East Coast Railway Introduces Maiden Waste-to-Energy Plant

In a pioneering venture, Indian Railway’s East Coast Railway division will soon be establishing a Waste-to-Energy plant in Odisha, into which plastic wastes, petroleum sludge, unsegregated municipal solid wastes, e-wastes, automobile fluff, and organic wastes will be fed as inputs, and usable energy will be obtained using a patented technology branded ‘Polycrack’.

Vidya Bhusan, General Manager East Coast Railway, laid the foundation stone for the plant in Bhubaneswar’s Carriage Repair Workshop, located in Mancheswar. Sources in the divisional railway said that huge amounts of non-ferrous wastes were being generated in the workshop, and the non-availability of efficient disposal processes meant that the wastes got dumped in landfills.

The new waste processing plant would help convert an array of wastes into hydrocarbon liquid fuels, gas, carbon and water. Officials pointed out that the patented method of polycrack has its advantages as it does not require prior pre-segregation of wastes, which would otherwise have incurred additional burdensome costs.

“Waste, as collected, can be directly fed into the plant. It has a high tolerance to moisture hence drying of waste is not required. Waste is processed and reformed within 24 hours. All constituents are converted into valuable energy thereby making it a zero discharge process. Gas generated in the process is re-used to provide energy to the system thereby making it self-reliant of its energy requirement and also bring down the operating cost,” said Manas Poddar, chief workshop manager of the carriage repair workshop.