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India's 1st Governmental Waste To Energy Plant Commissioned In Bhubaneswar

23 January 2020


Bhubaneswar: The East Coast Railway (ECoR) has created a new history in waste management and disposal with the commissioning of the country's first governmental Waste to Energy Plant at Mancheswar Carriage Repair Workshop in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday.

The plant was inaugurated by Railway Board Member (Rolling Stock) Rajesh Agarwal in presence of ECoR General Manager Vidya Bhushan, Addl. General Manager Sudhir Kumar and Principal Heads of the Departments of East Coast Railway.

This Waste to Energy Plant, a patented technology called POLYCRACK, is 1st-of-its-kind in Indian Railways and 4th in India. It is the world’s first patented heterogeneous catalytic process which converts multiple feedstocks into hydrocarbon liquid fuels, gas, carbon and water.

It has been constructed in three months and the target date of commissioning of this Plant was January 2020. Around 1.79 crores have been spent for commissioning of this Polycrack Plant.

Waste generated from Mancheswar Carriage Repair Workshop, Coaching Depot and Bhubaneswar Railway Station will be feeder material for this plant. This plant will access 500 Kg of waste materials per day. While estimate income from the byproducts is Rs 17.5 lakh per annum, the maintenance cost will be Rs 10.4 lakh per annum.

Earlier, lots of non-ferrous scrap generated from the Carriage Repair Workshop had no efficient method of disposal. As a result, these elements were being disposed by landfills, which had environmentally hazardous impact.     

Polycrack Plant can be fed with all types of plastic, petroleum sludge, unsegregated MSW (Municipal Solid Waste) with moisture up to 50 per cent, E–Waste, automobile fluff, organic waste including bamboo’s, garden waste etc., and Jathropa fruit and palm bunch.

Polycrack has the following advantages over the conventional approach of treating solid Waste:

• Pre-segregation of waste is not required to reform the waste. Waste as collected can be directly fed into Polycrack.

• It has high tolerance to moisture hence drying of waste is not required.

• Waste is processed and reformed within 24 hours.

• It is an enclosed unit hence the working environment is dust free.

• Excellent air quality surrounding the plant.

• Biological decomposition is not allowed as the Waste is treated as it is received.

• The footprint of the plant is small hence the area required for installing the plant is less when compared with the conventional method of processing.

• All constituents are converted into valuable energy thereby making it zero Discharge Process.

• Gas generated in the process is re-used to provide energy to the system thereby making itself reliant of its energy requirement and also bring down the operating cost.

• There is no atmospheric emission during the process unlike other conventional methods except for combustion gases which have pollutants less than the prescribed norms the world over.

• Operates around 450 degrees, making it a low temperature process when compared with other options.

• Safe and efficient system with built-in safety features enables an unskilled user to operate the machine with ease.

• Low capital cost and low operating cost.

• Fully automated system requires minimum man power.

Its process is a closed loop system and does not emit any hazardous pollutants into the atmosphere. The combustible, non-condensed gases are re-used for providing energy to the entire system and thus, the only emission comes from the combustion of gaseous fuels. The emissions from the combustion are found to be much less than prescribed environmental norms. This process will produce Energy in the form of Light Diesel Oil which is used to light furnaces.

This process has been awarded with the Best innovation Gold Medal in 2007 by Lockheed Martin, Dept of Science & Technology, Govt. of India, FICCI; Best Innovation Gold Medal 2007; Best Innovation Gold Medal 2008; Best Innovation Gold Medal 2009; Nominated for Tech-Museum Awards 2008; Frost & Sullivan – Global Innovation and Leadership Award -2011 and IGCW-2011 – Best Green Chemistry Innovation Award.

The first plant is a small one set up by Infosys at Bangalore in 2011 and the second one is at Moti Bagh, Delhi in 2014 with a capacity of 50kg per day/batch each. The third one had been set up at Hindalco in 2019 with 50kg capacity per batch.