History created as Dr. Pramod Chaudhari becomes first Indian to be honoured with 2020 George Washington Carver Award for Innovation in Industrial Biotechnology and Agriculture by Washington DC-based Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and IowaBio. The award was presented during the BIO IMPACT Digital Ag & Environment Conference held online on September 22, 2020.
The recognition is testament to Dr. Chaudhari’s exemplary leadership, pioneering endeavours, and his relentless pursuit in building a sustainable ecosystem for the advancement of a bio-based economy.
Named after celebrated agricultural scientist, inventor and environmentalist, George Washington Carver, the award instituted in 2008 recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contribution to the biotechnology sector worldwide.
Lecture series conducted at Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories on “Pharmaceutical Water Systems: Design, Operation and Qualification”
Open access to Praj’s sanitizer technology, now with plant solution.
The use of high quality hand wash sanitizer (HWS) is an effective measure to control the spread of deadly Corona virus, and has led to its exponential demand globally. Following the guidelines issued by the World Health Organization, the formulation in HWS must have at least 80% alcohol which will neutralize the virus and prevent its spread. Praj understands the seriousness of the fight against the virus and has offered free and open access to HWS technology solution in line with WHO guidelines. Praj’s know-how and engineering package is available here https://praj.net/praj-sanitizer-technology/.
Praj is also offering manufacturing support through Praj HiPurity Systems (PHS), its wholly-owned subsidiary which is a leading supplier for turnkey solutions in cosmetics and personal care, topical and oral formulations, and sterile formulations. PHS has been serving the biopharma industry across the world for the past three decades. PHS is geared to manufacture and supply a modularized solution to manufacture HWS on a fast-track basis.
Since there have been multiple requests from potential HWS manufacturers, Praj & PHS have jointly designed a HWS manufacturing skid, including technical assistance if required.
This site offers the following information –
- Sources of raw material – access to distilleries willing to supply bulk ENA
- Sources of packaging – a repository of suppliers of packing & bottling machines.
- Trading companies / bulk manufacturers with access to POC’s (Point of consumption)
Pivots for Sanitizer Corner
Praj’s sanitizer technology offering comprises four pivots which are technology and raw material that lead to a plant solution and subsequently to the production of HWS.
The government, businesses and individuals around the world have been tackling unprecedented challenges post the COVID -19 outbreak. The unanticipated upsurge of this pandemic has had a sudden impact on our daily lives, forcing us to mend our ways overnight. As individuals, we have been confined to our homes and working remotely since the global lockdowns have been implemented – again a never before phenomenon. Businesses – the harbingers of economy – have been struggling to make sense of their service amid the sudden switch of demands. In order to ensure business continuity while also contributing to the nation and its employees in a noble way, distilleries are tweaking their ethanol production process to produce disinfectant alcohols and are also providing the facility to produce healthcare equipment. In this article, we try to present how distilleries in India (and also worldwide) are joining hands with government to overcome this pandemic.
Government Loosens the Reins to Speed Up Production of Hand Sanitizers
Apart from maintaining social distancing and covering your face, one of the most important guidelines that was published by the WHO, even as the disease was gaining prominence, was to keep the hands clean by washing them (more than) often using soap & water and/or using an alcohol based hand rub. Following this guideline, many people flocked to the nearby chemists to ‘panic-shop’ as many sanitizers as they could. This sudden demand of sanitizers led to an exhausted supply, following which, the government issued permissions to distillers and sugar mills to prioritize supply of Ethyl Alcohol, ENA (extra neutral alcohol) and ethanol, (all by-products of sugar manufacturing) used in making liquor or as fuel additive, to supply the sanitiser industry. The license approval process for manufacturing sanitizer has also been mellowed down and simplified. The prices of alcohol used in manufacturing hand sanitizers will not exceed the rates prevailing on March 5, 2020 .
Distillers join hand with the government to ‘sober up’ the situation
Apart from India, many of the affected countries instantly stopped manufacturing liquor and instead diverted to lend a helping hand in sanitizer production. A good part of the ethanol industry is already working in three shifts to cater to the demand. Contributing to the social cause, the Indian Sugar Mills Association and the All India Distilleries association have assured that ethyl alcohol, Extra Neutral Alcohol and ethanol will be made available to the manufacturers at a reasonable rate only. Setting an example, Indian Whiskey maker John Distilleries has started producing sanitizers at its distilleries which will be donated to healthcare institutions . Another popular Liquor brand ‘Bacardi’ said it would produce 70,000 liters of hand sanitizers, which will be distributed primarily to district government hospitals, to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus pandemic . In yet another way, Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), that sells Budweiser and Haywards beers, is collaborating with state governments to equip 15 lakh frontline workers with masks and hand sanitizers to make for the short supply of essential protective equipment in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak .
Praj Joins the Aid-Wagon
Praj Industries – one of the pioneers of promoting industrial production of ethanol in India – has devised a technology to formulate alcohol into high quality sanitizers as approved by the W.H.O. at their state-of-art research center. This technology can be used to produce sanitizers with above 80% alcohol content (as prescribed by WHO). This is unlike those which do not conform to the standards, may not protect you against the virus and even make your hands dry. Praj is well positioned to boost the production of sanitizers leveraging their 750+ customer references worldwide and facilitate the process. Considering the market crunch of authentic sanitizers and honoring the appeal of the ‘Ministry of health & defense, India”, Praj has opened access to the blueprint of sanitizer manufacturing process for standardized plant capacity of 2KLPD (20,000 bottles of 100 ml. each) and 5KLPD (50,000 bottles of 100 ml each) and has made it public on the company website. Praj has also pledged to provide remote engineering and commissioning assistance to produce sanitizers. It is also geared up to manufacture and supply specialized reactors required for production of sanitizers on a fast-track basis.
- 1. Government of India has asked liquor manufacturers to make alcohol available for sanitiser
- 2. Covid-19 Impact: John Distilleries makes hand sanitizers to overcome short supply
- 3. COVID-19: Bacardi to produce 70,000 liters of hand sanitizers
- 4. Budweiser maker equips 15 lakh frontline workers with masks and hand sanitizers
A massive increase in energy consumption throughout the world has led to a rise in demand for fuels and energy sources. Conventional energy sources such as fossil fuels are limited and on the verge of getting exhausted. Renewable fuels and technologies, hence, are sustainable solutions. More sustainable fuels that reduce emissions and social impacts such as compressed natural gas, biodiesel, renewable diesel, and electricity are required to meet today’s energy needs of India.
The global market trends are positively shifting towards cleaner fuels. This is evident especially in the international markets where they are now making modifications for larger integration of biofuels produced using ethanol from molasses. There has been a surge in the demand for 1G ethanol in international markets such as Latin America, South-East Asia and parts of Europe. Crude oil prices are soaring owing to an expected trade deal between the US and China along with growing geopolitical tensions between the US and Iran. The price increase has been around 18% for the October-December quarter. Since India is heavily dependent on imported oil, any flare-up in prices can have a serious impact on our economy. Praj – one of the leading pioneers of Ethanol plant manufacturers in India, has been an active participant and contributor in meeting the international & national demands of clean fuel in the chemical and ONGC sector and executing activities related to Engineering, Procurement, and Construction.
A Window for Several Greenfield and Brownfield Projects
These adversities have turned into opportunities for Major Oil Companies such as Exxon Mobil and Shell, as they increase their investment in oil exploration and refineries in newer oil fields, thereby creating new opportunities in greenfield projects. Old refineries, using legacy systems, are looking to expand their facilities by allowing brownfield projects seeking renovation and up-gradation of existing facilities. This also provides a great opportunity for process equipment industries to implement advanced technologies in terms of remote monitoring for performance, data analytics for optimizing product mix and quality. There is also a growing preference for skid systems and complex materials. Praj’s global certification makes it eligible for participating in various company biddings requiring bioethanol production on a global scale.
Chemical Industry and Bio-Technology
The Indian chemical industry has seen a gradual improvement in the past few years. Currently, China and India drive the growth of the chemical industry because of the availability of raw materials at a competitive price. The strong government support for research & development and an evolved ecosystem that fully supports the industry and innovation are the main contributors to growth. Other industries poised for growth are Agro Chemicals, Specialty Chemicals, Colorant Chemicals, and Renewable chemicals.
Working towards Sustainable Decarbonization
At a time when carbon emissions are attracting global attention, it has become necessary to reduce carbon footprints. This can be made possible only with the use of renewable fuels, including ethanol in petrol, use of CBG instead of CNG, use of alternative energy sources like solar panels, electric vehicles, etc. Additionally, the use of renewable chemicals instead of traditional chemicals made from fossil fuel should be implemented.
The role of 2G Ethanol in reducing Fossil Fuel dependency
2G biofuels make it possible to blend up to 20 percent without changes in the engine. This means, saving 7000 million liters worth of fossil fuel by replacing them with cellulosic ethanol. This would also result in a saving of around $4920 to $5075 million dollars. Compare this to the existing capacity of 2G which has a blending rate of 5 to 7 percent and limited availability of feedstock. Praj is actively working towards expanding the manufacturing of its second generation ethanol production plants, one for Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) plant at Bargarh, Orissa and second for Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) at Panipat.
India’s agricultural population is highly dependent on the monsoons. Climate change has altered the patterns of weather, adversely impacting rainfall, the crops, the farmers and consequently, us. While farmers are suffering from drought or excessive rainfall, cities are struggling with their own woes of untreated sewage flowing through open nullahs with the occasional floods only aggravating the condition. This is an ironic situation where we have abundant water around us but only a fraction of it may be fit for consumption.
Most of the rural Indians are inter-migrating to the cities in search of employment and sustenance. It is estimated that around 7 billion people will live in cities by 2050. This growing trend is bound to build pressure on limited and critical resources such as water, among several others. Currently, we are able to meet the demands of most of the cities by transporting water from hundreds of kilometers afar. But this method is both inefficient and energy-intensive. A local level solution is thus required for sustainable water management. Practices such as wastewater treatment would be of immense significance in achieving water security.
A source for industries to generate wealth from waste
Vital water resources, the lifelines of civilization, are being contaminated and depleted at an alarming rate due to partial or untreated Industrial and Domestic wastewater flowing into them. This puts industries in a critical, albeit eventually profitable, position to follow a Minimum Liquid Discharge (MLD) or Zero Liquid Discharge System (ZLD) where resources can be, to a certain extent, recovered from the wastewater. The recovery of resources not only leads to water conservation but also acts as an additional income source. A mindset change from “use and throw” to a “use, treat, and reuse” is needed to manage wastewater.
How is Praj technology already bringing about a change
Praj ZLD wastewater treatment plant is designed to recover resources such as crystallized salts that are more than 99% pure. These recovered salts are an important source of revenue for some clients, in addition to the savings gathered by avoiding the high cost of salt disposal. Such concepts are strong enough to drive a change in current societal systems, thinking ahead from residues treatment, such as wastewater treatment, toward resource recovery.
Praj’s industrial water treatment systems offer an economical and versatile way for industries to extract valuable products from wastewater, which is a prerequisite for the technological development of a bio-based economy. It is one of the leading Total Water Solutions Providers(TWSP), providing C2C (Concept to Commissioning) solutions for Industrial Wastewater Recycle plants and Aerobic Treatment Plants. Praj has installed more than 750 Evaporators and ultrafiltration equipment all over the globe and has been the most preferred (TWSP) by many highly reputed and large Industrial firms.
A case study by Praj
A leading Indian Chemical Manufacturing company approached Praj in 2012 to provide them with a Techno-Commercially viable solution to handle highly contaminated wastewater, made up of predominantly complex chemicals. Though small in volume, the contamination level in the wastewater was extremely high. The High TDS and High COD stream was directly treated through TVR based 249 KLD Multiple Effect Evaporator (MEE) after pre-treatment to remove sticky floating matter. A 3-stage Forced Circulation TVR based MEE was installed which was later expanded with provision of an additional stage. The process condensate from the MEE was combined along with other streams and treated through conventional biological process using 2 stage Activated Sludge Process (ASP) followed by Tertiary filtration. The final treated water met the client’s treatment goals.
Our dependence on fossil fuels is creating a world-wide turmoil in regards to the sustainability of the human race. Fossils are the primary source of bi-products, energy and resources, and this is having a detrimental effect on our planet. As a result, we are witnessing major geo-political issues and energy security concerns due to the scarcity of our finite resources. India is a leading consumer of fossil fuels due to its population size. We as humans need to acknowledge the worry-some issue that our way of life revolves primarily around the exploitation of fossil fuels. We need to strongly adopt the idea of relying on an alternate source for our resources and energy. This is the need of the hour and this is the way forward for the Indian economy.
Bioenergy- The worthy successor to our fossil fuels
Bioenergy has proven to be one of the most sustainable and feasible ways of producing energy and bi-products for use. It is truly worthy of being our primary source of energy in today’s time. Bioenergy production involves the conversion of natural biomass or biological resources into useful resources like energy, food etc., by the means of biotechnology in a Bioenergy plant. Biotechnology entails the use of living organisms and organic material available in abundance in our environment. Over the years, biotech has progressed by leaps and bounds, giving us a perfectly reliable and sustainable method to implement bioenergy as the alternative.
Bio-refineries- How will it help?
The bio-refinery concept is an intelligent and promising solution that integrates different biomass conversion processes and technologies. The bio-refinery approach is based on a holistic utilisation of biomass for producing value-added products. For ex. Bioethanol Plant. Thus, bio-refineries aim for zero-waste biomass utilisation by applying efficient technologies to convert biomass into energy and products.
Speaking of products, biotech can enable the production of a plethora of bio-products. To understand its feasibility and scale, let’s see what kind of products and raw materials we will be dealing with.
Raw materials typically used for bio-products
- Sugary; molasses and beet
- Starchy- potato, cassava
- Biomass- Agricultural waste such as bagasse, rice stalk etc.
- Microbial- such as algae
- Wood (forestry materials)
This shows how easy it will be to procure raw materials for the processes. But to become a truly diverse bio-economy, bio-products should not be restricted to one industrial sector. And that’s the best part about the use of biomass… there are numerous resources that can be produced for a broad spectrum of applications and markets.
Here are some examples of bio-products as per their industry applications
- Bio-lubricants – Automotive Industry
- Bio-polymers- Packaging Industry
- DDGS production (by-product of Bioethanol production)- Liquor Industry
- Bio-composites- Manufacturing Industry
- Wood & Construction Material- Furniture Industry
This clearly depicts the potential of bio-based products to cater to a diverse range of industries and be a viable alternative to fossil fuels.
Transforming India into a Bio-economy
The use of multiple feedstock to produce a diverse range of bio-products has created a golden opportunity to revive the Indian economy, as India stands as one of the leading producers of biomass energy. Around 18 GW of energy produced in India comes from biomass. This is an opportunity to reconcile with our environment and secure a sustainable and profitable future for the Indian economy. A simple change in the mind-set will foster an evergreen future across all industries and domains. To implement this effectively, it needs to be done at a fundamental level. People to need to naturally absorb the idea of embracing a Bio-economy. It needs to become an integral part of the Indian Society. So, ushering a bio-economy in India means working closely with India’s existing environmental protection initiatives and developmental programs launched by the Government.
Here are some of the flagship programs that are currently running;
- Make in India
- Swachh Bharat
- Doubling farmer’s income
- Energy security and self-reliance- reduce the import bill
Along with the programs, the idea of Bio-economy needs to have a deep-rooted foundation in the political environment as well. The idea needs to flourish at the policy-making level. That means taking extra measures to help the development and advancement of biotech in India.
Here are some steps that can be taken to aid the development of biotech in India
- Forming policies for biofuel- Expediting project realization for 2G, CBC and Biodiesel
- Supporting rural development- Creating job opportunities, alternate revenue streams from farming.
- Presenting innovative ideas or solutions to bring bio-products in the market.
- Working towards building more affordable technologies for mass adoption.
Bio-industry is all set to boom in the coming years. The question is, will we acknowledge its upside and help the Indian economy grow before it’s too late? The solution to our environmental crisis is right in front of us, and corporations have a huge opportunity to make name for themselves in the Bio era.
Praj industries is a major manufacturer of Bio-products in India with over 30 years of industry expertise.
From pioneering Bioethanol production technology to mastering Zero Liquid Discharge systems, Praj industries offer a plethora of high-tech engineering solutions. Apart from Bio-products, they offer a wide range of industrial wastewater treatment solutions like scrubbing, evaporation and crystallization, that are highly customized and match international standards of quality and output.
Visit the website www.praj.net to learn more.
By developing innovative and sustainable decarbonization solutions using circular bioeconomy, Praj is combatting the evils of climate change across the world. Praj is a name to reckon with not just in the home market of India but in South East Asia, Africa, Europe and South America. Praj has executed more than 240 projects in 45+ countries such as Peru, Guatemala, Guyana, Sierra Leone and developed countries like USA, UK, Germany, Belgium and Finland.
South East Asia
Praj entered the South east Asian market in 1992 and the first Bioethanol production plant of 1,20,000 litre per day was commissioned in 1994 at Lawang, Indonesia. Praj has supplied plants in Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Australia, Cambodia, Vietnam etc.
The predominant feedstock for bioethanol in this region is cassava, sugarcane molasses and juice. Thailand implemented biofuels program successfully and phased out premium gasoline with gasohol. Philippines has mandated 10% ethanol blending, while Australia has a 2% mandate for blending. Japan imports ethanol for production of ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE – an oxygenate). Praj has also installed facilities in Vietnam for blending.
For the last two decades in Africa, Praj has been partnering with African companies in the sugar and ethanol sector by offering technology, engineering and turnkey solutions. As the awareness about ethanol, environmental concerns and the kind of profitability it can bring to the sugar mills grew across Africa, so did our experience and understanding of Africa as a continent. With 54 nations forming the African Union, one must understand the nuances of working in each region as a separate entity and that is exactly what Praj has done.
With significant work in Algeria, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Turkey and Zimbabwe over last twenty years, Praj is committed to the development of African continent by way of its focus on process solutions for agri-processing, energy and environment.
Europe is at the forefront of fuel ethanol to mitigate climate change evils. It also offers opportunities for pharmaceutical grade of ethanol. With more than two decades, Praj has carved a space for itself in Europe.
UK’s largest fuel ethanol plant for Vivergo Fuels, with an ethanol production capacity of 1.2 mn liter per day deploys Praj technology. Recently, Praj also commissioned a vodka grade beverage alcohol plant in Poland with energy saving Ecosmart technology. Praj works with marquee customers within Europe and has references in UK, Poland, Belgium, Hungary, Germany, Bulgaria, etc.
South America is the land of abundant natural resources like fertile soils, water and minerals. The agrarian continent has soil-climate conditions suitable for sugarcane cultivation. This has led to the development of downstream ethanol industry and other chemical and bioenergy plant.
One of the most efficient sugar producers of the world, Colombia is also an exemplar in successful implementation of ethanol blending program in the world. Colombia’s fuel ethanol program was launched in 2002 when the government passed a law mandating use of fuel ethanol in gasoline.
Praj is proud to fulfil 100% of Colombia’s fuel ethanol programme by installing ethanol production plant. These plants serve as a benchmark in the entire South American continent.
Production of first fuel ethanol plant began in October 2005 with an output of 300,000 liter per day in the Cauca Region. By March 2006, four more plants in the Cauca Valley were operational with a combined capacity of 1.05 million liter per day or 357 million liter per year.
Besides Colombia, Praj has references in Argentina, Peru, Guatemala, Mexico and many other South Central American countries. Praj serves clients in South and North America from its office in Houston, Texas.
Offerings and core competencies
Praj’s basket of offerings to the international market include-
- Feasibility studies
- Feed for projects investment and planning.
- Extended basic engineering
- EPC projects/ lumpsum turnkey projects.
- Multi-disciplinary detailed engineering
- Project management
- Procurement services
- Construction and construction management
The company has core competencies in areas such as pre feed projects/ feed projects, engineering and supply projects. Praj offers engineering, supply and construction supervision, and engineering, supply and construction of parts or sections with utilities. Praj also offers EPC/ LSTK (Lump Sum Turnkey) for ethanol, Brewing technology, brewery projects, EPC projects with front end packing and utilities.
Project and construction management
Praj’s exemplary project and construction management skills are key to the success of international and domestic projects. The company’s project management team has global experience of creating more than 700 references all over the world. Other facets of project management include-
- PMP certified project managers.
- 14,000 man years of experience
- Capability of working in different geographies.
- Modern project control and monitoring systems and processes.
The construction management team comprises civil, mechanical, electrical, construction, and structural engineers for multidisciplinary skills. The team boasts of strong safety management system, exposure to different geographies and innovative contracting strategies.
Facts at a glance: Praj’s international footprint
- Overall offering-Concept to commissioning
- 40% of revenue generated from exports
- 114 fuel ethanol plants installed globally
- Range of plant capacity — 10 to 1200 kLPD (kilo liters per day)
- Total installed plant capacity of more than 37,000 kLPD
- Range of services – Feasibility studies, feed for project investment and planning, extended basic engineering, EPC / lumpsum turnkey projects, multi-disciplinary detailed engineering, project management, procurement services, construction and construction management.
A thick layer of smog shrouds Delhi as the capital lays enveloped in noxious mist with pollution levels now lurking under the severe plus or emergency category. According to SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research), the share of stubble-burning accounted for 20% to 25% of Delhi’s pollution in recent times.  The government also expressed its inability to control the stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana to bring pollution under control. This, in spite of the Rs 100 per quintal incentive in return for the stubble. Air pollution of this scale can aggravate heart and lung disease and also pose a serious risk to the respiratory systems of the residents. So how can 2G bioethanol production make a difference in the scenario? Let’s find out
The Role of 2nd Generation Ethanol Production Technology
Praj Industries – India’s leading Ethanol plant manufacturers and providers of 2nd gen bio-based solutions, have been developing several state-of-art technologies to convert agricultural waste into valuable products in the form of biofuels and biochemicals. It is already the major technology provider of 2G ethanol for Indian oil companies like IOC, BPCL, HPCL and MRPL. Praj’s 2nd Generation “Bio” Ethanol technology is one that efficiently converts agricultural waste into fuel-grade ethanol. Besides ethanol, Agri waste can also be used as a raw material or feedstock to produce not only ethanol but also compressed bio-gas (CBG). As such, the growth of Ethanol Industry can prove beneficial for the farmer as well as the environment by acting as a solution to the age-old problem of disposal of Agri residue, thus solving the ‘burning’ issue to a great extent.
The Socio-Economical Impact of 2G Ethanol Production
- Second generation ethanol production technology will support 10% blending of ethanol with petrol which would result in a reduction of India’s oil import bill.
- It will reduce smog formation in future and ensure clean air for our citizens.
- Farmers will benefit from converting their agri-waste into feedstock for Industrial production of ethanol
- Increased layers in the waste management process will give rise to multiple opportunities in rural areas
- Most importantly, using 2nd generation ethanol-blended petrol will reduce GHG emission and eventually will bring down smog levels.
Challenges in Mass Commercialization of 2G
We require a robust ecosystem for a smooth functioning supply chain management of feedstock. There are still hurdles at various levels of statutory clearances and permissions such as environmental and land acquisition, which make setting up a bio-ethanol plant, a time-consuming process. Funding is again a challenge. There is still a need for mechanization of farming in India to facilitate quick and easy collection of the leftover straw after harvesting grain.
Ways to Overcome Challenges
Farmers need to be educated about wrapping straw in bales or man-made bundles for biofuel production. Using modern farm equipment, these straws can not only be extracted from the harvest but also be shaped into round or square bales to facilitate storage and transport. Financial assistance needs to be made available to co-operative societies of farmers, farmer producer organizations, registered farmer societies, rural entrepreneurs, women farmers and self-help groups. The State Govt needs to fix the minimum support price (MSP) of the straw and assure farmers of a long-term buy-back agreement for straw collected.
Over the years, we have seen an increasing number of areas in India becoming water stressed. This results in lesser water available for everyone, including for human consumption, for the agricultural as well as the industrial sector. Compounded by existing poor conditions of our farmers, water scarcity has been causing additional distress to the rural agrarian economy.
I believe that the industrial sector needs to play an important role and step up to conserve water responsibly. Doing this will contribute towards equitable distribution and usage of water across the country. There are a multitude of technologies available to industries ranging from pre treatment, to recycling and reusing water. Added to this are the zero liquid discharge (ZLD) technologies that are available today to ensure that the tail end of treated waste water does not pollute the surrounding land or ground water. This helps organisations meet statutory pollution control regulations and at the same time, act responsibly towards preserving the environment.
My agenda for prudent and responsible use of industrial wastewater is as follows:
1. Amount of fresh water consumed by industry needs to be brought down to minimal levels. This can be done by using water efficient technologies such as air-cooled heat exchangers (ACHE), other process improvements and by treating and recycling wastewater. Today, there are several examples of industries being provided with city/municipal sewage as the source for their water requirements and running almost completely without any fresh water input.
2. All new projects ought to be mandated to utilise limited water for process. Based on the final product volume produced, this can be mandated on globally implemented benchmarks and best practices. For e.g. Recently, Praj has helped a large chemical industry bring down their fresh water consumption by almost 70%. starting from the planning stage, it was done by integrating the customer’s wastewater treatment plant into their overall project.
3. Retrofit existing plants with equipment to recycle and reuse water.
4. Minimise damage to the environment and especially water bodies/ground water by implementing Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) technologies.
5. Generate biogas from wastewater wherever possible. This achieves the dual goals of generating energy, while also purifying and treating water. Praj has commercialized technologies to achieve this.
6. Industries to recharge ground water through rain water harvesting.
Name: S Suresh Kumar
Designation: Executive VP & BU Head – Water & Waste water Solutions
Climate change is real and happening now, even as we speak! While the summer of 2019 dried out the throats of Chennai, parts of Maharashtra including Mumbai, Kolhapur, and Sangli were reeling under a deluge. While these extreme disparities may be attributed to improper town planning, another factor prominently at play is ‘climate change’, which is majorly a human-induced phenomenon. Emissions from industries and other human activities are warming up the world, disrupting rainfall patterns and increasing the frequency of extreme weather events. There is an alarming rise in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions due to the consumption of fossil fuels in the transportation sector and also the brown clouding due to the existing practice of burning crop residues following harvesting. No doubt, climate change is impacting all the countries, and India too is bearing the brunt. In order to limit rising global temperatures and reduce man-made CO2 emissions as quickly as possible, there is a need for sustainable decarbonization.
What is Decarbonization and how does it help?
The term ‘Decarbonization’ means the reduction of carbon. It requires the building of an economic system that sustainably reduces and compensates the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO₂). The end purpose is to create a CO2 free economy – a bio-economy.
The need for circular bio-economy
A thriving economy that includes increasing reliance on biological processes and bio-based products is a key element of the overall global sustainability transition. The term, Circular Bio-economy, comprises the production of renewable biological resources and the conversion of these resources and waste streams into value-added products, such as food, feed, bio-based products, and bioenergy. Some of the goals of a circular bio-economy are to:
● Grow safe, nutritious and healthy food, animal feed, and supplements
● Promote the installation of Bioenergy plant and replace fossil fuels with Biofuels
● Develop new, more efficient and sustainable agricultural and marine practices
● Deliver solutions for Green and Sustainable Chemistry
The role of Bio-Fuels in promoting circular bio-economy in India
India imports nearly 80% of crude oil, which incurs high import costs. On top of it, the air quality in urban India is worsening by the day, thanks to the ever-growing vehicular traffic and emissions. This is where Bioethanol production can make a significant difference.
Blended fuel substantially reduces CO2 emissions along with other harmful gases. It is estimated that by blending only 20% ethanol, CO2 emissions can be brought down by around 10 million tonnes by 2022. This is important for a country like India which has agreed to a target commitment made at the climate change summit, to pull down CO2 emissions to 33% by 2030 with respect to the 2005 levels.
Currently, India consumes about 40 MMT of CNG per year out of which 65% is imported. Add to it the increasing demand in India which is growing at a CAGR of 15%. This has prompted the Indian Govt. to promote Compressed Bio-Gas(CBG) as an alternative to CNG. By even partially replacing petrol and diesel with CBG, India can bring down its crude oil consumption by almost 15-20% saving the tunes of almost Rs. 80,000 crores. Additionally, the government has set a target to triple the industrial production of ethanol in four years to save Rs. 12,000 crore in India’s oil import bill by mixing ethanol in petrol.
As such promoting biofuel in India will help in 3 key areas:
1. Significantly cut down on import cost
2. Notably, reduce pollution
3. Generate employment opportunities and increased returns for the farming community
Contribution of Praj industries towards creating a sustainable bio-economy
Praj was incorporated in 1984 with the objective to provide cutting edge solutions to the ethanol industry. Praj was recently awarded the 8th position in the reputed Biofuel Digest list as the hottest company in advanced bio-economy, also the first Asian company to make it in the top 10 rankings. They are setting up 2nd generation (2G) integrated smart biorefineries which are capable of processing multiple feedstock/ biomass like corn and sugarcane residue, rice or wheat straw, various lignocellulosic biomass to produce fuel-grade ethanol, biochemicals, bio CNG, liquid CO2, bio-fertilizers, and power exported to the grid. Praj is also working with Gevo, a US-based company, to produce jet biofuels. All these measures will eventually take us several steps closer to a bio-sustainable future.
Corn, which is the most popular feedstock, is now finding replacements in the form of feedstocks as diverse as waste gases from landfills, wood waste from sawmills, and biomass feedstocks from sugar mills.
Praj has been working on consistently developing the bioethanol production technology since the past 35 years. This technology is fueling 100% of ethanol in Columbia and more than 60% production in Thailand. It is working towards a circular bio-economy through its cellulosic ethanol technology: ‘Enfinity’. This technology allows plants to produce cellulosic ethanol from biomass feedstocks, such as rice and wheat straw, bagasse, corn cobs, and stover, among others. It now has a demo 2G cellulosic ethanol plant placed right next to a Sugarmill to accommodate a variety of feedstocks such as bagasse, rice straw or wheat straw.
Praj is also moving into the renewable gas and renewable chemicals markets. The biogas business, which was operational the past many years only as a part of their wastewater treatment plant, is now being used in the production of ethanol.
Praj is also working with Gevo, a U.S.-based company, to produce jet biofuels. With this collaboration, they aspire to produce Isobutanol using juice, syrup, and molasses as feedstocks.
Read more to learn in detail http://www.ethanolproducer.com/articles/16180/feedstock-flexibility
Mr. Amol Sheth’s presentation at AIDA seminar on Praj 2nd Gen Ethanol Technology – Feb 2016
Greenhouse Gas emissions have been a significant contributor to the pollution scenario of the world in recent times. This invites an urgent need to adopt an environmentally friendly approach to meet the fuel demands brought by rapid urbanization. The biomass to biofuel technology project by Praj called ‘Enfinity’ is aimed at reducing carbon footprints and popularising sustainable technology into the mainstream. It involves 2nd generation bioethanol plant using Agri-based feedstocks.
This technology can help produce 3525 crore liters of bioethanol per annum from nearly 141MMT of biomass, which can not only meet nations fuel ethanol requirement, but also export to neighboring countries. The key challenges for the ‘Enfinity’ project includes Feedstock sourcing, Economic viability and Risk Management. Praj has already signed 4 MoUs with 4 prospects in North India and has also attracted NRI investors.