To reduce smog in winter, the Delhi government has taken a strict decision to ban coal burning. Because every year as soon as winter comes, the entire area of Delhi-NCR comes under the grip of toxic smog. The reason is the pollution of vehicles, stubble burning and smoke coming out of coal-fired industries. After this decision, small scale industries in the National Capital Region have to shift to biomass instead of coal.
Till the year 2020, only 15 percent of the small scale industries of Delhi-NCR used biomass as fuel. But now out of 1695 units of small scale industry, about half have started using biomass.
Every year in winter, a cloud of toxic smog envelops Delhi, causing problems. (Photo: Reuters)
The manager of a small textile recycling unit in Panipat told the news agency Reuters on the condition of anonymity that you can identify in which industry coal is being used by the color of the air and its smell. Where else biomass. The distance from Delhi to Panipat Delhi is just 100 kms.
Improvement in air quality has come from biomass
He said that the air quality has improved since we shifted to biomass. It is difficult for us to measure the quality of air but we can feel it. The Center of Science and Environment (CSE) had conducted a study of Panipat in the year 2020. In which it was told that if coal-fired industries switch to biomass, there will be a 70 to 80 percent reduction in sulfur dioxide emissions and 40 to 60 percent reduction in nitrogen oxides.
Textile recyclers, dyers and food processing companies of Panipat, Sonipat and Faridabad have rapidly shifted towards biomass. He stopped using coal as fuel. Biomass means the waste products from agriculture. Like – Parali. These are converted into biomass and transported to the industry. Because of which pollution is reduced.
Agricultural waste is most commonly used to make biomass. (Photo: Reuters)
Coal has long been a major cause of pollution
The British government also conducted a study in the year 2021, in which it was told that biomass is 14 percent cheaper than the cost of coal. CSE had published a report in the year 2017 stating that petcoke was the king of coal fuel in the National Capital Region (NCR). But later when it was banned, the industries were left with no option but to shift. Coal is considered the biggest cause of pollution.
Panipat’s Senior Pollution Control Officer Kamaljit Singh said that after the ban on petcoke, people switched to ordinary coal. But now hundreds of coal selling traders are selling biomass. 27 percent of the companies in this area use natural gas. More than 250 units i.e. 15 percent of the industries run on electricity.
A toxic smog engulfs India’s capital every winter, as particles from bonfires of crop stubble and vehicle exhausts hang in the air, but New Delhi is enforcing a ban on coal burning from this month that is forcing the industry to shift to biomass. https://t.co/0E9GcLoP5y
— Reuters Science News (@ReutersScience) January 25, 2023
It is easy for small scale industries to shift to biomass
Monish Ahuja, chairman of the Confederation of Biomass Energy Industry of India, says that it is easy for small industries to shift to biomass. Because natural gas is expensive. Biomass is cheap. Out of 398 industrial units in Panipat, about 81 per cent have shifted to biomass. Due to which there has been a decline of 56.2 percent in the use of coal as compared to the year 2020.
Such industries use agricultural waste as fuel. Like stubble, groundnut, briquettes made from mustard etc. But it is a matter of concern that as soon as the ban on coal is imposed, the prices of biomass are increasing rapidly. By the end of the year 2022, the average prices of biomass had increased by 36 percent. Means Rs 7711 per kg. While it was Rs 5677 per kg at the end of the year 2021.