Saturday, February 21, 2009

This Should Work in India and Very Well at That

There was an attempt at getting India to convert to biomethane when I was a boy many decades ago - the Indian government called biomethane "Gobar Gas" after the name for cow dung in Hindi. Somehow, the whole project didn;t take off at all and the whole business died. India, as many know, has the world's largest cow population. The problem, from the perspective of caring for the cows in a country where they are worshipped is concerned, is that Indian cow breeds do not produce anywhere near as much milk as western breeds produce. Historically, bullock-carts (as oxcarts are called in India) were a popular mode of transportation in India with Arnold Toynbee writing in the 1950s that the total number of these vehicles in India exceeded the total number of cars in the rest of the world. But this was not to be as "progress" turned India's cities into urban ghettos stinking of untreated sewage and diesel exhaust fumes.

As the title suggests, there is a very interesting on Autoblog Green (Click on the title to go there) about using biomethane to run trucks that would normally run on diesel. India has a number of diesel vehicles and diesel gensets in factories etc. The country also has charitable Pinjrapols which are retirement centers for cows which are fed and cared for daily with donations. Well, now, there is an opportunity to get rewarded for this care that some give these cows - Cummins and the other companies involved in this Autoblog Green entry are already present in India. So, how about getting them to reconfigure diesel engines, gensets etc that they already sell in India to run on biomethane? And, who is going to look at this as an opportunity to make money from? I hope to send a link to this post to several friends who are keen animal livers and also business people as well as to my former classmates at St Mary's, Sherwood Hall, the Madras Christian College etc and to the Blue Cross of India, the organization that gave me Jack, my best buddy in the world.

Here's to hoping that someone in India, somewhere, gets bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and makes billions out of this idea.

1 comment:

Mohanakrishnan B said...

Cows in India like everything else are paid lip service to, not looked after. They are allowed to roam on the streets and eat plastics, pins, posters etc out of sheer hunger. They generally have their calves slaughtered (calves drink milk)and fooled with a carcass stuffed with straw by the milkman. As for the cows in retirement homes (if they get there,since its cheaper to send them to an abbatoir),except for a few Krishna temples the specimens I have seen are gaunt and bony and chew on dry straw. Its not much of a life. Of course they may be people out there who have seen better and happier cows. It would be good if they relate some positive stories.