This project will develop proof of concept for a specially designed anaerobic digester for biomethanation of water hyacinth at Jakkur lake. 

Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) is one of the prominent invading macrophytes growing in the Jakkur lake (Fig1). It is amongst the fastest growing, invasive free-floating weed which is capable of deriving nutrients directly from the water. On an average, water hyacinth can assimilate at a rate of 10-12 g/m2·d which can further increase to 40-50 g/m2·d in polluted water. The faster growth rates of water hyacinth result in the rapid development of thick mats on lakes and water bodies causing detrimental effects on the aquatic life and ecology of the lakes. Due to the continual efforts of BBMP and citizen groups, a huge mass of water hyacinth is periodically removed from the lake and pile at the banks. 

We aim to demonstrate the bio-methanation of water hyacinth in a novel, anaerobic digester. The bio-methanation process will generate biogas (i.e. methane and carbon dioxide) that can be used for cooking and heating, whereas the nutrient rich residues can be directly administered as manure. 

The objectives of this project are:

  • Installation of the anaerobic digester with the necessary accessories at the banks of the Jakkur lake for the biomethanation of water hyacinth.
  • Performance demonstration of the anaerobic digester and training the respective operators/workers/fishermen. 
  • Subsequent application of residue/digestate as suitable plant manure and conditioner.
  • The utilization of generated biogas by the local fisherman for minor heating needs such as boiling water, etc.

Figure 1. Representative picture of the Biodigester/Anaerobic digester. The above-shown biodigester had been fabricated in epoxy-coated mild steel. However, the proposed biodigester in this project will be fabricated in stainless steel, SS-304 to impart long life and protection against outdoor conditions such as sunlight and rain

by JalaPoshan Trust and Tellus Habitat Pvt. Ltd. 

Start Date: August 2020

Contact: Himanshu Kumar Khuntia: himanshukk@iisc.ac.in, jalaposhan@gmail.com