Alumni of BMCC inaugurate the machine which can convert waste food into biogas at the college on Monday.(SANKET WANKHADE/HT PHOTO)
Alumni of BMCC inaugurate the machine which can convert waste food into biogas at the college on Monday.(SANKET WANKHADE/HT PHOTO)

Pune’s Brihan Maharashtra college of commerce goes green with new biogas plant

This plant has the capacity to process 22.5 kilogrammes of food waste every day.
By Prachi Bari
UPDATED ON JUN 05, 2018 04:19 PM IST

The Brihan Maharashtra college of commerce (BMCC) on Monday inaugurated a biogas plant in the college premises as part of the college’s golden jubilee celebrations.The occasion saw BMCC Alumni come together to kick start a series of projects to make the college eco-friendly. 

 “As a part of this resolve, a biogas plant has been installed, coinciding with the World Environment Day,” said Chandrakant Rawal, principal, BMCC. He also appealed to the alumni of the college from various walks of life to lend a hand to the eco-friendly lifestyle through corporate social responsibility projects related to the BMCC. 

The biogas plant is a result of an initiative of BMCC alumni and Nitin Deshpande, a renowned industrialist, in collaboration with organisations like Triocane, Gangotri, Vayu and GR Green Life. The plant was inaugurated by Vijay Narkherde, joint director, Pune higher education department; Sharad Kunte, chairman, Deccan education society regulatory board; Kiran Shaligram, member, Deccan education society regulatory board; and Ravi Pandit, chief executive officer, KPIT. 

 “The biogas plant will use the food waste generated within the campus. Human excreta and urine will also be used to generate biogas. This will eliminate the need to use two commercial cylinders that are consumed daily,” said Nitin Deshpande.

The biogas will be used for the students' mess once the new building is ready, he added.

This plant has the capacity to process 22.5 kilogrammes of food waste every day. It will be used to generate fuel equal to 22, 19-kilo cylinders per year. The machine has a digester with a capacity of 3,000 litres and a gas storage balloon with a capacity of 3,000 litres. The machine does not need electricity to work and garbage can be used without crushing it beforehand. It will also produce fertilizer, which will be used in the college garden.

“This college is situated at the foothill and thus there is ample rain water which flows downhill. Therefore,we are focusing on storing water through rainwater harvesting systems and eventually recharging the borewells and increasing the groundwater reserves,” said Deshpande.  

At present, the college incurs costs worth about Rs 51 lakh per year for electricity, gas and water use. The plan is to bring the this expenditure to zero through the use of eco-friendly means. The alumni of the college are also planning to install solar panels on eight to 10 buildings to generate eco-friendly electricity. 

The bath water, called grey-water, will also be processed and used for flushing. There are many 100-year-old trees in the area. Shredders and briquetting machines will be installed and green coal will be made with the leaves of these trees to be used as smoke-free burners. These burners will be installed adjacent to the biogas plant so that the mess and canteen becomes self-reliant in terms of fuel.  

“All colleges in Maharashtra and eventually in India should implement this project and take steps to lead an eco-friendly life. E-waste collection will also be done here,” said Rawal.  

The initiative also seeks to address the subject of environment protection outside World Environment Day and aims to make it an integral part students’ daily life.

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