AMRITSAR: High volume of effluent from distilleries can produce about 60-80% of their total distillery boiler fuel in form of biogas, this was stated by Harkamaljit Singh , Associate Professor, Department of Food Science and Technology, Guru Nanak Dev University while talking to TOI on Thursday.

He further suggested that if treated spentwash (effluent of distillery) was sprayed on pressmud (impurities of sugarcane juice) with other processing technique it would get organic manure with vital nutrients for the soil fertility. "With this technique the distillery becomes zero pollution industry." As a second option, he suggested that the spentwash could be concentrated and used as a fuel to burn in the Vinnasse boiler (A boiler specially designed for burning the concentrated spentwash).

Another associate professor of the department NS Sodhi suggested that the distillery could also switch over to molasses in case of grain shortage and the pumping of molasses after weighment could sent directly to the distillery to save expenses incurred on transportation of molasses from sugar factory to distillery. "World over 80-90 % alcohol is produced economically from molasses which is the co-product of sugar industry" he said.

Meanwhile, Kaler, head of department hailed the decision of Punjab government for setting up of 19 distilleries (Grain based) in Punjab by the leading private alcohol players. "With this the government can generate revenue in crores of rupees in the form of excise duty on liquor (potable alcohol)" he said. Punjab has 23 sugar mills (9 working co-operative, 7 non-working Co-operative sugar mills and 7 private sugar mills). It also has 10 distilleries (3 distilleries in Co-operative sector which are closed for past several years) .

source: TOI


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