HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Renewable Energy, my love

I have been trying to find people getting their hands dirty on renewable energy projects. And I am glad I found Mubin Ullah Kotwal. Originally from India Mubin currently lives in Papua, Indonesia. The picture shown above is of a biogas plant he made himself. Mubin meets all his cooking needs using gas from this plant. Kudos to him!

And then came a query. Shahid Zia, my friend and collaborator in Karachi, asked me to write a design brief for a composting plant. Here is what I provided him.

A composting yard will be used to handle solid waste generated by the new Fruit and Vegetable market.

Of the four widely used composting methods for large scale composting (namely turned windrows, static piles, forced-aeration static piles, and in-vessel composting), we plan to use static piling technique at Sangjani, owing to this method’s requirement of low maintenance.

A preliminary calculation shows that for 6000 Kg of organic waste generated daily by the Sangjani Fruit and Vegetable market, a composting yard employing static pile composting method would require an area of 1.5 acres. This composting yard will have controlled access to prevent illegal dumping. Organic waste would be brought to the yard and front-loaders would be used to make piles approximately 10 ft in radius and 8 ft high. For aeration purposes the organic material in piles would be turned over in approximately four weeks. Depending on weather conditions a compost yield would be obtained in 10-16 weeks.


And then I generated a news item shown below.

Poor and wasteful, Pakistan does not want to be
A.H. Cemendtaur

For a new Fruit and Vegetable market to be situated in Sangjani, just outside Islamabad, Pakistani government is asking engineering consultants to design a composting plant. The envisioned plant would use waste generated by the produce market--compost produced by the plant would be used by agricultural communities. A composting site situated near a big source of organic waste is a novel idea for Pakistan where waste from city produce markets simply rots on streets. Travel through the developing world and you would see constant themes of poverty and prodigality going hand in hand. In Sangjani Pakistan seems to be breaking that pattern. Let's hope Pakistanis also learn that using gas to produce hot water when sun shines on them for more than 300 days a year is another waste of precious resource they need to break away from.

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