Archive for category P2P System

“Green diesel through green technology” © The Hindu

New Delhi (PTI): A new process that converts algae and other biomass into liquid fuels with the help of a catalyst can brighten the prospect of substitute fuel production in the country.

“The technology is a process for converting algae and other biomass into liquid fuels similar to petroleum diesel which is better than the bio-diesels in quality and characteristics. The technology is a pyro-catalysis process”, said T Raghavendra Rao, director of Sustainable Technologies and Environmental Projects (STEPS).

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“Cash from Trash” © India Today

The shiny, freshly-painted exterior of The Ideas Company (TIC) in Noida is quite a contrast to its interior, where cartons of broken computer monitors, printers and printed circuit boards (PCBs) lean against the walls. Men and women in fluorescent safety jackets tear computers apart with hammers and electric drills. There is 'e-waste' all around. Yet, unlike many of its peers, TIC is clean and organised. Its 22-year-old CEO Pranav Tripathi walks around ensuring all the components are in the right boxes. The PCBs are shipped to Belgium, Japan and Malaysia for precious metal extraction while the wires are sent to Singapore. "It may not be a fun job," says Tripathi, "but somebody's got to do it." There is cash in trash and many entrepreneurs like Tripathi are getting their hands dirty. As there is a strong co-relation between a country's GDP and the municipal solid waste it generates (owing to higher consumption), developing economies like India and China are confronted with an enormous waste management problem that puts a strain on municipal resources towards the handling of the ever-increasing waste. Pranav Tripathi, CEO, The Ideas Company - Recycles 4,000 computers a month. Making Rs 500-700 per piece, he expects revenues of Rs 3-4 crore. India's generation of e-waste alone touched 3.3 lakh tonne last year, while an additional 50,000 tonne was illegally imported, according to a study by the Manufacturers Association for Information Technology (MAIT) and GTZ, a German agency working on sustainable development. Thanks to the rapidly-growing IT and BPO industries, e-waste generation could well hit 4.7 lakh tonne by 2011. And that is only mobiles, desktops, notebooks and TV sets. For companies like TIC-which started operations in January and recycles 4,000 computers a month-it is a goldmine. Tripathi recently bagged the licence for bonded areas, which means he will have access to e-waste from call centres, SEZs and export-oriented units that cannot be sold in the local market due to customs regulations. He expects to rake in Rs 3-4 crore in revenue in his first financial year which is likely to double the following year. Unlike in other countries, Indian companies are not mandated to pay for recycling their products, therefore TIC's revenues come from fixing and reselling what is salvageable and then selling the waste. The company which rakes in over 30 per cent profit makes an average of Rs 500-700 on a computer. A PCB brings in Rs 100, a floppy/CD drive Rs 100, a power supply unit Rs 60, and plastic and metal Rs 150-200. "Electronics are the fastest-growing solid waste stream in the world," says Vinnie Mehta, executive director, MAIT. This corroborates the findings of the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, which suggests that higher income, economic growth and changing lifestyles lead to a change in the composition of waste. T. Raghavendra Rao, Director, Steps - Using plastic and organic waste to make liquid fuel, he expects a revenue of over Rs 20 crore this year. Poor households generate more organic waste while the wealthy ones have a higher percentage of metals, plastics and glass. In 2004, Sanjeev Ohri, a former food-and-beverages executive with ITC Hotels, set up Style Solutions at Manesar in Haryana, which processes slaughterhouse waste into raw material for medicines, aquatic and poultry feed, pet food and fertilisers. The Rs 7-crore company processes 160 tonne of waste annually, all of which is exported. India holds immense potential where 2.2 million tonne of poultry meat is consumed every year. Style Solutions expects to have 80 per cent of its business emanating from India by 2010. Waste management has traditionally been a high-volume, low-margin business. Not anymore. With metals in short supply trading at a premium, 'urban mining', which involves scavenging through old electronic products for iridium and gold, has become a profitable global industry. While precious metals are melted down and sold as ingots, other recovered materials are reused in new electronics parts. A tonne of ore from a gold mine yields an average of 0.17 ounces or five g of gold, whereas over 150g can be recovered from a tonne of discarded mobile phones, says a study. The ability to turn refuse into a resource presents a key opportunity for growth for a simple reason: even in a slump people will be throwing their trash away. A Goldman Sachs report published in November 2007 described alternative waste treatment in Britain as "an area with extensive growth opportunities" that could "improve investment fundamentals". To be sure, in the last couple of years there have been 16 major mergers and acquisitions of waste management companies in Europe, with private equity firms involved in half of the deals. Waste management is supplemented by innovative and integrated collection. Take, for instance, M.M. Gupta, chairman of the Chennai-based Gupta Group, who has been processing discarded human hair-a $1 billion market- and exporting it since 1974. Gupta, who supplies to Korea, Italy and China, has a turnover of Rs 225 crore. Contrary to popular belief, only 20 per cent of the hair is collected from temples and shrines. The rest comes from housewives who keep hair that fall off from everyday brushing and sell it to door-to-door scavengers, 3,000 of whom deposit it at Gupta's collection centres in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Hair in its raw form commands Rs 1,700 a kilo. M.M. Gupta, Chairman, Gupta Group - His group has been processing and exporting human hair since 1974 and has a turnover of Rs 225 crore. Entrepreneurs are increasingly seeking ways to turn rubbish into value. Mumbai start-up, Sustainable Technologies and Environmental Projects (STEPS), set up in June 2007 by T. Raghavendra Rao, uses a thermal catalytic conversion method called 'polycrack' to convert plastic and organic waste like kitchen, animal and agro refuse into petroleum fuels like gas, liquid fuel or a combination of both. A kg of polypropylene plastic feedstock yields 1.2 litre of liquid fuel that can be used to power electrical generators, or 150g of LPG, at a conversion cost of Rs 11 per litre. Although the industry has a record of failure, Rao is undeterred. He argues that the technology is "far superior to traditional recyclers, which require clean plastics or involve high costs". With rising oil prices, he may just have timed it right. Profits may still elude, but optimism and innovation are in plentiful supply. If the chemical engineering department of Jadavpur University, Kolkata, is collaborating with Moromi, an NGO, to extract dyes from waste flowers for use in the textile industry as well as for bio-fertilisers, Rajendra Gandhi, MD of the Mumbai-based Rs 110-crore Gujarat Reclaim and Rubber Products has been successfully recycling old rubber from tyres since the '70s. Manik Thapar, CEO, Eco Wise - Provides waste management solutions by treating municipal solid wastes and now has a turnover of Rs 1.2 crore. With natural rubber in short supply, tyre companies, ranging from Goodyear, Michelin and Bridgestone abroad to Apollo and JK Tyres in India, mix 5-6 per cent reclaimed rubber in car tyres, whereas bicycle tyres contain about 40 per cent. Says Gandhi, "It is no longer enough to manage waste and minimise the environmental impact of its treatment. Waste must be used as a resource." Yet, rising manpower costs are forcing many of these players to rethink their strategies. The garbage warriors must plod on through millions of dustbins before they can have a good, clean run.


“STEPS develops new technology to handle hospital wastes at affordable cost” © Pharmabiz

A new technology that would help the hospitals in the country to manage bio medical and other wastes effectively by themselves will be introduced in the market soon. Christened as Polycrack, this new technology has the capability to convert all types of inorganic wastes, especially biomedical waste into oil and gas.

Hospitals have been complaining for long about the excessive charges imposed by municipal corporations of several regions in disposing and treatment of infectious or hazardous wastes.

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“Here’s how garbage is recycled into money” © The Economic Times

Picture this. Donating a dustbin full of garbage everyday could get you free gas in your kitchen or free electricity, forever.

Sounds far-fetched? It’s possible if your housing society buys one of the waste management technologies available in the market, which transforms your garbage into fuel (liquid and gas) or electricity.

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“Global eye on start-up converting garbage into fuel” © Hindustan Times

Global eye on start-up converting garbage into fuel - An engineer heading a start-up from a bungalow in Andheri says he has the technology to transform all of 6,000-8,000 tonnes of Mumbai's daily waste into fuel or gas - in a day - instead of dumping it to rot in a landfill. T. Raghavendra Rao, director, Sustainable Technologies and Environmental Projects (STEPS) filed for a global patent last year for his technique of converting waste - think plastic, sewage, slaughterhouse waste, hospital waste, petroleum by products - into liquid fuel and gas. And it's easy on the environment, for the process does not emit heat-trapping gases that contribute to global warming. Rao, a former oil industry expert, thinks "waste is wonderful, it's a resource." "Mumbai's waste generated daily should be recycled daily too", Rao emphasised. "We aim to come to the market with a globally acceptable system to recycle plastic, electronic and organic waste in 24 hours." The technology is winning rave reviews. THE FRIDAY: No noise, no polluting emissions. SERIES Wait for IIT's electric rickshaw. HOW IT WORKS Waste is split into hydrogen-carbon bonds, then recombined into a molecular structure similar to petroleum fuels. Organic waste converted to gas powers the conversion plant. No hazardous emissions. Costs Rs 11-Rs 12 to convert 1 kg of plastic into 1.1 litres of fuel.

“India: an engineer developed a machine for transforming some wastes” © TSR

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“World takes note of Mumbai start-up’s waste-to-fuel tech” © Mint

World takes note of Mumbai start-up’s waste-to-fuel techThe firm’s technology eliminates the usual hurdle of harmful residue by using a proprietary catalystSeema SinghBangalore: A Mumbai start-up may have well discovered a way to convert plastic, organic and electronic waste into petroleum without the usual harmful residue, and, emboldened by encouraging results from tests in the Netherlands, West Asia, and Malaysia, is now setting up plants that can process 25 tonnes of plastic a day in Austria, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands. Such plants, which cost $2-3 million (Rs7.88-11.82 crore) each, can produce up to 25,000 litres of petroleum a day, at an operating cost of Rs12 a litre (excluding cost of raw materials). Plastic-to-petrol technologies aren’t new, but most of them have proved commercially unviable for a variety of reasons including poor quality of fuel produced or the ability to process only particular kinds of plastic waste. The Mumbai company Sustainable Technologies and Environmental Projects Ltd (STEPS) claims the fuel obtained through its technology meets standards prescribed by ASTM International, a body that sets standards that are widely accepted and used across various industries. And at least two experts think the technology can work on a large scale. “The wonderful thing about STEPS technology is that its outcome is so positive; its application can be world changing,” said Jerry Llewellyn, president of Amera Consulting Group in Texas, who is visiting Mumbai to evaluate STEPS technology “so that it can be taken to the global market rapidly”. Mumbai alone generates 8,000 tonnes of waste every day, of which 4-5% is plastic. Mass scale conversion of waste to fuel could be an ideal solution to the challenge of effective waste management.Besides selling it to large American municipalities, Amera plans to use this technology as a focal point at a green, sustainable technology park that is being developed at GreenLight Village, Texas. “Competing systems from Alphakat (Buttenheim, Germany), Ozmotech (Victoria, Australia) and Plas2Fuel (Washington, US) exist, but they have limitations of emissions, selective plastic input as well as high capital cost due to low processing efficiency,” said James Vance, project manager at IC2 Institute at the University of Texas. IC2 evaluated the “marketability” of STEPS, which won, in July 2007, an award from the India Innovation Growth Program, a joint initiative of Lockheed Martin, industry lobby Ficci and IC2 to commercialize innovative technologies fromIndia. One area where most of the plastic-to-fuel technologies fail is the quality of fuel produced. All such technologies use a catalyst, typically metallic oxides or aluminium silicate compounds, to convert the plastic to fuel. However, the fuel produced has a high trace of catalyst, almost 2-5% according to T.R. Rao, founder and director, STEPS. “That leaves you with 500kg of catalyst in a 25 tonne-a-day plant,” said Rao. He added that this high volume of residue created was one reason why most plastic conversion plants do not get environmental clearances. After all, the residue has to be disposed. The STEPS technology uses a proprietary catalyst that converts plastic into a mix of liquid fuel (85% of the output), liquefied petroleum gas (around 15% of the output), and coke (5%). The fuel can be used in furnaces, generator sets having mixed fuel combustion options or further refined to obtain petrol, kerosene, diesel and light diesel oil. And the LPG generated from the process is sufficient to power the conversion plant. “Our process leaves no catalyst in the residue, which is anyway free carbon that can be compressed into pellets and used as fuel in furnaces,” said Rao. A plant with capacity of 25 tonnes a day using this technology would typically produce residue of about 1 tonne of free flowing carbon power, he added. There have been previous attempts in India to develop processes for waste plastic conversion, but none has reached a stage where it can be used commercially. Alka Zadgaonkar, head of applied chemistry at G.H. Raisoni College of Engineering in Nagpur, developed a similar process and formed Unique Waste Plastics Management and Research Co. in 2005. Zadgaonkar has since sold its rights to Asian Electronics, an energy-efficient lighting company in Mumbai, which is now using the process to produce fuel for local power generation. Meanwhile, Zadgaonkar has developed another catalyst which can convert the ‘heavy bottom’ from crude oil refineries—a hazardous waste which forms about 10% of the processed crude oil—into usable diesel. She has signed an agreement with the state-owned Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd, under which the new catalyst will be used to treat about 7,000 tonnes of “heavy bottom” generated every day. As the world grapples with waste disposal, Rao is confident there’d be no dearth of raw materials for his plants. Though India’s Central Pollution Control Board estimates that 0.5 million tonnes (mt) of plastic waste is generated in the country, experts believe that’s an underestimation. “Mumbai alone generates 8,000 tonnes of waste every day, of which 4-5% is plastic. Extrapolating this figure for 15 large cities in the country, we can say 3-4 mt of plastic waste is generated annually,” said Rao. Apart from plastic, the STEPS technology can also work on organic waste. In Malaysia, for instance, the company has a joint venture with Greenbase Sepadu Sdn Bhd, and has tested the technology on branches from which the palm fruit (used to make palm oil) has been harvested. Ali Mohammad Mamat, managing director of Greenbase, said that the joint venture would commercialize this technology before the end of the year. Closer home, the STEPS technology may be one way to efficiently handle the mounting e-waste in the country.


“New technology to convert waste into petroleum” © The Economic Times

BANGALORE: A small-time Mumbai-based company claimed to have developed a technology to convert waste into petroleum fuels in a cost-effective manner and is set to commercialise it, already bagging an overseas customer.

Mumbai-based Sustainable Technologies & Environmetal Projects Pvt Ltd (STEPS), which has eight engineers and three scientists working for it, has come out with a caged catalyst unit for conversion of waste into petroleum fuels.

The technology is one of the gold winners of the Lockheed Martin India Innovation Growth Programme, which focuses on commercialisation of innovative Indian technologies.

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“Lockheed Martin Award for 14 innovators” © The Hindu

NEW DELHI: A total of 14 Indian innovators were on Wednesday awarded the Innovators’ Award instituted by aerospace giant, Lockheed Martin Corporation under its India Innovation Growth Programme (IIGP).

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