Turning Wet Waste to Gold

NobleExchange ties up with hospitality companies and converts their wet waste into 100 per cent combustible, zero emission gas, which is used by some larger hotels.

NobleExchange Environment Solution's wet waste management facility in Pune, the largest in the world and (inset) Founder and CEO, Nuriel Pezarkar

BW HOTELIER got the opportunity to speak with Nuriel Pezarkar, Founder and CEO of NobleExchange Environment Solution, the owners of the world’s largest food waste processing unit (in Pune), about their work within the hospitality sector and what the future held. The two-and-a-half year of start up began when Pezarkar, who worked with Kimberly Clarke visited Germany and saw a waste management facility there.

Pezarkar began by explaining the technology used by his company, “Anything organic can be processed. Take the example of our bodies, we consume food and extract energy from it. The unconsumed food is what we call waste. Our whole approach is to treat what is discarded as waste to handle that as a raw material. Collect it though various methods, either directly or with the help of the municipal corporation”.

“Anaerobic digestion is a process where bacteria are used to break down the food waste in closed chambers and produce a completely odourless gas. This gas has about 60 to 62 per cent purity of methane; we then have a further process where we refine this methane to 96 per cent purity. At that point, it is pressurised and put into cylinders and brought back to hotels to replace a wide range of fossil fuels,” he added.

Giving us the case of Bangalore, Pezarkar said that his company had already signed contracts with various municipal bodies as well as the
In Bangalore, we have a signed contract with the Bruhat Bangalore Hotels Association.

“We are now collect around 150 tons of food waste from about 800 restaurants. We give them door to door pickup, transport and processing. Unfortunately smaller restaurants don't have space for the cylinders of methane otherwise it would be the ideal ‘noble exchange’. In Bangalore, our contract with Bruhat Bangalore Hotels Association lets us choose what we do with our gas. We bring it back to hotels,” he told us, giving the example of the ITC Gardenia, where the gas is used to replace diesel used in the broiler. Each 400 kilo canister set saves the hotel around 670 litres of diesel, he added.

“We have a central processing plant which we have invested in. There are plants in Bangalore and Pune. Pune is much larger; it is the world's largest food waste processing plant,” he said adding that the company signed a contract with the municipal corporation and then others before beginning work on their project.

“All a hotel needs to do from its end is segregate the food waste, after signing a contract with us. We deliver saving on conventional fuels and the gas we supply is 100 per cent combustible, which means no emissions. Savings are anything between 15 and 16 per cent,” he told us.

Once the gas is captured, it can be used for multiple applications. It can be converted to power, replace HSD (like at the ITC Gardenia), replace furnace oil, and now, after getting permission from the ministry of transport, even be used for public transport, something they are trying to pilot in Pune.

The big question of course if when will the company, and others like is come to an area like the NCR. With the myriad municipalities and governmental agencies to deal with here, all Pezarkar was willing to tell us was once they had grown up a little. Let’s hope that happens soon.

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