Agriculture as a noble profession has always served its population up to the most of its just potential. Have you ever wondered how apart from the agricultural produce the agricultural wastes can also be beneficial to humankind? If not, here we are to tell you about it.
Generally among the agro- wastes what is the least preferred is the paddy straw due to its high silica content. This silica content makes it difficult for the existing processes to use it. This is the reason that farmers in Punjab and Haryana burn paddy straw which generates a lot of pollution.
Agricultural wastes include all the cultivation wastes, fertilizer run-off wastes, farm manure wastes, etc.
" To the farmer, the dirt is not a waste, it is wealth "-Amit Kalantri
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Preparation of different wastes
Agrowastes startups in India
Current status of agricultural waste
Preparations of different straws
Preparation of Wheat straw:
The strawbales are initially opened by removing the wrapping wires. Pieces about 6 cm long are cut from the straw. Then when it comes out from the cutter, the chopped straw is sucked into a cyclone Separator where the loose fines and mud are drawn out through a screen at the top. Products like Bowls, Lunchboxes, Cups, Forks, Knives, Spatulas, Chopping boards are made using it.
Preparation of bagasse:
Bagasse is the result of the sugar mill in a more or less clean state after extracting the juice from it. Bagasse contains a considerable amount of pith cells which are undesirable for papermaking and they need to be removed, however, can act as a binder for the Fibers, and thus improve paper properties. Products like plates, paper, bowls, etc. are made using it.
Preparation of Paddy Straw:
Paddy straw is cut into pieces. Then it is cleaned in a washing machine to remove dirt The straw is bleached using biodegradable chemicals. Straws are steamed in an autoclave for 1-1.5 hrs to extract pulp from the paddy straw. In the end products like spoons, trays, containers, etc. can be obtained by the process of molding.
Some other residues:
Coconut wastes, hemp, rice husk, bagasse, and straw bales are some agro-wastes that can be used as construction materials. Coconut waste is also one of the useful agro-waste. Its husk is processed into small pieces and pressed under hot pressure into boards that are fire-resistant. Coconut fibers are used for making ropes, mats, brushes, etc.
Agro wastes Startups In India
SHIKHA SHAH, FOUNDER OF ALTMAT
• Converts agro- wastes into sustainable textiles. The extra ports can be converted into yarn and can be used for apparel, home textiles accessories, and paper.
• Being socially inclusive is helpful for farmers.
• In 2020, it was selected as one of the seven startups in ‘THE FASHION FOR GOOD’ South Asia Program.
• Tagline of the startup is ‘Renaturing the world of materials’.
•Bengaluru –based bio-lutions convert the waste into Biodegradable cartons.
•It adds to the income of farmers
•It is made by converting the waste into a self–binding particle, which is a great alternative for plastics. Currently, it uses wastes like Sugarcane leaves, banana leaves, etc.
•There is a great scope as it is being used by companies like Big Basket.
•Developed by IIT Hyderabad
•Source is Sugarcane Wastes.
•Ordinary brick manufacturing emits CO2 which is harmful to people and the environment whereas these Bio-Bricks do not emit any harmful gas plus the humidity is maintained.
•Molasses, Husks, Seeds, Leaves, Stem, Stalk, Pulp are the residues used and if these are left in the field might take a long time to decompose.
Biofuels are derived from biomass and biomass is produced from food, fibers, and other residues.
Solid categories include fuelwood, charcoal, and wood pellets, and under liquid biodiesel, ethanol, etc., and under gases comes the biogas. In corn-growing regions, large quantities of corn Stover leaves, and stalks are leftover. Corn residues are abundant near existing facilities fitted to provide and distribute ethanol made up of corn grain.
•Rich in cellulose- Ethanol
•Rich in lipid – Diesel
Biomass from livestock waste can convert manure into biogas with the aid of anaerobic digesters resulting in both economic and environmental paybacks.
Current status of Agricultural wastes
◆The total production of Agricultural wastes is about 350 million tonnes every year. Still many cases of burning the residues are reported.
◆There are currently about 111 million and 94 million dry tonnes of primary crop residues profitable to gather at farm gate feedstock prices $60 and $50 per dry tonne respectively. ◆Corn stover is quite three–fourths of this residue followed by wheat straw which accounts for fifths of the total. ◆It is estimated that by 2030, total primary residues are going to be 320 million dry tonnes, with 85% of this measure composed of corn stover.
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-As a sustainable solution to sustain the road in the winter Researchers at Washington State University research was carried out in which grape skin extracts and other agricultural wastes were found much better than their normal deicers. These melt ice faster and cause less damage to concrete and Asphalt. (2 standard materials used in roads and bridges).
-Mumbai has developed an innovative cotton stalk briquette-based efficient and rapid burning crematorium.
- ICAR- CIRCOT has established the World’s Unique Nano cellulose Pilot Plant in Mumbai that uses cotton biomass as the raw material. Thus seeing the pace of growing usage of Agricultural Wastes, it might turn more prominent and common among the people.
We have so much to get from the waste, why ignore its worth!