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Stubble burning: Govt will assist those setting up paddy straw pellet units financially to curb pollution — details here

Stubble burning: Govt will assist those setting up paddy straw pellet units financially to curb pollution — details here

Stubble burning: Govt will assist those setting up paddy straw pellet units financially to curb pollution — details here
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By CNBCTV18.com Oct 14, 2022 2:18:53 PM IST (Published)

As per the guidelines, financial assistance can be availed by individuals and companies setting up new plants and units using only paddy straw generated in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana, and NCR districts of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

The Central government decided to grant one-time financial assistance to individuals and companies to set up torrefaction and pelletisation plants. Financial assistance can be availed by individuals and companies setting up new plants using only paddy straw generated in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana, and NCR districts of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, news agency PTI reported.

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The move is aimed resolved the problem of stubble burning and generating income for farmers, Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said. It will also ensure a regular supply of paddy straw for co-firing in thermal power plants and industries.
"Cofiring is a near-term, low-cost option for efficiently and cleanly converting biomass to electricity by adding biomass as a partial substitute fuel in high-efficiency coal boilers," a report by National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) said.
A set of guidelines on financial assistance was also released for the same. As per the information, the benefits are:
  • Financial support of Rs 14 lakh per tonne per hour plant production capacity (subject to a maximum of Rs 70 lakh per proposal) will be given for setting up new pelletisation units.
  • Rs 28 lakh per tonne per hour plant production capacity will be provided for torrefaction plants
  • Benefits would be limited to a total financial support of Rs 1.4 crore per proposal. The government has earmarked Rs 50 crore for utilisation under the guidelines.
  • The guidelines give preference to units proposing to install equipment that is made in India, the Business Standard reported.
    The need for torrefaction and pelletisation plants
    Paddy straw or stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana is among the major causes for the alarming spike in air pollution levels in Delhi during October and November.
    According to government data, Punjab and Haryana generate around 27 million tonnes of paddy straw annually, of which around 6.4 million tonnes are not managed.
    The government had earlier mandated co-firing of 5-10 percent of biomass along with coal to address the issue of air pollution and to reduce the carbon footprint of thermal power plants and industries.
    Though there is a demand for biomass by power plants, "the supply is on the lower side... due to slow/limited growth of aggregators/suppliers", the government noted.
    "Therefore, there is a need to facilitate setting up of pelletisation plants so that paddy straw is utilised and the issue of crop burning and pollution is further addressed," read the guidelines prepared by the Union Environment Ministry.
    What are torrefaction and pelletisation plants?
    According to the European Technology and Innovation Platform, ETIP Bioenergy-SABS, "Torrefaction is a thermochemical process typically at 200-350 °C in the absence of oxygen, at atmospheric pressure with low particle heating rates and a reactor time of one hour. The process causes biomass to partly decompose, creating torrefied biomass or char, also called 'biocoal'."
    "Biocoal has a higher energy content per unit volume, and torrefaction followed by pelletisation at the harvest sites facilitates transport over longer distances. It also avoids problems associated with the decomposition of biomass during storage," it said.
    Meanwhile, The Hindu explains: Paddy straw made into pellets or torrefied can be mixed with coal in thermal power plants. "This saves coal and reduces carbon emissions that would otherwise have been emitted were the straw burnt in the fields."
    (With inputs from agencies)
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