Capture Methane

The Renton Sewage Methane Treatment Plant, Seattle, USA, receives 86 million gallons of sewage daily. It sends methane to fuel cell system where it is broken down into hydrogen and carbon dioxide.

Abstract: Methane, which is mostly generated out of solid waste, is one of the major greenhouse gases contributing to global warming. If methane from solid waste is utilised as a source of energy and fuel, it can become an effective alternative resource.

Authors are Secretary, Inter State Council, Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India and Senior Environmental Journalist, Kolkata, respectively.

Term Power

What is ...

A mixture of decayed or decaying organic matter used to fertilise soil. Compost is usually made by gathering plant material, such as leaves, grass clippings, and vegetable peels, into a pile or bin and letting it rot.

A dark-brown or black organic substance made up of decayed plant or animal matter. Humus provides nutrients for plants and increases the ability of soil to retain water. Partially decomposed plant matter in the soil is an example of humus.

Natural process by which water soluble substances (such as calcium, fertilisers, pesticides) are washed out from soil or wastes. These leached out chemicals (called leachites) causing pollution of surface and sub-surface water.

pH is a measure of how acidic/basic water is. The range goes from 0-14, with 7 being neutral. pHs of less than 7 indicate acidity, whereas a pH of greater than 7 indicates a base. pH is really a measure of the relative amount of free hydrogen and hydroxyl ions in the water.

Crop rotation is one of the oldest and most effective cultural control strategies. It means the planned order of specific crops planted on the same field. It also means that the succeeding crop belongs to a different family than the previous one. The planned rotation may vary from 2 or 3 years or for a longer period.

The definition of fallow is inactive. A piece of land that is normally used for farming but is left with no crops on it for a season in order to let it recover its fertility is an example of land that would be described as fallow.

Intercropping is a multiple cropping practice involving growing two or more crops in proximity. The most common goal of intercropping is to produce a greater yield on a given piece of land by making use of resources that would otherwise not be utilised by a single crop.

A crop planted primarily to manage soil erosion, soil fertility, soil quality, water, weeds, pests, diseases, biodiversity and wildlife may be termed as a cover crop. It is a plant that is used to slow erosion, improve soil health, enhance water availability, smother weeds, help control pests and diseases, increase biodiversity and bring a host of other benefits.

Relay cropping is the growing of two or more crops on the same field with the planting of the second crop after the first one has completed its development. The main utility of this model are continuous flow of vegetables to the market from the same piece of land.

A colony or colonies where bees are kept and bred. A stand, shed or boxes may be constructed for beehives or a bee house containing a number of beehives. They are usually mined for honey.