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India’s Approach to Compressed Biogas (CBG) Production


India is exploring the potential of Pressmud, a residual byproduct of sugar production, as a valuable resource for generating green energy. The focus is on creating Compressed Biogas (CBG) from Pressmud, aligning with sustainable energy practices and contributing to India’s efforts in renewable energy production.


GS III: Agriculture

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Understanding Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG)
  2. Pressmud: A Valuable Resource for CBG Production
  3. India’s Pressmud Production Landscape: Fiscal Year 2022-23

Understanding Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG)

Renewable and Environmentally Friendly Fuel:
  • CBG is a gaseous fuel derived from the anaerobic decomposition of organic materials.
  • It is produced through Biomethanation or anaerobic digestion, breaking down various organic sources like agricultural waste, animal manure, food waste, sewage sludge, and other biomass materials.
Composition of Biogas:
  • The resulting biogas consists mainly of methane (usually exceeding 90%), along with carbon dioxide, traces of hydrogen sulfide, and moisture.
Conversion to Compressed Biogas:
  • Purification steps are employed to eliminate impurities like carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and moisture from the biogas.
  • The purified methane gas is then compressed to a high pressure, typically around 250 bar or higher.
Significance of “Compressed” in CBG:
  • The term “Compressed Biogas” reflects the compression of purified methane to high pressures, enhancing its energy density and making it a more practical and efficient fuel source.

Pressmud: A Valuable Resource for CBG Production

  • Pressmud, also known as filter cake or press cake, is a residual byproduct in the sugar industry.

Recognition in Green Energy Production:

  • Acknowledged as a valuable resource for generating green energy, particularly through the production of Compressed Biogas (CBG).

Production Process:

  • Generated through anaerobic digestion, a process where bacteria break down organic matter in the absence of oxygen.
  • Yield of pressmud typically ranges from 3-4% by weight, based on the sugarcane processed in a unit.
Advantages of Pressmud Utilization for CBG:
  • Consistent Quality and Simplicity: Offers consistent quality and is simpler to source compared to other feedstocks.
  • Supply Chain Simplification: Eliminates complexities associated with feedstock supply chains, particularly in comparison to agricultural residue.
  • Lower Feedstock Quantity and Cost: Requires less feedstock quantity for higher conversion efficiency, and the cost is lower (Rs 0.4-0.6 per kilogramme) compared to alternatives like agricultural residue and cattle dung.
Challenges in Pressmud Utilization:
  • Escalating Prices and Competition: Faces challenges such as rising prices and competition for usage in various industries.
  • Storage Complexities: Gradual decomposition poses storage challenges, necessitating innovative solutions.
  • Competition in Other Sectors: Sought after in sectors like animal feed, bioenergy production, and agricultural soil amendments, leading to availability constraints or increased costs for specific applications.

India’s Pressmud Production Landscape: Fiscal Year 2022-23

Total Sugar Production:

  • In the fiscal year 2022-23, India’s sugar production amounted to 32.74 million tonnes.

Pressmud Generation:

  • This sugar production resulted in the generation of approximately 11.4 million tonnes of pressmud.

Sugarcane Growing States:

  • Major Contributors: Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra stand out as the primary sugarcane-growing states, collectively contributing around 65% of India’s total sugarcane cultivation area.
  • Key States: Other significant sugarcane-producing states include Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Bihar, all playing a vital role in shaping India’s sugarcane production landscape.

Geographic Distribution:

  • Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, with their substantial sugarcane cultivation, play a pivotal role in the overall sugar and pressmud production scenario, reflecting the geographical concentration of these industries.

-Source: Down To Earth

February 2024