Random Thoughts and News
Waste Management - The Alc Way
limb Centre Pune has instituted a newer and simpler way of
converting kitchen waste into compost. Used as a substitute for
vermiculture, EM technology has been put to good use. First
developed by Dr Teruo Higa in Japan, EM technology is now in use
in 30 countries.
essentially consists of the use of friendly micro organisms like
phototropic bacteria, Actinomyces, Lactic acid bacteria and yeast
contained in a stock solution (EM1 solution), which is diluted in
rice wash water that has sugar added to it (EM 3 solution). This
is added to kitchen waste in specially designed drums which
converts the waste into compost, a process which helps plants grow
3 solution can also be used to clean floors, de clog drains and as
a de-odoriser precluding the use of chemical agents.
(Effective Microorganisms) Technology
microorganisms (EM) solution is a living entity containing active
microbes. It has no chemicals and no genetically engineered
organisms. These microorganisms are extremely beneficial, eco
friendly and totally harmless.
is very economical and easy to use. EM solution can be classified
into 2 categories:
method to convert waste into fuel raises hopes!
could be the simple solution to Mumbai’s gargantuan garbage
problem. That, at least, is the hope of Sharad Kale and his team
at Bhaba Atomic Research center (BARC) who have developed a solar
powered biogas plant to convert ordinary kitchen wste into fuel.
plant installed at the Nuclear Agriculture and Biotechnology
Division, has been taking care of all the kitchen waste in the
BARC Canteens – some 600kg daily – for eight months now.
here are so satisfied with the results that they have got the
Municipal Corporation interested. “ A Memorandum of
Understanding is being worked out,” said Mr Kale, the Scientist
working on the project, called ‘Nisarga Runa’. According to Mr
Kale, the plant works on the same principle as gobar gas plants
– the bacterial breakdown of waste produces energy – but with
modifications which improves its output. These include a mixer and
pre-digester which helps break down the waste into sludge before
it runs down into the main tank where it is converted into methane
gas. The gas is to be used in one of the BARC Canteens. Fertilizer
is also produced as a by-product.
plant requires no electricity. Even the pre-digester, which mixes
hot water into the sludge to help decomposition, uses only solar
power to heat up the water.
since there are no maintenance costs, the whole plant is extremely
cost effective,” says Mr Kale. The present plant has a capacity
of one tone and costs Rs. 5 lakhs.
to him, the modifications have improved on the conventional biogas
plant by widening the scope of any kind of biodegradable waste and
improving the quality of the gas and fertilizer produced. “ The
fertilizer is also richer, more effective.” The process period
is also reduced from one month to ten days. Mr. Kale feels this
plant could work well at the ward level in the city, reducing the
burden on the overflowing dumping grounds. “Instead of
transporting the waste to the grounds, it is brought to the local
plant,” he says. The plant takes up about 300 square meters
area. The BMC is considering plants with a capacity of processing
five tones of garbage a day. On an average, a person generates 400
to 500 grams of waste a day.
– tonne plant will cost about Rs. 8 lakhs. Mr. Kale claims the
cost can be recovered in two years since 5 tonnes of waste will
generate 10 cylinders of gas. The first beneficiary may be KEM
Hospital, Parel, which will get cooking gas if a local plant is
set up to deal with the waste in the area.
in the city, however, depends on the segregation of waste at the
above news item appeared in the Times of India, Mumbai edition on
06 Mar 2002. Well! No doubt; it is a workable solution to take
care of massive kitchen as well as paper waste. It may be ideal
that the methane gas thus produced is directly used within the
premises by providing safe and durable piping systems and stove
and burners, since making provisions for filling up the cylinders
etc. might require additional expenditure and perhaps Government
sanction from appropriate authorities. One has to take adequate
precautions to avoid direct exposure to methane gas, which might
cause allergic manifestations.
from readers are welcome and may be emailed to email@example.com
Surg Cmde P Sivadas,
08 May 2002
Drucker, PhD et al of Montefoire Medical Center, Department of
Epidemiology and Social Medicine in US has published an article
in the Lancet of Dec 8, 2001 titled
The Injection Century’ in which he has traced the history of
AIDS to un-sterilized hypodermic needles used in Africa in the
1950s. The author explains how relatively harmless monkey virus
- Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) could have mutated into
the deadly AIDS virus as a result of repeated use of
un-sterilized hypodermic needles among 23 million Africans to
whom Penicillin was administered during 1950s to combat yaws.
They have hypothesized that this could have happened by
‘serial passage’. Is mutation the reason for the tenacious
hospital acquired infection?
Air Marshal LK Verma