Solar bio-energy from wastewater and waste

MUSCAT, April 30 – It is sustainable because it is safe, efficient, ecological, economical and equitable. It improves plant, animal and human health.
It is a new technology that generates solar bio-energy from wastewater and waste. They are stored in the form of healthy vegetation, soil, water, air and life (SGP). “It can foster a sustainable green planet if we all synergise our interests and strengths to adopt and promote them,” says its inventor and environmental scientist Joy Manglani. The energy conversion and storage efficiency is about 100 per cent verses about 20 per cent conversion efficiency and 0 per cent storage efficiency in solar cells.

“Wastewater (sewage) and waste are grave problems. Our current sanitation methods (STPs) decompose valuable organics in waste and wastewater to foul gases, acids and sludge that degrade air, land and water. They are unsafe for workers; require skilled staff and immense electricity,” says Joy, referring to a study by World Health Organization. According to Joy, SGP is a complete treatment process and solves these problems. “In SGP, organics are not decomposed but recomposed efficiently to the said bio-energy products in aerobic conditions using photosynthesis, gravity and bio-filtration through inorganic waste,” he says.

Simple skills are used to build and operate the sophisticated unit, thus creating human equity. The products are excellent for afforestation, farming, animal husbandry, biodiversity and aquaculture amongst other uses. Thus, carbon dioxide is fixed to the soil through vegetation. This reduces global warming and climate change which is encouraged by the Kyoto protocol (UN Agreements). This stabilises the planet and averts natural hazards.
SGP functions even in the absence of sunlight. It can function wherever wild grass can grow, which is observed even in minus 25 degrees C. The new technology is showcased by National United Co LLC at the ongoing Oman Energy and Water Conference and Exhibition at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre.

SGP has been operated successfully at a large lab and 200-people field scale. SGP also treats raw water, claims Murali Menon, CEO of National United, which is an SME into construction and mechanical works. “SGP units can be made on a family scale to a large municipal scale”, he adds.
The treatment uses physical, chemical and biological processes.
It primarily comprises a non-corrosive sieve cage with a submersible sewage pump, dipped in the source of sewage e.g. a tank/drain/water body, to sieve out plastic bags and other solids.
A sewage collection and seeding tank is there for removal of odour, for churning and pumping out the pre-treated sewage for further treatment to a solar bio-reactor.
For further treatment it uses photosynthesis and bio-filtration in aerobic conditions to produce healthy soil, grass, air and water which seeps down and flows into a clean water tank, which collects the treated clean water and pumps it for usage.
SGP operation is automatic with little energy consumption as compared to the STPs.
The construction of SGP is safe, simple, easy and economical, says Joy, who is the founder and president of Only Nature Endures (ONE) an NGO, also called OneNature.
He holds the prestigious B.Tech degree from a premier institution, IIT Delhi, in Chemical Engineering.
“Everything can be done using simple human skills thus opening more jobs and livelihoods for the masses and improving equity in society”, he adds.
The said clean water is analyzed, compared with prevalent water standards and accordingly used for various possible applications.
Being highly aerated water, it is an excellent liquid fertilizer and the best use of it because at least 70 per cent of the freshwater is consumed in agriculture.
Moreover, the use of fertilizers pollutes the soil and subsoil water.
Further the treated water can be used for washing, cleaning, gardening, afforestation, farming, aquaculture, industrial usage, hydroelectricity generation, fire-fighting, recycling into clear water bodies comprising natural streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, sea, recycling into man-made water reservoirs comprising; fisheries, aquaculture, recycling into polluted water bodies to dilute their pollution content.
SGP eliminates emission of polluting gases including GHGs – carbon oxides and methane; also eliminates the release of foul smelling hazardous gases – ammonia and hydrogen sulfide.
The green and healthy environment created maintains optimum air quality, humidity, rainfall and temperature.
This further helps in growth of more vegetation.
The vegetation produced in the unit is excellent for animal nutrition.
The vegetation grown using the treated water is excellent for the planet and human nutrition.

SAMUEL KUTTY