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VK-NARDEP, India

Multiple benefits from biogas

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Cultivating azolla on the residue from biogas plants

Customer satisfaction even extends to manure in Tamil Nadu in India. “I have fertiliser for my farm, I have gas for my kitchen, what more do I need?” says one user of VK-NARDEP’s biogas plants.

The plants are tackling the ongoing problem of burning wood and kerosene in domestic stoves. Polluting to the immediate and wider environment, these stoves also do little for the working lives of users, many of whom are farmers for whom better crop yields are of prime importance. This need to provide a robust economic incentive for adoption led VK-NARDEP to develop a plant that not produces valuable biogas for cooking but also processes the left-over slurry to make a high quality fertiliser as its by-product.

Evidence suggests they are succeeding with crop yields improving by 20-30% since adoption and evidence that the farmers can recoup their initial investment of between US$210 and US$750 within two years. The environmental benefits are as impressive. Each biogas plant saves about 2.5 tonnes/year of fuelwood, equivalent to about four tonnes/year of CO2. And incidence of respiratory diseases has reduced among users.

VK-NARDEP is part of a spiritual centre and research institute. After all, as another satisfied customer said of the plants. “All you need is spirituality and slurry.”