Chennai startup develops microbial fuel cell technology


JSP Enviro, a city-based startup, is in talks with a garment dyeing unit in Tirupur to set up a prototype microbial fuel cell technology waste water treatment plant that would generate power, said top company officials.

The startup was founded by an alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M).

“We are in talks with a dyeing and printing unit in Tirupur to set up a prototype microbial fuel cell waste water treatment plant. Once the results are satisfactory a bigger plant will be installed,” Priyadharshini Mani, a co-founder, told IANS.

“Overseas, this technology is used by dairy, liquor and other industries,” she added.

Mani said the quantum of power generation is one kilowatt per one square metre.

“Conventional waste water treatment plants are very energy intensive. But microbial fuel cell technology waste water treatment will be energy positive,” V.T. Fidal Kumar, co-founder and an IIT-M alumni, told IANS.

He said the power generated will run the waste water treatment system and the excess power could be captured through a capacitor and stored.

The company is in the process of joining the IIT-M Bioincubator to augment research and development (R&D) for its product and a demonstration model is expected to be launched in early 2020.

According to the officials, the typical payback time is five years in the form of energy savings, reduction in excess sludge quantity, tax and carbon credits.

The system is suitable for small installations with organic load as low as 100 kg Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)/day.

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