor technology. The wet waste from the facility will be used to generate humic-acid rich bio-fertilisers, which are considered better than conventional bio-fertilisers and has low carbon emissions.
This project aims to demonstrate the technological and financial feasibility of waste to hydrogen generation. With a strong focus of the Government of India on hydrogen adoption, the projects like these will not only help India achieve decarbonization goals but will also reduce significant emissions from waste disposal. Once achieved, the goals will help India achieve the vision of Swachh Bharat and also match the hydrogen ambitions.