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Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) Initiative

Topics Covered:

  1. Infrastructure- energy and conservation related issues.

 

Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) Initiative

 

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: SATAT initiative- key objectives, significance and brief overview on CNG and CBG.

 

Context: The government recently handed over the 100th Letter of Intent (LOI) to the Compressed Bio-Gas(CBG) Entrepreneur (producer) under the SATAT scheme.

 

About the initiative:

  • The initiative is aimed at providing a Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) as a developmental effort that would benefit both vehicle-users as well as farmers and entrepreneurs.
  • Compressed Bio-Gas plants are proposed to be set up mainly through independent entrepreneurs. CBG produced at these plants will be transported through cascades of cylinders to the fuel station networks of OMCs for marketing as a green transport fuel alternative.
  • The entrepreneurs would be able to separately market the other by-products from these plants, including bio-manure, carbon-dioxide, etc., to enhance returns on investment.
  • It is planned to roll out 5,000 Compressed Bio-Gas plants across India in a phased manner.
  • This initiative is expected to generate direct employment for 75,000 people and produce 50 million tonnes of bio-manure for crops.

 

There are multiple benefits from converting agricultural residue, cattle dung and municipal solid waste into CBG on a commercial scale:

  • Responsible waste management, reduction in carbon emissions and pollution.
  • Additional revenue source for farmers.
  • Boost to entrepreneurship, rural economy and employment.
  • Support to national commitments in achieving climate change goals.
  • Reduction in import of natural gas and crude oil.
  • Buffer against crude oil/gas price fluctuations.

 

Background:

Bio-gas is produced naturally through a process of anaerobic decomposition from waste / bio-mass sources like agriculture residue, cattle dung, sugarcane press mud, municipal solid waste, sewage treatment plant waste, etc. After purification, it is compressed and called CBG, which has pure methane content of over 95%.

 

What is CBG?

Compressed Bio-Gas is exactly similar to the commercially available natural gas in its composition and energy potential. With calorific value (~52,000 KJ/kg) and other properties similar to CNG, Compressed Bio-Gas can be used as an alternative, renewable automotive fuel. Given the abundance of biomass in the country, Compressed Bio-Gas has the potential to replace CNG in automotive, industrial and commercial uses in the coming years.

Compressed Bio-Gas can be produced from various bio-mass/waste sources, including agricultural residue, municipal solid waste, sugarcane press mud, distillery spent wash, cattle dung and sewage treatment plant waste. The other waste streams, i.e, rotten potatoes from cold storages, rotten vegetables, dairy plants, chicken/poultry litter, food waste, horticulture waste, forestry residues and treated organic waste from industrial effluent treatment plants (ETPs) can be used to generate biogas.

 

Way ahead:

The potential for Compressed Bio-Gas production from various sources in India is estimated at about 62 million tonnes per annum. Going forward, Compressed Bio-Gas networks can be integrated with city gas distribution (CGD) networks to boost supplies to domestic and retail users in existing and upcoming markets. Besides retailing from OMC fuel stations, Compressed Bio-Gas can at a later date be injected into CGD pipelines too for efficient distribution and optimised access of a cleaner and more affordable fuel.