Wealth in waste

Published: Sunday 15 February 1998

Researchers at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Coimbatore, have developed a fuel-efficient bio-mass gas stove. The bio-gas could be produced from animal and crop wastes, and used for domestic and agricultural purposes including irrigation. Bio-mass gasifiers covert agro-wastes into clean and combustible gas called "producer gas", which could be used to power agricultural and industrial gadgets. The method involves removing carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulphide from the crude producer gas, which is then allowed to undergo shift reactions with steam. In this process, carbon monoxide present in the crude gas turns into a hydrogen-rich gas that could be used in a fuel cell to produce electricity. This fuel-efficient and pollution-free system, developed for "stand alone" rural electrification, would use bio-mass instead of industrial hydrogen. As an energy carrier, bio-mass could be stored conveniently and used when needed.

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