From Waste to FuelSep 27, 2017
Server Vural is a biology teacher who was born in Bismil. At the same time he is an entrepreneur who thought over to utilize the agricultural waste of products such as cotton and corn which stays on the ground after harvesting. With its arable lands, Bismil is an important hub for agricultural production and the county provides 22% of cereal production of Diyarbakır. In addition to that 50.000 tons of cotton waste occurs from the cotton produced in 50.000 decares area.
Server Vural perceived that in the post-harvest period, removing the cornstalk and cotton straw from the land brings additional cost for the farmers and burning of agricultural waste in the lands causes harm to biodiversity and soil. He decided to produce pellet from the cotton and corn wastes with wood dust which can be used as alternative fuel and he took action to build a facility for pellet production.
“In time we observed that agricultural waste have an impact on economy and environment. We initiated this business in 2014 in order to produce energy from agricultural waste.”
First of all, within the scope of Utilization of Renewable Energy Resources and Increasing Energy Efficiency in Southeastern Anatolia Region Project, which was implemented by GAP Regional Development Administration together with UNDP, a feasibility study was done to assess the agricultural waste potential of Bismil and potential of energy production from these waste. Then, Bismil Agricultural Pellet Production and Marketing Cooperative was established and existing facility was improved.
Today, Server Vural is the head of Bismil Agricultural Pellet Production and Marketing Cooperative and the facility is operated by the cooperative.
“We prevented our farmers, who are the members of our cooperative, from burning their agricultural waste in their lands and we initiated this facility to produce pellet which can be used as fuel in coal-fired boilers. After we bring the agricultural wastes to this facility, we first put them through the grinding mill, then we dehumidify, and then through pressing we obtain compressed products. This product can be used in anywhere that coal is used as fuel. So, it is cheaper than coal and there is high demand for this product.”
“If this facility has not been established, the farmer would have burned the agricultural wastes in his land. And if he burned them in his land, all microorganisms and useful insects would have died. Moreover, he would have caused environmental pollution and air pollution.”
The facility is also supported through purchasing of machine and equipment for pellet production. The facility features to be the first in the region with the structure of the cooperative and for the utilization of the agricultural waste. The facility has 25 tones daily and 5,000 tones annually agricultural pellet production capacity. Already 6 people are employed in the facility.
“So, we have six employees in our facility, furthermore there are some seasonal workers working for picking cornstalks. Thanks to this facility, we create employment and we contribute economically to this region. We have established this facility with the financial support of GAP Regional Development Administration and technical support of United Nations Development Programme on energy efficiency and renewable energy.”
The demand for using these pellets as fuel is increasing in every day. It has already started to be used at ovens of bakeries and boilers of apartments. It is possible to burn pellets, instead of coal, via a "stocker", an apparatus that could easily be installed on an existing boiler.
It is evident that this facility makes significant contribution to local development of the region through the utilization of agricultural waste, production of economic and environment friendly solid fuel, and providing employment opportunity.