Waste Generation and its processing is one of the major challenges facing the human race. As we urbanise, the amount of waste we are generating, per capita, keeps increasing. But there are very few technologies that can sustainably process these wastes.

Mangalam Gasifiers has been, for the past few years, dedicated to finding solutions for wastes like MSW, EFB, Chicken Litter etc. The idea has been to work on technologies that can process the waste without harmful emissions, producing energy (that allows the projects to be cost effective / sustainable) and at scales that the waste can be processed in a distributed manner.

Gasification is one of the best solutions for handling these wastes. However, the process is complex and requires tremendous developmental effort and innovative ideas to successfully process widely varying wastes. Once developed successfully, the process is unique as it transforms usable carbon & hydrogen compound of the waste to a gas called producer gas leaving almost all undesirable components in solid form along with some percentage of fixed carbon. This ensures waste is effectively disposed and at the same time energy is recovered.

Some advantages of the Gasification process as developed by ‘Mangalam’ are listed below:

  1. The process allows handling waste from the 100 kg per hour level to the 10,000 kg per hour level. Thus, this is the only technology that allows small set ups in towns and small cities etc. which were erstwhile unserved by waste to energy technologies. This also allows processing of waste in a decentralized manner even for large metropolis (instead of all wastes having to be transported to a central landfill site).
  2. The process is highly efficient. This allows the projects to be financially viable / the most cost-effective solution.
  3. Gasification as done by Mangalam Gasifiers ensures that no process water is used in the entire process.
  4. The Solid Waste generated is only ash + Char / Charcoal – both environmentally non-hazardous. Charcoal / Char is a mixture of fixed carbon with ash and has high value for soil fertility and is recognised for its use in organic farming. 
  5. Gasification wins hands down in the gaseous emissions. This is achieved in the following manner:
    • Gasification is a process which converts solid fuels into gaseous fuel in oxygen deficient environment. The process involves only partial combustion of solid fuels and generates small quantity of ash and char / charcoal. Ash & inert material responsible for particulate emissions get released within the reduction bed / char and hence the gas generated from gasification has low ash and suspended particles. Thus the SPM levels in the flue are extremely low.
    • Heavy metals like Cd, Cr, Hg, Pb, Fe could be present in waste. While most of these are retained in the ash, the volatile heavy metal chlorides that are formed during gasification process are removed by our gas conditioning system. Thus there is no chance of heavy metal pollution.
    • The sulphur based organic compounds produced in our gasifiers are of significantly lower concentration and are removed by our gas conditioning systems. So the producer gas as a final product is composed of negligible quantities of these compounds and thus, after burning, the sulphur oxides formed are always less than permissible limit of all pollution control agencies.
    • Producer Gas is a low energy intensity gas. Thus when it burns, there are little chances of forming NOx. Thus Producer gas has negligible amounts of NOx.

Thus here we have a technology that not only handles the waste the way it is generated (in a distributed manner), but also in environmentally friendly manner with no or very little emissions well below permissible limits.

According to the World Bank, the world currently generates about 4 billion tonnes of all types of waste per year. The world’s cities alone generate about 1.5 billion tonnes of solid waste per year. This volume is expected to increase to 2.4 billion tonnes by 2025.

In lower-income countries, waste generation will more than double over the next 25 years. Thus, waste management and processing has become a major challenge for the world.

Gasification converts Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to usable synthesis gas, or syngas. Gasification is a unique process that transforms a carbon-based material, such as MSW or biomass, into other forms of energy without actually burning it. Instead, gasification converts the solid and liquid waste materials into a gas through a chemical reaction.

This reaction combines those carbon-based materials (known as feedstocks) with small amounts of air or oxygen (but not enough to burn the materials), breaking them down into simple molecules, primarily a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen.