How can sewage help India water and energy needs?
India still uses a linear model of extraction, usage, and disposal to manage its finite supply of water. However, seeing water from the standpoint of the "circular economy" is a more effective management strategy.
After it drains down the drain, water can still be used. Instead, we might think of home and industrial wastewater as a rich resource, from which it is possible to extract useable water, nutrients, and even renewable energy.
Let us understand if sewage can assist India in its water and energy needs.
Using Sludge-to-Energy Plants to Reuse Wastewater
The goal of a circular economy can become a reality thanks to sludge-to-energy systems, which convert waste into an input rather than merely an output. These systems can be created as autonomous, decentralized units with low operational energy requirements. They produce electricity, digestate, and water that can be used in industry, agriculture, and even residential applications, like watering plants and flushing toilets from raw sewage.
This is how it goes!
Wastewater treatment facilities initially divide sewage into liquid water and solid sludge. After that, two procedures—thermal hydrolysis and anaerobic digestion—to swiftly and effectively eliminate pathogens and harvest biogas are applied to this methane-rich sludge.
The generated biogas can either be further refined or sold as natural gas, or it can be used as on-site energy to run the wastewater treatment facility. Additionally, the leftover solid digestate from anaerobic digestion, can be used to improve soil.
Sewage to energy conversion
India's urban population has increased so significantly that sewage treatment facilities are unable to handle, the volume of human waste being produced. Even, if all of India's treatment facilities were running at full capacity, there wouldn't be enough capacity to handle more than 37% of the nation's sewage.
Actually, less than 37% of sewage is likely cleaned; the remainder is frequently deposited on land or in waterways.Pathogens and other pollutants that can make people sick are present in high amounts, in untreated sewage.
Sludge-to-energy systems can be placed in existing wastewater treatment plants, avoiding the need for new infrastructure. The type of system used varies depend on the plant's financial demands, and the technical capabilities of its operators. It saves money, time, and space.
The capacity of India's sewage treatment
Although, new policies to address urban sanitation are being developed, traditional wastewater treatment facilities have not been widely adopted because of obstacles, like high installation and maintenance costs, the high energy usage of such facilities, and the requirement for technical staff with specialized training.
Additionally, in India's already crowded urban regions, traditional facilities demand a significant amount of extra room. These obstacles might be over-comed by non-traditional, smaller sludge-to-energy systems that generate biogas on-site and sell natural gas and digestate for profit.
In addition to providing renewable energy and lowering greenhouse gas emissions, sludge-to-energy systems can assist wastewater treatment in becoming economically viable, while also assisting in meeting India's expanding water and sanitation needs.
India's Sludge-to-Energy System Implementation
The authorities for sludge-to-energy systems in India will need to map the, institutional and policy landscapes of the water and wastewater sectors, and determine whether such systems have the potential to increase resilience to water stress.
Indian towns may be able to obtain a clean source of water, energy, and enhanced sanitation all at once, by utilizing wastewater resources.
Choosing the best manufacturers of sewage treatment plants in India
Netsol Water is a renowned manufacturer of water and wastewater treatment plants. We are committed to providing high-performing sewage treatment plants, to assist enterprises with their water, and wastewater requirements.