To prevent wastage of methane gas produced at sewage treatment plants (STPs), the municipal corporation (MC) plans to supply it for cooking purposes to nearby villages at economical rates. Out of the total gas produced at treatment plants, around 70% is methane, which can be used to produce electricity or for cooking.
The MC has recently taken charge of three STPs located at Balloke, Bhattian and Jamalpur. Earlier, the plants were being run by the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board, but it did not take any step to stop the wastage of methane.
Municipal commissioner GK Singh Dhaliwal said, "The MC got the charge of the treatment plants in May. We will not allow the wastage of methane gas. We intend to supply it for cooking to nearby villages. Residents will be provided the gas at very economical rates. I am writing to the rural development department to coordinate with us in this effort."
The MC plans to start the project from the Bhattian plant, where 6,000 cubic metre of gas is produced in 24 hours. As much as 74% of it is methane, followed by oxygen (18%) and carbon dioxide (5%). Nitrogen and hydrogen sulfide comprise 1,100 parts per million (ppm) and 1,950 ppm of the gas produced.
Currently, the gas is collected in a holder but it cannot store the entire amount produced during the treatment of sewage. Therefore, a large quantity of gas is burned as it cannot be used.
A staff member of the Bhattian STP, which treats 111 million litres of wastewater every day, said methane gas produced at the plant can be filled into hundreds of cylinders in a day.
MC junior engineer Satish Kumar said if hydrogen sulfide is separated from the gas, then methane can be supplied to nearby rural areas through a pipeline.
Dhaliwal said he had also instructed the staff of other STPs to take steps to stop the wastage of gas.
Composition of gas at Bhattian STP
Carbon dioxide 5%
Nitrogen 1,100 ppm
Hydrogen sulfide 1,950 ppm
*Total gas: 6,000 cubic metre per day