Topics Covered: Indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
What to study?
For Prelims: Polycrack, how it works?
For Mains: Need for and significance.
Context: The country’s first Government-owned Waste-to-Energy Plant was recently commissioned at the Mancheswar Carriage Repair Workshop in Odisha.
The plant, a patented technology called Polycrack, is first-of-its-kind in the Indian Railways and fourth in the country. It converts multiple feed stocks into hydrocarbon liquid fuels, gas, carbon and water.
What is Polycrack?
It is the world’s very first patented heterogeneous catalytic process which converts multiple feedstocks into hydrocarbon liquid fuels, gas, carbon as well as water.
- The waste generated will become the feeder material for the waste to energy plant.
- The energy which will be produced at the plant, will be in the form of light diesel oil and this oil will be used to light furnaces.
The plant, having a capacity of 500 kg per batch can be fed with the following:
- All kinds of existing plastic
- Petroleum sludge
- Un segregated MSW with moisture up to 50 per cent
- Automobile fluff
- Organic waste including bamboo, garden waste
- Jathropa fruit and palm bunch
Some of the advantages of this plant are as follows:
- The pre-segregation of waste is not required for processing in the plant. The waste as collected from the source, can be directly fed into the polycrack plant.
- The plant has high tolerance to moisture hence drying of the waste after treatment, is not required.
- The waste is processed in the plant and reformed within a period of 24 hours
- The biological decomposition is not allowed as the waste is treated in the plant as it is received
- All the constituents are converted to valuable energy therefore, making it a zero discharge process through the plant
- The gas generated in the process of the plant is reused in order to provide energy to the system, hence making it self reliant and self sufficient for its energy requirements. This also brings down the operating cost of the plant.
- The plant does not cause atmospheric emission during the process unlike the other conventional methods except for the combustion of gases which have pollutants less than the prescribed norms across the world.
Sources: the Hindu.