PU sets up biomass resource unit to produce compost using solid waste

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The scientists of Punjab University have established a fully functional Biomass Resource Unit (BRU) with provision of composting of all types of biodegradable wasted biomass, an indigenous project which could provide high quality fertilizers, strengthen agricultural economy, contribute to environment protection, utilize solid waste in a proper way and save billions of rupees.

Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Niaz Ahmad has inaugurated the unit which has been set up at Botanical Garden, New Campus.

Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Saleem Mazhar, Former Dean of Life Sciences and Director Institute of Botany Prof Dr Firdaus-e-Bareen, Principal Investigator of the Project Dr Muhammad Shafiq, Dr Aisha Nazir and other researchers were present on the occasion.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony, Prof Niaz Ahmad said that the BRU will enable people to be self-sufficient in production of safe vegetables and fruits. He said that the people would also get rid of those elements who sell organic compost on a high price.

He said that the installation of BRUs not only can save billions of rupees of the government but also it can contribute to the development of agricultural economy, ensue food security and safety.

Through the BRU, he said, biodegradables being 70-100 % of the total MSW can be utilized for production of cheap and organic compost. He said that through the establishment of BRUs, the government could cope with air, earth and water pollution generated by solid waste.

PU was playing its role to solve the problems being faced by the country and society through research.

He said that the administration was encouraging and funding all those research projects aimed at solving socio-economic problems.

Giving details of the unit, Prof Dr Firdaus-e-Bareen said that the BRU is capable of developing high-quality compost by utilizing biodegradable components of municipal solid waste (MSW); lawn and yard waste; crop residue; bones of chicken, mutton and beef; offals and carcass arising from animals through mass slaughtering activities.

This high-quality compost can be used for production of vegetables, fruits etc with good nutrition values. Dr Barin said that based on dominant composition and its gross & net calorific value of MSW of Pakistan, any WtE or centralized management of MSW would always come up with very poor cost-to-benefit ratio.

She said the established BRU is a replicative indigenously adaptable model that can have maximum solution compatibility with the local solid waste management issues of Pakistan.

The current budget of MSW management in major cities of Punjab is in billions of rupees mainly being spent as intensive MSW collection cost.

For example, around 6-7 thousand tons per day of MSW is currently being generated in Lahore only, out of which more than 70 percent is biodegradable or compostable.

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