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CSIR-CSMCRI come out with a solution to deal with Distillery spentwash

The industrial waste management technologies, being developed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) – Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI), will result in saving of crores of rupees in foreign exchange, Director General, CSIR, Shekar C Mande, has said.

“The spent wash management technology developed by CSIR-CSMCRI will enable alcohol distilleries to recover valuable byproducts from their effluents. The sugarcane (molasses)-based alcohol distilleries generate eight to 15 litres of spent wash to produce a single litre of ethanol. The spent wash is a highly polluting liquid residual waste, which poses serious environmental hazards,” the DG told media persons, who met him on the occasion.


“CSIR-CSMCRI in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, has developed the process to extract potash from the liquid effluent (spent wash). The potash can be used as a fertilizer. This will result in foreign exchange savings to the tune of ₹500 to ₹700 crore a year through reduced dependence on fertilizer imports,” Mr. Shekar Mande said.

‘Job creation’

Apart from the saving in precious foreign exchange, the new technology was estimated to generate 15,000 jobs through indigenous fertilizer production. The treated organics could be used in cattle feed and the recycled water, safely in irrigation, without the danger of contamination of groundwater.

Successful trials were conducted in the past in Ahmedabad and in September, 2019, a medium-size plant was set up at Walchandnagar near Solapur, Maharashtra, at a cost of ₹30 crore. CSIR has obtained an international patent for the innovation. India, the second largest producer of sugarcane in the world, after Brazil, has 5 million hectares under sugarcane cultivation and produces 353 million tonnes of cane. He said the good work done by CSIR has won the appreciation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


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