17 January 2020

Table of Contents for Special Focus: Swachh Bharat

Guest Article- Ramky Enviro Engineering

Converting Trash to Fuel!

An emerging new value stream in SWACHH BHARAT is converting waste to energy. It is not just a trash disposal option but an ecological cost effective way to recover valuable resources, says NIKITA KHARE, CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER, RAMKY ENVIRO ENGINEERS LTD.


As nations around the world celebrate “Earth Day” to demonstrate support for protection of Mother Earth, the so called Developing nations still struggle to make a safe way out of challenging obstructions like illegal dumping done by Tanneries, Textiles, ETPs, CETPs, STPs and so on . Waste to energy widely recognised as WtE, is a pragmatic way of safeguarding the conventional sources of energy. It is not just a trash disposal option but an ecological, cost effective way, to recover valuable resources.

Our relationship with nature has historically been one of imbalance and overuse. Nearly each and every step in human history has unfortunately been accompanied with a leap in environmental degradation.

Environmental sustainability is all about making responsible decisions which aim at reducing our business’ negative impact on the environment. It is a story of balance between environment and modernisation. Economic growth and environmental protection must go hand in hand.

The conversion of trash to fuel is an innovative step towards sustainability. The day is not far away when we will feed trash directly into our vehicles instead of filling fuel, but at least for now efficacious processes are available to turn waste materials into effective fuels. Advances in fundamental research and technology developed thereby is turning plastic and other forms of waste into energy directly.

Let us look at the process in a simple language to understand in a better way. Waste-to-energy technology uses trash as a fuel for generating power, just as other power plants use fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. The burning fuel heats water to become steam that drives the turbine fitted to produce electricity. The process can reduce a community’s landfill volume by very high levels, sometimes even up to 90 per cent, and prevent approximately one ton of carbon dioxide release for every ton of waste burnt.



Did you know that?

  • 4 tons of waste equals 1 ton of oil.
  • 2 tons of waste equals 1 ton of coal.



Three R Process

The basic theory involved in the thought process is the 3R’s- Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. The segregation of waste is done according to the type of combustion. Wastes such as plastic, glass, paper, metals, and wood, release carbon and other pollutants in the atmosphere while burning, whereas wastes such as kitchen refuse, bio waste, and commercial garbage, are ideal for combustion.

Monitoring and controlling becomes one of the most crucial parts of the process, as this will act as a proof of compliance to the air quality and other defined environmental standards. The entire process can be controlled and checked to optimise combustion, heat generation and electrical energy, and environmental control processes.

Before the process of combustion the waste is mixed properly. The mixed waste enters the combustion chamber on a preplanned moving grate, which turns it over and over again to keep it burning. A measured amount of oxygen and fumes drawn from the receiving area creates space for complete combustion. Combustion comes with fly ash, which is another stuff to be handled in a proper way, otherwise it can lead to severe respiratory diseases. So the fly ash is captured throughout the process. The particulates are captured with the help of bag house which bags the ash towards stack or chimney. This process removes most of the unnecessary particulates.

Then, the acidic combustion is neutralised with the help of caustic lye. The neutralisation reaction removes approximately all of the acidic matter produced. Also, the unburned matter left is passed through magnetic separators to remove iron and other metal content and then it is sent for recycling. The heated steam provides power to the turbine generator. The important step here is the cool steam is cycled back into the water with the help of a condenser. Cold stream is reheated and processed which completes the steam cycle.

Activated Carbon (which is nothing but charcoal treated with oxygen) is injected into the hot gases to absorb heavy metals like mercury and cadmium. Dioxins and furans are destroyed by exposing flue gases to a sustained temperature which is approximately 800°C. When final results are calculated it is seen that each ton of waste processed can provide power to a house for a month.

Every year millions of tons of waste is produced, which either becomes a part of landfill or they may be exported to third world countries. These activities cause serious impact on environment in terms of wildlife, ecosystems, and even human health. Keeping all these things in mind, Ramky inaugurated India’s largest waste-to-energy plant in Narela, Delhi, coming up with a new way to generate energy from landfill waste.

Ramky Enviro Engineers Ltd also provides a complete range of municipal waste management services on a 'cradle-to-grave ' approach. Our aim is to compress and dispose waste, while attempting the generation of energy from them. With the help of these waste management technologies, we attempt at better sustenance of the environment, with minimum damage to ecosystem.



  • Primary Collection: Door-to-Door Collection
  • Waste Bulking and Transfer: Secondary Collection and Transportation
  • Transfer Station Management
  • Composting
  • Waste to Energy
  • Engineered Sanitary Landfills and Capping
  • Materials Recycling and Reclamation
  • Land Remediation Services

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