Biogas stations that eat up organic waste
India suffers from illegal dumping and overfilled, mismanaged landfills; leading to mess, chemical leaching and greenhouse gas emissions. It is so bad that the renowned ‘Garden City’ of Bangalore is today known as “Garbage City”. Kevin Houston and Somnath Narayan founded the ‘Carbon Masters’ CO₂ mitigation consultancy after meeting at the University of Edinburgh, but when Somnath’s visa expired they needed an idea linked to his home country, India. They set about prototyping a biogas and biofertiliser producing station for a temple in Bangalore, installing it in a refurbished shipping container. When the local ‘Residents Welfare Association’ spotted their solution — and smelled... nothing — the new project, “Carbonlites”, took off.
Waste in, energy out
The municipal body responsible for Bangalore’s infrastructural assets gave Carbon Masters land and 85% of the starting capital for their next plant — and began daily deliveries of 10 tonnes of food waste. The fertiliser produced from this organic waste is sold to local farmers, and the biogas is consumed by nearby households and businesses. Every day, this station prevents the emission of 5 tons of methane and 1.2 tons of CO₂, while producing 400 kg of biogas and 1 tonne of fertiliser.
Three is better than two
Carbonlites fits perfectly into the municipality’s strategy to reduce landfilled waste and to instead process this waste locally. But the initial partnership would not have been possible without the help and facilitation of the influential residents association, which mobilises efforts to clean up the borough and improve its waste management.