Central Tuber Crops Research Institute produces natural gas from tapioca leaves

M Basheer

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Dr CA Jayaprakash near bike running on natural gas produced from tapioca leaves

Thiruvananthapuram: Scientists of the Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, who produced biofertilisers from tapioca leaves which grabbed the headlines, have now come up with a new innovation. A team under principal scientist Dr CA Jayaprakash produced natural gas from the residues of tapioca leaves after using it in the production of biofertilisers.

The natural gas was produced through a process called methanogenesis. The residues of tapioca leaves undergo pre-treatment before initiating methanogenesis in which methane gas is formed.

At least 60 per cent methane and 40 per cent carbon dioxide will be produced from the process. Methane will be later extracted from this mixture. Dr CA Jayaprakash informed that nearly 51 kilogram of methane can be produced from a tonne of tapioca leaves.

They rode a two wheeler in the institute using the fuel made at the laboratory. A mileage of 28 kilometres could be achieved from one kilogram of methane gas.

A profit worth lakhs could be made by switching from current CNG production methods to the production from tapioca leaves, said Jayaprakash. In a prominent CNG plant of India, at least eight tonnes of food waste has been utilising for producing 400 kg of methane.

Nearly 7.8 tonnes of tapioca leaves is required to produce methane through this newly invented method. The expenditure will reduce further as residues are being utilised for the production of natural gas, said Dr Jayaprakash.

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