INDUSTRY

Rapidly increasing costs of conventional fuel and the need for new energy resources necessitates the use of processed fuels in today’s scenario. Biomass occupies a predominant place as an energy source in rural India. Pelletizing is a way to make use of biomass residues that would otherwise go to waste, and replace the use of LPG, traditional fuels and fossil fuels (often produced unsustainably), thus cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Pelletization carries tremendous scope and potential in converting the agro residues into a more usable form as a fuel. Pelletizing technology has yet to get a strong foothold in India because of the lack of technical know-how and knowledge to adapt the technology to suit local conditions.

OPPORTUNITY/MARKET ASSESSMENT

Paper RecyclingThe geography and climate in India provide ample natural resources for harnessing biomass pelletizing projects for power. This is especially applicable to rural areas, where the raw material availability is very high. Rural communities are typically engaged in agriculture or related applications that generated huge amounts of agro-waste, so it is possible to harness existing biomass reserves in the form of agro wastes to develop biomass based power stations.

The energy ladder: Energy & development linkage
Lack of sustained availability of LPG and other clean cooking fuel options rural population, including the commercial loads have to rely on traditional fuels. If sustainable supply of pellets is ensured by setting up an enterprise, it can be sold across all the income groups.

Understandably, policy makers today are increasingly alive to understand that biomass pelletizing and clean cook stove-based enterprises are:

  • Much easier to be installed and operated
  • Modular in nature
  • Profitable : Rising demand due to rising cost of fossil fuel
  • Green: Renewable source of fuel and energy

Therefore, the government has exempted such enterprises for obtaining any license and 100% Income Tax (IT) exemption is also given for first five years under section 80 JJA clause 51. Apart from this, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) also offers 30% subsidy for clean cookstoves.

TECHNOLOGY DESCRIPTION

Pelletization technology is used to compact the biomass/agro-residues into high density pellets which eliminates problems of handling, storage and transportation. The combustion of these pellets also improves performance as compared to the present utilization pattern.

Any agro-waste can be used for manufacturing pellets, but its calorific value has to be considered.

The technology is easy to operate and the output is continuous & uniform and not in strokes. The operations can be diversified into three phases, as highlighted below:

Against this backdrop, TARA will provide the support required for setting up a viable enterprise including, the technology, capacity building/training, market assistance and financial assistance.