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Role of Bio-CNG in Development of Rural India: A Prospective Study

BY: Payal Saxena | Category: Applications | Submitted: 2016-06-10 03:58:36
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Article Summary: "Concept note describes the role of Bio-CNG in development of Rural India as an alternate fuel, its importance to Indian Govt., Indian economy, carbon footprint reduction and climatic conditions. The overall cost savings has been evaluated with present energy scenario..."

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Imbalance in the demand and supply of energy is permeate requiring serious efforts to elevate energy supplies as India faces possible severe energy supply constraints. Achieving energy security in this strategic segment of the economy is of fundamental importance not only for India’s economic growth but also for the human development objectives that aim at alleviation of poverty, unemployment and climatic change.

An economy’s development would be reflected in its consumption of energy. India is one of the developing country. The main reason behind the fact is undeveloped Rural India, where, still so many villages are without energy supply. Presently, country is mostly dependent on imports for energy sources. The import dependence mostly natural gas, coal etc. expected to increase by 5-10% in 2016-2017[1]. This trend will continue to increase as the population is increasing at very high rate.

To fulfill energy supply and demand, freely available energy sources such as solar, wind, vibrations, biogas etc. must be harnessed efficiently to meet human needs without disturbing integrity, stability and beauty of the environment.


To make India developed country, present state of Rural India should be changed. This can be done by increasing energy supply consumption (per capita). The main focus of this concept paper is to bring Bio-CNG fuel (Compresses Natural Gas from biogas) as the main source of energy for Rural India as it would be cost effective and easily available at far-flung villages.

Biogas is one of the best alternative renewable energy sources for rural areas in India. The country ranks second in biogas utilization after China [2]. To enhance the quality of biogas in respect to calorific value, it is being compressed, after removing carbon dioxide (CO2), hydrogen sulphide (H2S) and moisture with reduces carbon footprint.

Bio-CNG is a clean, low carbon technology for efficient management and conversion of fermentable organic wastes into clean cheap & versatile fuel and bio/organic manure. Potential of bio-CNG is not being utilized and commercialized so far, which could provide three in one solution of gaseous fuel generation like cooling gas, fuel gas & electricity, proper bio-degradable waste management and organic manure production as shown in figure-1 for the development of India, easily achievable at far-flung villages.


Figure 1: 3 in 1 Solution by Bio-CNG

By replacing conventional fuel with Bio-CNG there would be reduction about 75% in carbon monoxide, 60% in organic gas, 85% in nitrogen oxides and 20% in carbon oxide.


India has vast scope of energy generation from organic wastes. The energy produced from biogas will be more efficient if it get compressed. Calculating on yearly basis, including all waste disposals with different methane content, biogas generated is about 7000 million tons liters (approx.).


Commercialization of Bio-CNG can be done by awareness and promotion. CSR spend - trigger points under the Companies Act, 2013 is an act which can be utilized in promoting Bio-CNG. Under this, if any company with turnover more than 1000 crores, net worth more than 500 crores and net profit more than 5 crores and if financial strength criteria is met, every company is mandatorily required to spend 2% of average net profits of last 3 years on specified CSR activities by donating to Govt. or independent NGOs.

Table 1 Role of Bio-CNG in Development of Rural India


Most potent tools for mitigating climatic change by preventing carbon emission from vehicles by replacing fossil fuel with bio-CNG. About 90% of the Green House Gasses (GHG) would get reduced. Graph 1 shows the different quantity of pollutants emitted from vehicle gram per kilometers with respect to different type fuels . It has been estimated that emission from bio-CNG would be least.

Graph 1 Gaseous emissions from vehicles

Graph 2 Reduced CO2 Emissions from Bio-CNG

If Bio-CNG will be replaced by conventional fuels, there will be huge carbon foot print reduction shown in graph 2.

Present day problem in India is the continuous increased energy intensity i.e. increase in cost of energy per kilogram . The main reason behind the increased energy intensity is increase in rate of energy consumption and depletion of conventional energy sources at an alarming rate. Hence, needs to be replaced. Cost of production of Bio-CNG would be half the cost of diesel and petrol and with high calorific value. Cost savings will be increased to about 25-50%. Graph 3 depicts the energy intensity of different fuels.

Graph 3 Reduced CO2 Emissions from Bio-CNG


Our aim is the progressive reduction of the import bill. India imports more than 47 percent of the oil it uses. But, due to increase in domestic resources import has been decreased and export of petroleum increased up to 7% 7.

If Bio-CNG is replaced by petroleum, there will be huge profit to Government.

Table 2 Cost Saving Calculation when imports replaced by Bio-CNG


From the table 2, huge cost savings can be done by replacing imported fuels by domestic fuel i.e. Bio-CNG. This will not only make country greener but also improves the economy of country.


Apart from this, Bio-CNG produces pure organic manure as by-product that can self-utilized or sold to farmers or industries good price and ultimately benefiting to plant. It has following benefits leading to growth of India:

Figure 3 Benefits of Organic Fertilizers


From this note, we can conclude that India has a wide scope in Bio-energy. Since India is rich in bio-waste in rural area, a huge amount of energy can be harnessed from organic wastes that are biodegradable like cattle dung, food waste, agricultural waste, bagasse, sugar mill waste, waste from trees, dry leaves and green leaves etc. First thing, all these waste will be managed properly as India is facing a big problem of solid waste management. Secondly, green fuel is produced which helps in reducing carbon foot prints. Thirdly, by producing sufficient fuels like cooking fuel, vehicle fuel and electricity, will help in upgrading the quality of living of rural India and Fourthly, making India independent and self-sufficient and promoting India of 21st century and will envision the dream of prosperous rural India of Mahatma Gandhi.

8. Petrol price fluctuate day to day. Average value has been taken for last one year.
11. Average price has been taken for calculation of Bio-CNG rates, which may fluctuate in future as per the demand and supply.

About Author / Additional Info:
I am currently working as an energy consultant in renewable energy firm.

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