Biogas enrichment and bottling technology for automobile fuel-IIT Delhi Technology Case study of goshala in Rajasthan


Dr. Virendra K. Vijay
Centre for Rural Development & Technology Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi Hauz Khas, New Delhi, India E-mail:,


 Biogas is an important renewable energy resource for rural areas in India.  It is produced by anaerobic digestion of biological wastes.  It is an environment friendly, clean, cheap and versatile fuel.  Biogas generally comprise of 55-65 % methane, 35-45 % carbon dioxide,

0.5-1.0 % hydrogen sulfide and traces of water vapour.

 Average calorific value of biogas is 20 MJ/m3 (4713 kcal/m3).

 Biogas like Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cannot be liquefied under

normal temperature and pressure.

 Critical temperature required for liquefaction of methane is

82.1oC at 4.71MPa pressure, therefore use of biogas is limited nearby the biogas plant.

 An estimate indicates that India has a potential of generating 6.38 X 1010

m3 of biogas from 980 million tones of cattle dung produced annually.

 The heat value of this gas amounts to 1.3 X 1012 MJ. In addition, 350

million tones of manure would also produce along with biogas.

Organic Wastes & their Estimated Availability in India
Sr. No. 1. Organic Wastes Municipal Solid waste Estimated Quantity 30 million tons/year

3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Municipal liquid waste
Distillery (243 units) Press mud Food & fruit processing wastes Willow dust Dairy industry waste Paper & pulp industry waste (300 mills)

12000 million litres/day
8057 kilolitres/day 9 million tons/year 4.5 million tons/year 30000 tons/year 50-60 million litres/day 1600 m3/day


Tannery (2000 units)

52500 m3 waste water/day

Source: MNES Report, Renewable Energy in India and business opportunities, MNES. Govt. of India, New Delhi, 2001

Biogas Production Potential from different Wastes

Utilization of Biogas
 Cooking: Biogas can be used in a specially designed burner for cooking

purpose. A biogas plant of 2 cubic metres capacity is sufficient for providing cooking fuel needs of a family of about five persons.  Lighting: Biogas is used in silk mantle lamps for lighting purpose. The requirement of gas for powering a 100 candle lamp (60 W) is 0.13 cubic metre per hour.  Power Generation: Biogas can be used to operate a dual fuel engine to replace up to 80 % of diesel-oil. Diesel engines have been modified to run 100 per cent on biogas. Petrol and CNG engines can also be modified easily to use biogas.  Transport Fuel: After removal of CO2, H2S and water vapour, biogas can be converted to natural gas quality for use in vehicles.

Biogas Technology Status
 India has been pioneering country in developing simple and easy to operate

biogas plants.More than 4 million family type biogas plants have installed so far.  The government of India has been running National Biogas and Manure Management Program (NBMMP) for the welfare of the weaker section of the society.  100% Biogas engines are in operation in the country.
 95% methane to make it suitable to be used as a transport fuel and for

blending with natural gas where the gas grid is available.
 From small to large size , large no. of biogas systems are in place across the

country -

1cum/day to more than 20,000 cum/day

 and there exists large potential in this area

New Initiative by MNRE BGFP Program: Demonstration of an Integrated Technology Package on Biogas-Fertilizer Plants (BGFP) for Generation, Purification/ Enrichment, Bottling and Piped distribution of Biogas towards harnessing ‘Near Total Potential of suitable Biomass in Rural Areas in India.
 The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy support of 50% can be

made available for taking up such technology projects. Balance 50% of the cost of the project is required to be invested/ mobilized by the entrepreneur/ developer. However, at least 20% of the cost of the project is to be met by the entrepreneur/user agency in case loan is availed from banks/ financial institutions including NABARD and IREDA.
 The capacity of BGFP could be 200, 400, 500, 1000 m3 biogas/ day and

multiples there of depending on the availability of suitable biomass feedmaterials and cattle-dung.

Need for the Biogas Refining and Bottling
 Potential of biogas is not fully utilized and commercialized so far.  For commercialization, its area of application may widen; from cooking

fuel to vehicle fuel/or transportable fuel  For use as a vehicle fuel, it should be bottled like CNG. %; similar to CNG.

 Before bottling, it should enriched in methane content from 55 % to 95

Refining and Compression of Biogas
 Purification is carried out to enrich biogas by scrubbing off the unwanted

components i.e. carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S). and to get rid of the corrosive effect of H2S.

 It is essential to have more energy per unit volume of compressed biogas

 Various purification processes include absorption into water, absorption

by chemical, pressure swing adsorption and membrane separation.

 One of the simple and cheap method is the use of pressurized water as an

absorbent liquid.

Design of Water Scrubbing System
 Water scrubbing method is found suitable for biogas

enrichment in rural areas.
 Water is good solvent for CO2.  The solubility of CO2 in water is governed by variation in

pressures and temperatures.

Approximate solubility of CO2 in water
Pressure Solubility, kg of CO2 per kg of water at different temperatures. (atmospheric) 0 ˚C 10 ˚C 20 ˚C 30 ˚C 1 20 50 0.40 3.15 7.70 0.25 2.15 6.95 0.15 1.30 6.00 0.10 0.90 4.80

Biogas Enrichment and Bottling System
1-Biogas plant 2-Ball valve 3-Water remover 4-Receiver mounted compressor 5-Pressure gauge 6-Gas Storage Vessel 7-Rotameter 8-Supporting stand 9-Reshching rings 10-Scrubber 11-Safety valve 12-Water sprayer 13-Flange 14-View glass 15-Water outlet 16-Water pump 17-Gas filter 18-Pressure reducer 19-Three stage gas compressor 20-CNG Cylinder



13 14


20 9 5 2 3 1 6 7 8 17

19 16 18 4 15

Fig.1: Experimental setup for biogas purification and bottling

Success Case Study of Biogas as Automotive Fuel

Rajasthan Go Sewa Sangh, Durgapura, Rajasthan: ( 50 years old NGO established for upliftment
of rural poor bycow and cow products) More than 30 acre campus in Jaipur consisted of :

•goshala - 250 cows, 3 biogas plants •naturopathy & ayurvedic indoor hospital, •milk processing and medicine making units, •products retail out let, •biogas slurry drying and vermi -compost making unit, •agricultultural farm for organic vegetable & fodder

•Biogas Plants: 3 biogas plants 85 cum +60 cum+30 cum = 175 cum/day •Biogas enrichment started in July 2006 and power generation

•Biogas bottling Plant started in Dec 2007 since then it has been running successfully. A three wheeler runs on biogas daily about 100 km. and approximate 4 kg Bio-CNG is required .
( Demonstration support from DST, Govt of India)

Produce locally and consume locally for sustainability of resources on mother earth - Mahatma Gandhi
Decentralised production and utilisation of energy is the only solution for energy security in rural areas

 1.Automobile Fuel:  Three wheeler luggage carrier –runs 100-110 km/day on enriched biogas  Till now run more than 12500 km on biomethane  2. Power Generation
 100% Biogas Genset : 12 kW - 5 hrs/ day  Water pumping  Lighting in the complex

 3. Thermal Application :  gas consumption for cooking in their naturopathy hospital kitchen and  Ayurvedic medicine preparations

3 Biogas Plants at Goseva Sangh Jaipur

Biogas slurry dried and vermicomposted –filled in bags

Emission Benefits of Biogas

Comparison of Gaseous Emissions for Heavy Vehicles (Bus) in g/km
CO Hydro Carbons Diesel 0.2 0.4 NOX 9.73 CO2 1053 Particles 0.1

Natural gas






Source: A report on biogas technology and biogas use in Sweden, Traffic and Public Transport Authority, City of Gothenburg, November 2000.



Possible entrepreneurial avenues which can have PoA- CDM benefits in Rural Areas with Biogas
Large Scale/ Community level Biogas Enterprises for 1. Cooking needs- Pipeline supply 2. Electricity Production and Supply 3. Rural sanitation & bio manure production 4. Cylindering of methane available from biogas plant for tractors and rural vehicles and production of bio manure

Large Scale/ Community level Biogas Enterprises for Cooking needs- Pipeline supply and Rural Sanitation and bio manure production I. Size of Biogas Plant- 85 m3/day
 No. of families Beneficiaries—50  Cow dung required—2 Tons/day- 250/Ton  A complex of 20 community toilets  Gas utilization—Cooking  If for Cooking – 2 hrs. morning & 2 hrs. evening(1.5 m3/family

per day)  Pipeline length—up to 1km. distance  Pipe quality—HDPE, pressurize system—0.3 kg./cm2(Rs. 2.5 lacs cost)  Gas charge—150/month-family

II. Raw material—Cow dung+ Toilet (community-20 toilets costs 1.5lacs) III. Slurry Management—Biogas digested slurry
Four options1. Liquid slurry

3. 4.

Recycle water (upto 40 to 50% only)
Dry slurry Semi dry

•Local consumption of slurry is advised
•Quality of slurry should be maintained

Cost estimates
 Non- recurring cost—Rs. 8,20,000 ($ 20,500)

 Recurring/ Variable cost—Rs. 2,12,000 ($ 5300)
 Manpower-- Rs.96,000 ($ 2400)  Depreciation—Rs.80,000 ($ 2000)

 Sum of recurring cost- 3,88,000 ($ 9700)
 Revenue

generation5,90,000-3,88,000= Rs.2,02,000 (& 5050) Note- In addition to this Carbon credit benefit to the tune of Rs.71,000/yr. ($ 1775) will also be available.

Large Scale/ Community level Biogas Enterprises for Electricity Generation and supply for domestic consumption, water supply and community consumption and Rural sanitation
 15 KVA Power Generating System from - 85 m3/day Biogas Plant  No. of families Beneficiaries—50  No. of Animals—200  Cow dung required—2 Tons/day- 250/Ton  Gas utilization— Electricity  Domestic connection—2CFL, 1 Fan= 100 Wt.*50=5000Wt.  Water supply connection—4000 Wt.

 Community Hall—2 CFL, 2 Fan & 1 TV.= 500 Wt.

Cost estimates
A. Non recurring Sum =8,50,000 ($ 21,250) B. Recurring Sum=3,87,000 ($ 9675) Income— Electricity supply 130 unit @ Rs.6 per unit *365 = Rs.2,84,700/yr. ($ 7117) Slurry—Rs.1500/day= Rs.5,00,000/yr. ($ 12,500) CDM benefits – Rs.71,000/yr. ($ 1775) Sum= Rs.7,84,000 ($ 19,600) Surplus— Rs. 7,84,000-3,87,000= Rs. 3,97,000 ($ 9925)

Cylindering of methane available from biogas plant for tractors and rural vehicles and production of bio manure
 Biogas plant of 300 M3 per day capacity with enrichment and bottling

 CAPITAL COST – Rs. 28,00,000.00 ($ 70,000)

 

Fixed operational cost-3,00,000 per annum ($ 7500) B. Annual Running (Operational) Cost: -12,00,000 per annum Total cost of Operation = Rs. 15,00,000 /- ($ 37,500) Income:income generate by selling CBG and slurry = Rs. 22,00,000/- ($ 55,000)

 Profit = Rs. 7,00,000/- ($ 17,500)  Payback Period = 4 years

Advantages of this biogas programme under PoA-CDM
 Reduction of methane & CO2emission from cattle dung  Replacement of diesel/petrol by enriched Biogas in

vehicles/ pump sets  Replacement of LPG/ biomass/ kerosene from biogas for cooking needs  Electricity

 Issues:
 Monitoring  Verification

 India has second largest biogas programme in the world at rural

and as well as urban levels.
 Technologies/models have been successfully developed for

biogas enrichment and bottling for automobile applications in India  There is need to develop a sustainable renewable energy programme on biogas for replacing petroleum products by utilization of biogas in the country as commercial enterprises.
 This will help in green energy technology and reducing green

house gases emissions.There is good scope of taking it under PoA- CDM activity.

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