Chennai recently witnessed the inauguration of the Integrated Solar Dryer and Pyrolysis pilot project focusing on urban waste management, by KJ Sreeram, Director, CSIR-Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), Chennai.
The project focuses on managing and streamlining the collection, segregation, treatment, and disposal systems of urban wastes in Indian Smart Cities as well as other urban centers on their path to Sustainability.
It is aimed at developing the technology needed for the joint processing of Fibrous Organic Waste (FOW) and Sewage Sludge (SS) of Indian smart cities into highly valuable biochar associated with energy recovery, carbon sequestration and environmental conservation.
Through the Pyrasol project, simple and robust processing techniques for abandoned organic waste will be further developed to improve sanitation and welfare, supply regenerative energy, convert waste into products and reduce the carbon footprint of smart cities.
It does so by an innovative organic waste drying system using the solar natural chimney effect followed by a highly efficient single-chamber pyrolysis.
Biochar and clean energy (heat and power) produced by pyrolysis (super-heating biomass in closed system ovens) provide an alternative form of energy, reducing greenhouse gases by offsetting fossil fuel use and working along with the climate action.
In addition to soil, biochar captures and sequesters the carbon that otherwise would oxidize and return to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and causes global warming. Biochar-amended soils are known to reduce nitrous oxide emissions by 50-80%.
Chennai is one of India’s first 20 smart cities to nurture this innovation in managing its waste effectively and undertake extensive wastewater treatment.