NSE News - Latest Corporate Announcements

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI): Smart Grid.

A Smart Mini-Grid (SMG) is an intelligent electricity distribution network, operating at or below 11 KV, where the energy demand is effectively and intelligently managed by diverse range of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) such as solar PV, micro-hydro power plants, wind turbines, biomass, small conventional generators such as diesel gensets etc. in combination with each other through smart control techniques.

This integrated energy system comprises:
Variable loads which are connected to the distribution grid;
Diverse range of small, local generators based on distributed energy resources, for example, solar, wind energy, storage system; and
Control and power conditioning systems.

Benefits of Smart Mini-Grid
Foster demand side management & response;
Reduce power outages, increasing reliability, efficiency, and safety;
Reduce carbon footprint and minimize fossil fuel consumption
Provide customers autonomy to manage their electricity needs.

Energy is the key to economic development. In India alone, the demand is expected to grow at an annual rate of 6% in the next decade. Estimates by the Ministry of Power suggest that by 2011-12, India will need over 1,00,000MW of additional capacity installation to meet its power requirements. Few power stations of desired capacity can be installed in order to meet the demand. But power stations alone cannot meet the small dispersed loads in remote areas. Globally, the trend is towards managing existing energy resources and demand in an optimal and efficient manner. Over the years, smart grids have evolved for this purpose. Advanced sensing, communication, and control technologies are used in these smart grids not only for generation and transmission of power, but also distribution and utilization of electricity in an intelligent and effective manner.
This distributed generation-based power system/mini-grids can be installed and subsequently integrated to the conventional utility grid or used to provide electricity for localised loads only. It not only fosters effective inter-connection and utilization of multiple renewable energy resources, but also helps in advancing access to energy to the last mile in the most optimum manner by improving the efficiency of the overall system. Besides, it offers immense potential for improving energy access in both urban and rural areas.
TERI has designed, developed, and demonstrated the country's first-of-its-kind Smart Mini-Grid system. The objective is to optimally use smarter control of distributed energy sources combined with intelligent management of loads to improve the efficiency and reliability of the overall mini-grid system. The Smart Mini-Grid, built with the support of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), was recently inaugurated at the TERI Retreat in Gual Pahari, Gurgaon.

A Smart Mini-Grid system is an application of digital technology which optimizes electrical power generation and delivery (see box). The system is based on the integration of multiple distributed energy resources (DERs) into the same grid. This system is also based on intelligent load and energy resource management. It is designed with local controllers for each of the distributed generation technologies as well as a central controller called intelligent dispatch controller (IDC) which communicates with the each local controller. Whereas the local controllers ensure maximum utilization of energy resources with permissible output power, the IDC performs complex system control functions and takes critical decisions such as automating the demand response, dynamically adding or removing DERs in a seamless manner (based on the existing demand) without affecting the grid stability.

A Smart Mini-Grid has greater resilience to loading as compared to the conventional grid system. It is marked by power flow through multiple routes, a feature common to the conventional grid system. However, unlike the conventional grid system, it is designed to avoid cascade tripping of network elements.

The system also has the capability to respond automatically to network problems and minimize network disruptions. It can anticipate and respond to system network problems and avoid or mitigate power outages, power quality problems, and service disruptions using real-time information from embedded sensors and automated controls. The grid is also equipped with a self healing system that enables it to rapidly detect, analyze, respond to power disturbances and restore power supply.

The TERI Smart Mini-Grid facility combines the following distributed generation resources--3.3 kWp wind generator, 1 kWp thin-film solar PV, 12.5 kW solar PV, 100 kWe biomass gasifier, 600 Ah, 48 V storage battery, and a diesel generator. The diesel generator has been added to the system to meet the intermittency of the renewable resources and hence ensure reliable power supply.

Such Smart Mini-Grid systems have great potential, not only in commercial and industrial complexes, but also in hospitals, shopping malls, apartments, residential complexes, educational institutions, remote un-electrified as well as electrified locations to ensure maximum flexibility, reliability, and safety with enhanced efficiency of the overall system.

Conclusion: SMART Grid system is nothing but a mini version of a conventional electricity distribution system the energy produced from different sources are consolidated and the most preferred source is used to provide the electricity. This technology will effectively make the conventional grid system less relevant as households can effectively sustain themselves outside the grid network with their own source of power..
Something to watch out for.

Link to Teri Project

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Jayant Agro Organics: Arkema to buy China's sebacic acid leader Casda Biomaterials

The march is on.. foreign multinationals are on the lookout for castor production sources and its derivatives. As demand for renewable sources of chemicals increases.. India is the largest producer of castor (70-75% of worldwide production) and China is 2nd largest producer of castor oil and its derivatives.

Jayant Agro is the largest castor seed processing company in India  and producer of largest range of castor derivatives in the world  (Blog link)

Arkema continues to expand in specialty polyamides with the acquisition of Chinese companies Hipro Polymers and Casda Biomaterials

Arkema announces a project to acquire Chinese companies Hipro Polymers, a fast-expanding producer of biosourced polyamide 10.10, and Casda Biomaterials, world leader in sebacic acid, derived from castor oil and used in particular to manufacture this polyamide 10.10.

This acquisition is a great opportunity in many respects. It will help us boost our position in China, one of Arkema’s geographic priorities for the last 5 years. With polyamide 10.10, it aptly complements our high added value polyamide 11 and 12 product range, and fits in well with our growth strategy in green chemistry », stated Thierry Le Hénaff, Arkema Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Both acquisitions are consistent with Arkema’s strategy to develop performance products, as well as the program presented by the Group in November 2010 to acquire around 1 billion euros of sales.

Both companies report aggregate sales estimated at $230 M for 2011, and employ 750 people on two sites in China.

The acquisition price is based on an enterprise value of $365 M for 100% of the capital of both companies, which are predominantly owned by a joint venture between privately owned Chinese specialty chemical company Feixiang Chemicals and Bain Capital, a global alternative asset manager with over US$60 billion under management.

We are happy to see the two companies to join the family of Arkema, global leader of renewable source based high performance polyamide, and believe that the business and product development of the two companies will be brought to a new high level », added Ji Li, President of Feixiang Chemicals.

By adding Hipro Polymers’ PA10.10 to its technical polymer portfolio, Arkema, the world’s only producer of polyamide 11 also derived from castor oil, would strengthen its world leading position in specialty biosourced polyamides (15 to 20% expected annual growth rate), becoming the only chemical manufacturer to offer a full range of long chain polyamides 10, 11 and 12. Arkema’s acknowledged reputation and application know-how in the end-markets of these various products should help speed up the development of Hipro Polymers, in particular in transportation (automotive, trucks), renewable energies, and electronics.

In anticipation of the rapid development expected over the next few years, Hipro Polymers’ modern and competitive industrial site, based in Zhangjiagang, 110 km from Shanghai, recently benefited from new investments to triple its production capacity.

With the acquisition of Casda Biomaterials, the world’s leading producer of sebacic acid, Arkema would benefit from sebacic acid integrated feedstock for the production of PA10.10, and, through this strategic raw material, would be able to supply diversified world markets such as lubricants, plasticizers and corrosion-inhibiting additives, as well as the fast-growing biosourced and biodegradable copolymer market.

The Casda Biomaterials facility is a competitive industrial base located in Hengshui, 250 km from Peking.

This project is subject to approval by the Chinese authorities, and the operation should be finalized in early 2012.

A global chemical company and France’s leading chemicals producer, Arkema is building the future of the chemical industry every day. Deploying a responsible, innovation-based approach, we produce state-of-the-art specialty chemicals that provide customers with practical solutions to such challenges as climate change, access to drinking water, the future of energy, fossil fuel preservation and the need for lighter materials. With operations in more than 40 countries, 15,700 employees and 9 research centers, Arkema generates annual revenue of €5.9 billion, and holds leadership positions in all its markets with a portfolio of internationally recognized brands. The world is our inspiration.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Reliance Industries: Shale Gas Find: 41.6Trillion Cubic Feet: Interior Marcellus Assesment Unit

Digging deeper into Peak oil and future energy resources.. Shale gas report by United States Geological Survey (USGS) in Marcellus Assesment Unit (AU) is interesting information.

- First this is a report that was published by USGS in August 2011 .

- Reserves are always an estimation.. and it is a wide range  (reporting only for Interior Marcelleus AU)
- Conservative Estimate: - 44,607  Billion Cubic Feet of Gas (BCFG)
- Realistic Estimate:- 81,374 BCFG
- Wild Guess Estimate:- 139,106 BCFG

The report also states that  conservative estimate of Natural Gas liquids is: 1,497 Million Barrels of Natural Gas Liquids  (MMBNGL)


Now on Nov 14,2011 Task leader "Marcellus Shale Gas Resource Assessment" James L Coleman discussed about their report with US Senate committee.  (link)

It seems the old estimate of Marcellus Shale reserve was 2 TCFNG and 0.01 BBNGL and latest numbers are 84 TCFNG and 3.4BBNGL

The only large sources of oil reserves are in Deep water and it seems its a difficult task setting up a base and getting the oil out. Its much more economical to extract shale gas "on land" than these "Deep water" oil reservoirs. 

Reliance has significant stake in Marcellus Shale. So just don't count out Reliance Industries yet..  and maybe all this weakness in Reliance Stock is for a very very strong upmove in Reliance in the future..

Conclusion: "Contrarian Investing" is a good idea provided we have done some leg work.. Pls note I have no personal interest (investments) in Reliance Industries (all the more reason for Reliance Industries to rise faster ;-p) Donot Sell your reliance stock just yet or at 900 hold for long term.. People like BP buying into Reliance is not a flash in the pan its with much deeper knowledge than we can grasp.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Aviation Turbine Fuel Cheaper than Petrol by Rs 11-14 per Liter in Mumbai

The recent Kingfisher airline cancellation of flights and debt problem is in news. Govt it seems is looking to provide a revival package with debt recast etc..

1. Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) is cheaper than Petrol by Rs 11-14 per liter in Mumbai. (depending on the fuel supplier) Domestic flight Mumbai Prices (ATF): Rs 61.98 per liter (Indian Oil)

2. For international flights the (ATF) is still cheaper.. by Rs 25 per liter.
International Flight Mumbai Prices (ATF): Rs 48.7 per liter (Indian Oil)

3. Domestic Mumbai Petrol Prices: Rs73.81 per liter (Indian Oil)

So its amazing that there are 10 airlines in India and they can influence the govt and get ATF fuel at a price cheaper by  Rs 11-14 per liter of ATF fuel price.. while the whole country of 1.x Billion people pay more and cannot influence the Indian Govt enough to get a price parity to ATF fuel for Petrol??
As per DGCA 396.31 lakh people traveled by Air from Jan to August 2011  ie. in 8 months. 
-  49.53 lakh people per month .. which translates to 
- 1.65 lakh people per day(30 days)...

 there is one more change.. Source to Destination = 1, Destination to Source (back) = 2 since every time an individual travels its counted as a different passenger when actually its the same passenger travelling back..so actual number of unique people travelling is 1/2 ie 
- Approximately 82,565  unique passengers per day.

So there are approximately 82,565 individual air passengers who benefit from the ATF fuel prices while there are a millions of people in India who use Petrol and loose out due to higher fuel prices every day!!.

Conclusion: I am not advocating an increase in ATF or decrease in Petrol prices.. The question is about availability of all relevant information before making a decision about bailing out pvt companies. Definitely Kingfisher airlines does not need to be bailed out. in fact kingfisher airline market share is 18.8% which means we are talking about 15,522 individual passengers being impacted on a daily basis. The airline industry has been privatized and many other pvt airlines have shut shop we need to allow for kingfisher to also learn to swim or sink. The industry can accommodate these fluctuations.
India should spend more time and energy in providing better public transportation with connectivity. Railway network needs to be strengthened to carry more percentage of traffic (goods and individuals) 

Indian Cities Petrol Prices: By the way "Bengaluru" is the city where the Petrol prices are the highest.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Jayant Agro Organics: Sept 2011 Results

Jayant Agro Organics reported its Quarterly earnings for quarter ending Sept 30, 2011 on Nov 9,2011. 
Let us see how the company is progressing and try and get a better understanding of how the company is doing.

First a lot of earnings for Jayant agro are in the subsidiary company specially Ihsedu Agro Chem. Ihsedu Agro Chem is a castor seed processing company located in the largest castor growing district in the state of Gujarat.
Ihsedu Agro Chem was a Gujarat Govt company in castor seed crushing. The promoters of Jayant Agro organics bought the company from Gujarat Govt.. increased capacity and added additional processing capacity. 

Castor Seed crushing capacity in the heart of castor growing district is a big advantage for  Jayant Agro specially in castor oil and related business where availability of raw material plays an important part.

So in case of Jayant Agro we will be looking at the "consolidated results" of Jayant as there is a pretty big difference between Jayant Agro standalone result and Jayant Agro consolidated results.

Another unique issue is that Jayant reports 3 months, 6 months 9 months and 12 months consolidated results. 
So Sept 30,2011 result includes the result of June 30,2011. Well lets see what do we have here..

Looking at the results for Year ending March 2010, March 2011 and 3 months ended June 30,2011 and 6 months ended Sept 30,2011 .. it looks like its business as usual with Jayant Agro. 
- PBDIT Margins are consistent around 5%
- Depreciation is decreasing in a gradual fashion.
- Interest payments are steady and hovering just below 2% level.
- Taxes are also around 1%
- Net Profit is also pretty steady at 2%

So when we look at the margins the business is making steady income and everything is on autopilot. 
On the sales front the company sales are increasing by leaps .. 
Year end sales March 2011 is: 1171.99Cr
6 months sales Sept 30,2011 is: 969.44Cr
6 months sales Sept 30,2010 is: 587.09Cr 

So on a year on year basis sales have jumped approximately 65% on a year-on-year basis.  Infact in 6 months ending Sept 30,2011.. Jayant has already clocked sales equal to 82.7% of sales for year ending March 2011.. So looks like demand is growing by leaps and Jayant is well positioned to supply castor oil and its derivatives to the market.

Interest rates: Looking at the interest rates its amazing that Jayant's interest rates are keeping pace with 65% topline growth.. generally capital requirements are steady across quarters but in case of Jayant we see that capital requirements increase every quarter and culminate with largest capital requirements for the year end figures.. I also remember that in the AGM there were questions raised as to why the interest payments are rising and keeping pace with growth in topline. Management said its under control and its part of doing business.. and not something to be worried.

Well after some more digging it looks like interest payments are about 2.02% of raw material requirements..(steady for March 2010, March 2011 and now Sept 30,2011..)  Interestingly there is a 2% interest rate discount for exporters by GOI .. Since India has high interest rates to keep inflation under check.. just so that exporters are not at a disadvantage exporters are provided with 2% interest rate discount.. Well putting all the  pieces together .. looks like Jayant Agro's interest rates are going to keep  pace with topline growth. so don't worry about it!! (wink wink) 

Interestingly net profit margins are also 2% .. Now that is a question I certainly don't have an answer for.

Conclusion: Jayant Agro is favourably placed with a flood of demand for bio based products. Castor oil and its derivatives because of their unique properties already had a steady demand.. now with this increased awareness for bio-renewable inputs .. Jayant Agro is front and center of a demand tsunami.. We can expect Jayant to report steady profits and also expect higher dividend payouts. 
Ihsedu Speciality chemicals the next generation castor oil derivatives subsidiary has not yet started commercial production. If and when it starts it will improve the margins of Jayant Agro.  Also a sebacic acid plant with 8000MT capacity is considering only 1 shift.. but max capacity could be 3 shifts so we could see 24,000 MT as actual production for sebacic acid and that would translated to some really interesting numbers.. 
(I think I am running way ahead of reality.. considering that the plant has not yet started commercial production :--) )

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

SIAM: Reinventing Mobility: Vision 2020

There is a lot of discussion about fuel price hikes..
Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) had their 51st annual convention on Sept 7,2011. 
"Reinventing Mobility: Vision 2020"

In the end of 19th century electric cars outsold all other types of cars
- Electric cars had less vibrations, no foul smell, roads were limited and electric car range of 18 miles was sufficient.
- Gasoline/Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) cars had manual cranking to startup, vibration, noise and foul smell.

By mid 1920 better road network and limited range of electric cars was a big negative. Gasoline cars with electric starter and a longer range due to high energy density stole the show..  cheap cheap oil made gasoline cars affordable. Thus high energy density, cheap availability of fuel  and better road networks...were prime reasons for the death of electric cars.

Cutting the discussion short lets look at the summary of Vision 2020 (according to me):

- Automobile industry needs to reduce oil dependency and pollution to ensure sustainable growth in the future.
- To meet the challenges transition to electrified powertrain will completely change the Value equation.
- China adopted industrial policy to accelerate Electric Vehicle (EV) technology to leapfrog US/EU/Japanese auto industry - goal was to become dominant auto exporter of EV technology. 
- China strategy is failing due to high cost, low quality and consumer resistance for EV.
(this shows that EV and Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) adoption will be slow in China, US, EU and elsewhere.) << == Very Important observation.
- Necessary to restrain demand, but by providing good mobility and accessibility.. enhance public transportation specially for middle class .. charge full cost of vehicle use ..considering pollution, energy security, Green house gases.. through fuel, vehicle and usage taxes.
- Consider "Climate Policy" in Context - Strategies to reduce Green house Gases are the same strategies to reduce .. oil imports.. air pollution .. road infrastructure cost.. improve urban livability.. 

Actually there are 3 presentations which are trying to address the future.
1 - The most presentable one is by Booz & Company (link
2 - Institute of Automotive Research at the University of Applied Sciences Nuertingen (Germany) (link)
3 - The Best presentation ..as far as addressing the real problem is  UC Davis (University of California Davis) (link)

Looking at the presentation of the 3 Keynote speakers .. we can see the real problem..  

Speaker1 and 2 are looking at the peak oil problem from an automotive standpoint and giving an automotive solution .. Electric Vehicle (EV) 

Speaker 3 Prof Daniel Sperling is looking at the problem holistically and saying.. 
- Reduce the adoption of person use vehicles.
- Encourage public transport
- Encourage city development to reduce requirement of long distance commute for work/play.

Conclusion: The most effective way to deal with "peak oil" crisis is to discuss it openly and make changes at the country, state, city, community and personal level and take a holistic view of the problem.  1/2 the oil used in the world is for transportation!!

Most likely solution adopted by Indian political system will be:
- Stop building/repairing highways motorways for vehicles. (make the journey .. a torture)
- Increase fuel prices (pinch where it hurts the most .. in the pocket)
- Create Metro rail and public/bus transport network. (will take its own sweet time..)
- Pray ..Middle class public will get frustrated by the long commute with bursting bladders and get the message (wink wink..) use public transport!! (Gotcha!!) 

Unfortunately freedom to choose and freedom to travel with personal space (provided by a car) .. will delay the mass movement of the working middle class to public transport .. till the very end...

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

How Are We Doing

This is a yearly review of performance of recommended stocks.
Diwali 2011: How Are We Doing
Diwali 2010: How Are We Doing

Jayant Agro Organics: Sebacic Acid used in Tissue Engineering

Sebacic Acid (SA) which is a derivative of Castor oil. Sebacic Acid has been found to assist in tissue engineering. Sebacic Acid when used along with Polycaprolactone (PCL) as a gel is cyto-compatible and capable of maintaining high cell viability. Addition of Sebacic Acid in PolyCaproLactone (PCL) increases the biodegradability of PCL. 

Title: Biocompatibility and biodegradation of polycaprolactone-sebacic acid blended gels.

Abstract: Tissue engineering aims at creating biological body parts as an alternative for transplanting tissues and organs. A current new approach for such materials consists in injectable biodegradable polymers. Their major advantages are the ability to fill-in defects, easy incorporation of therapeutic agents or cells, and the possibility of minimal invasive surgical procedures. Polycaprolactone (PCL) is a promising biodegradable and elastic biomaterial, with the drawback of low-degradation kinetics in vivo. In this work a biodegradable injectable gel of PCL blended with sebacic acid (SA) was prepared, to improve the degradation rate of the biomaterial. 

Sebacic Acid (SA) is known for its high degradation rate, although in high concentrations it could originate a pH decrease and thus disturb the biocompatibility of PCL. Degradation tests on phosphate buffered saline were carried out using 5% of Sebacic Acid on the blend and the biomaterial stability was evaluated after degradation using differential scanning calorimetry, dynamical mechanical analysis, and scanning electronic microscopy. After degradation the elastic properties of the blend decreased and the material became more crystalline and stiffer, although at a lower extent when compared with pure PCL. The blend also degraded faster with a loss of the crystalline phase on the beginning (30 days), although its thermal and mechanical properties remained comparable with those of the pure material, thus showing that it achieved the intended objectives.

After cell assays the  Polycaprolactone-Sebacic Acid (PCL-SA) gel was shown to be cytocompatible and capable of maintaining high cell viability (over 90%). © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A, 2011.

The Energy Equation is changing fast.

I dont know where to start and dont know where to end it. We all have just seen a price hike in India for "Petrol" to around Rs 72 per liter. An american Gallon is 3.78 liters which means in India we pay close to Indian Rupees: 272.16 per gallon of "Gas" which assuming Rs 50 per Dollar is 5.44 Dollars per Gallon of Gas.

Again the question is not about the Price of oil but Peak oil.
- Peak oil means world has reached a peak (maximum) barrels of oil production. and this number will never exceed.
- Peak oil does not mean there will be no more oil .. but oil will be "MORE" expensive to produce.
- Food is the largest consumer of Oil Resource followed by Transportation and then Housing.
- According to published data "Peak oil " production was: 74.82 Million barrels per day on July 2008.

This is an old image with data from 2009 as the latest data.
If you see the chart "Peaks" are preceded or followed by "Drop" in production which basically means some of this is carry forward oil. (planning for Winter requirements or Peak driving periods)

Here is a more recent data provided by US EIA (Energy Information Administration).

Here also we can see new peaks but again preceded and followed by slump .. which means its more due to preparation for projected demand. Its better to look at yearly avg production.

Another important point of view worth pointing out is the "7 Month Data" looking from a different perspective. We are looking at countries which are still increasing production and countries which have a fall in production of crude.

Increase In Production: Persian Gulf Nations, Canada, China, Russia, United States and World
Decrease in Production: Egypt, Mexico, Norway, United Kingdom, Total Non OPEC.

- This is production figures for crude oil, does not include natural gas and plant liquids.
- China and US are increasing production based on Shale Oil??
- Canada is producing based on Tar Sands??
- Total Non OPEC is down which means without OPEC at World level we are producing less oil.

Again we are getting carried away in the details..
- India with annual fuel production of 500-700,000 barrels per day and imports of 1,500,000 barrels per day is in a very bad position.
- India with large production capacity of food, fruits, vegetables, milk is favorably placed to take care of the basic needs of  the population.
- Fertilizer's and pesticides require Oil.
- Energy requirements are also there for communication, transportation.
- Population control is a must to keep a population size that is sustainable.
- Debate about Peak oil and alternative society structures to build sustainable communities is very important.
- Ayurveda, Unani, Homeopathy traditional medicine should be encouraged for general well being.
- Off the GRID setup like Biogas, Solar and transportation are urgent requirements.
- learn important trade skills for a future with "Peak oil"
- Instead of debating Fuel Price hike we should be debating Peak oil and the required changes in social structure.
- Personal transportation is a strict No-No. Reduce unnecessary use of fuel guzzlers. Use public transport.

Conclusion: Stock market no longer seems to be a long term area for investment. Very Very stock specific investments will have to be made and keep in mind Peak oil and energy footprint of companies. Auto, transportation, Airlines, travel, are a strict No-No for investment ideas. Also real estate investment is a big risk. Banks (No). Mind you these are long term themes and we could see short term spikes.

EIA Monthly Data 
The Oil Drum 

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Sweet Spot for Growth.

Peak oil has been the underlying theme for investment ideas in this blog. Peak oil will certainly result in global growth coming to a halt. Current economic downturn on a world wide basis does have "Peak oil" as the underlying theme. Recent data with regards to shale gas will maybe give a window of opportunity to growth.

Shale gas resource data has been published by US Energy Information Administration. Top of the list is China and USA. USA is where the largest shale gas exploration work is done and first off the block with production. This has caused the natural gas prices in North America to be well below the world wide levels..

China and US as 2 large new energy sources.. we could be having a revival in economic growth.
India is busy importing the new energy from US for its growing economy.

Energy is the source of growth. The fact that US is producing surplus energy for export speaks of the volume of Shale gas being produced and confirms the reserves. We can expect the growth to be +ve in US. It has been said that efficiency in production ..though a good word will result in faster consumption of natural gas resources.

Conclusion: Shale gas reserves and technology to economically extract it will be a boon for world energy requirements. Subsequent efforts for exploration of  shale gas worldwide could keep the available world energy levels comfortable for the next couple of years at the least. Industries that can take advantage of cheap natural gas are set to reap profit.Current high energy prices could make some industries unprofitable. Hopefully this time (of relative stable energy prices) will be utilized for building a more energy efficient and sustainable industrial society.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Bio Gas plant for home using food waste

The price of energy is steadily rising. Best Buy Investment idea's are based on the theme of "Peak oil" 
I have been looking around for some energy security (for home) and bumped into ARTI (Appropriate Rural Technology Institute) 

What we are looking at is "Biogas plant" for home. here are some points to keep in mind.
- This is a Biogas plant but it does not require any "Cow-Dung" "Manure"
- What is fed into the "Biogas Plant" is starchy food waste.(kitchen waste)
- This is a small unit 1000-1500 liters plastic tanks are used to build the unit.
- Cost for complete setup as mentioned is around Rs 15,000/= (but consider inflation.. as I see different price tags)
- Input is food waste.

Storyline:  Biogas plant does not require "Cow dung" The bacteria that generate "Methane" reside in the stomach of "Cows" and are available in the cow dung hence cow dung is used in biogas plants. 
So if you have added the bacteria into the biogas plant you can feed organic matter (just like you feed cow fodder) and you will get "Methane" 
If Organic matter is starchy then its great (That would be potato peel, rice, wheat, bread) 

Methane has a calorific value of 11,000Kcal/Kg If you want high output of methane then input should also have high calorific value. Cow-dung has low calorific value as it is the excreta and hence we need 40kg of cow-dung which requires 40 days to decompose making biogas plants large and unmanageable.
If you put 1 kg of starch you can generate the same amount of Methane (as 40kg cow-dung) in 24 hours making the Biogas plant compact and manageable. (that is the underlying principle)

Story in picture..

Story in Video

There are issues with Hydrogen Sulphide in Methane as its harmful for humans.
Link to ARTI related info:
http://www.samuchit.com/images/stories/products/std_designs.pdf (Price list)

I did find another company http://biotech-india.org  providing bio-gas plants and they do have more info like the BioScrubber technology to remove Hydrogen Sulphide.

By the way Gujarat Ambuja Export which uses Maize Starch "Big time" has "Bio-Gas Plants and has installed "Bio-Scrubbers"

Conclusion: Soon we will see energy price deregulation which also includes things like Zero subsidy on LPG cylinders (which means LPG cylinders will cost somewhere close to Rs700 per cylinder) considering the added advantage of organic manure for the gardens.. I think we have a winner in a "bio-gas" plant for home. 
just keep in mind the "Hydrogen Sulphide" issue