Research/Consultancy Projects

High Rate Composting of Institutional Organic Waste

It is an IIT Guwahati startup grant project of 5 Lakhs for duration of 2 Years (2009 - 2011).The water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) is a free floating aquatic weed originated in the 23.15% wetland area of north east region of India. Due to its fast growth and the robustness of its seeds, the water hyacinth has since then caused major problems in the whole area. However, the composting has the advantage of producing a product that is easy to work into the soil compared with dried water hyacinths, because of the decomposed structure. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the evolution of some physico-chemical parameters during high rate pile composting of water hyacinth in combination with cattle manure and saw dust as a bulking agent (Phase 1: trial1, 2 and 3); subsequently (Phase 2: Trial 4, 5 and 6) saw dust have replaced with rice straw in the same proportion with water hyacinth and cattle manure. Results suggested that the optimal degradation of water hyacinth can be possible in the presence of large amount of cattle manure; and rice straw could be a better option as a bulking agent in comparison with saw dust.

Preparation of “Ganga River Basin Management Plan

It is Ganga river management funded by National River Conservation Directorate, Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India, New Delhi, for 5 years (2010-2015).It is a District-Wise Inventorization of Current and Projected Domestic and Industrial Pollution Load in Ganga Basin and Collection of River Water Quality Data.The involves data collectoin from 13 districts of Bihar state and 6 districts of West Bengal state such as Population and household, average water supply, drains, sewage treatment plant, pumping station, average sewage flow, water bodies (i.e. pond, lakes) and industrial waste.

Quantity and characteristics analysis of solid waste generated from Guwahati city

It is an Sponsored project by Guwahati Municipal Corporation(GMC),Guwahati of about 9.8 lakhs for 06 Months(April 2011-September 2011).For project Dr. Chivukula V. Sastri, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry , IITG was Co-Investigators.The project involved the solid waste characterization study of Guwahati city. Solid waste samples were collected from various locations of the city. Study concluded that Guwahati city is generating 543±68 TPD of MSW equivalent to 0.43±0.05 kg/capita/day currently. Because of infrastructure development and urbanization the population is increasing rapidly, as a result rapid increase in waste generation is expected. Based on population and GNP, total quantity of waste generation is expected 705 TPD by 2016 and 920 TPD by 2021. The size and capacity of waste treatment plants i.e. composting plant, waste to energy plant and landfill should considered the future expected waste generation. Proximate analysis for the MSW concluded the higher amount of moisture content due to food/vegetable waste which can be reduced by segregation of waste at the source or disposal site (segregation of 500 Tonnes of waste at disposal site will be very difficult). Segregation of dry matters at source during house to house collection of waste is the best option before incineration/pyrolysis of municipal solid waste. As per CPHEEO guidelines waste is suitable for energy production based on volatile matter, fixed carbon and calorific value, but moisture is very high. The moisture can be removed by segregation process. It should be noted that the calorific value calculated on the dried samples. As a result, by considering 2500 kcal/kg calorific value of around 300-350 Tonnes/day segregated dry combustible waste can produce 10 MW net power generation potential. The future waste generation indicated a rapid increase in waste generation. Therefore, the capacity of waste to energy plant or composting plant should consider the future scenario of solid waste production.

Composting of water hyacinth using different composting technologies

It is an Sponsored project by Department of Science and Technology (SERC), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India of about 17 Lakhs for 3 Years(2012-2015).The project water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) is a free floating aquatic weed generally observed in the 23.15% wetland area of north east region of India. Due to its fast growth and the robustness of its seeds, it has caused major problems in the whole area. However, the composting has the advantage of producing a product that is easy to work into the soil compared with dried water hyacinths, because of the decomposed structure. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the evolution of physico-chemical parameters and stability parameters during eight different composting methods namely windrow (L/W = 6, T1), windrow (L/W = 2.5, T2), vermicomposting (Eisenia Foetida) (T3), packing in Jute bags (T4), pile with longitudinal pipe for aeration (L/W = 6) (T5), pile with longitudinal pipe for aeration (L/W = 2.5, T6), pile with lateral pipe for aeration (L/W = 6, T7) and rotary drum (T8) will try to optimize the composting of water hyacinth in combination with cattle manure and saw dust/rice straw as a bulking agent. In addition, seasonal variation (Ambient temperature and Relative Humidity) effects on composting will also taken into account.

Bio-processing of Phumdi weeds of Loktak Lake Manipur through composting

It is an Sponsored project by Council of Scientific and Industrial research, Government of India of about 16.7 Lakhs for 3 Years(2012-2015).For project Mr. W. Roshan Singh, Environmental Engineer, Manipur Pollution Control Board, Imphal, Manipur as a Co-Investigators.The north east region of India is considered as one of the hot spot regions of the world. The natural wetlands of the region support valuable bio-diversity or heterogeneity. Loktak Lake, a Ramsar site situated in the southern part of the Manipur valley in Bishnupur district (24°25’-24°42’N; 93°46’-93°55’E) is the largest natural fresh water lake in eastern India (289 km2). The lake has a unique ecosystem called ‘phumdi (phoomdi)’- a Manipuri word meaning floating vegetation mass formed by the proliferation of the weeds, vegetation and organic debris at various stages of decomposition and occur in all sizes and thickness. Altogether 138 species of plants representing 88 genera are found distributed in the phumdis and in the clear water zones of the lake. Some aquatic plants are desirable since they are temporarily beneficial in reducing agricultural, domestic and industrial pollution or in providing continuous supply of phyto-planktons and helping fish production. It is, therefore, desirable to keep aquatic weeds under control and at the same time evolve simple and cost effective means for utilizing them efficiently in an environment friendly manner. Decentralized harvest of biomass for bio-processing could be a suitable option for the effective control of phumdi proliferation in the Loktak Lake. The application of the compost generated from the harvested biomass to the paddy fields and other intensive run-off crop lands returns the run-off nutrients to their land of origin. The Total solids, Volatile solids and Ash contents of the above major Phumdi weeds of varies from 73-94 %, 75-93 % and 6-24 % respectively (Devi et al., 2002). The high organic matter content indicates significant scope for composting. However, other degradation characteristics have to be minutely examined. The present proposal is regarding the study on the application of various composting techniques (windrow, vermicomposting, static aerated pile and rotary drum composting) on the available weeds of the Phumdi especially to fill the existing knowledge gap of assessing their performances in achieving process efficacy.

Potential of aerobic digestion (composting) and anaerobic digestion of kitchen waste

It is an Sponsored project by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India of about 21 Lakhs for 3 Years(2012-2015).In developing countries like India, more than 60% of the population lives in the rural areas where more than 90% of the energy being consumed comes from non-commercial sources, the major one being fuel wood. The increasing cost of conventional fuel in urban areas necessitates the exploration of other energy sources. Kitchen/food waste and animal and plant wastes are abundant especially in rural areas. Biogas can be produced from food wastes/refuse and peelings as a substitute for fossil fuels. The generation of biogas from food waste/refuse or peelings produces an energy resource. The process also creates an excellent residue that retains the fertilizer value of the original waste products. The search for alternative source of energy such as biogas should be intensified so that ecological disasters like deforestation, desertification, and erosion can be arrested. Proposed study will evaluate the present institutional framework for renewable energy education in India and make suggestions for a shift in policy toward increasing its adoption rate. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati as an institution will put up a composting and biogas plant which can be used as a study plant for the north east part of India, this will facilitate in promoting composting and biogas technology in north east part of India.

Biodegradation of pulp and paper mill waste using different composting techniques

It is an Sponsored project by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India of about 32.93 Lakhs for 3 Years(2014-2017).For project Dr. Meena Khwairakpam, Assistant Professor, National Institute of Technology Meghalaya as a principle Investigators.India has a large network of pulp and paper mills of varying capacity. On an industrial scale the sludge resulting from paper and pulp mills are managed through destructive methods: landfilling practices and incineration. Both methods lead to the loss of a profitable resource and have obvious environmental and economic disadvantage. The solid wastes produced from pulp and paper mill are interesting sources of organic matter and their proper disposal and management is burden to the industries. But composting/vermicomposting could be an adequate technology for its transformation. The main constituent in the waste, lignin, is not biodegradable hence, we want to try out if any additional co-substrates is added then whether the earthworms can help in the degradation of the lignin present or high temperature in the rotary drum or anaerobic/aerobic sequence or a combination of rotary drum and vermicomposting. Therefore, the aim of this study is to test the performance of the rotary drum and vermicomposting process using Eisenia fetida in terms of physico-chemical characteristics and also to detect, characterize and compare the most abundant microflora present during the process and in finished vermicompost. The second objective of this study is to identify the microflora implicated in cellulose and lignin degradation. Seasonal variation (Ambient temperature and Relative Humidity) effects on composting will also taken into account.

Designed by Waste Management Research Group