Indian FMCG switching from coal to biomass

turmericGSH Group India has won the Environment category at this year’s Energy Institute Awards for its work with Indian FMCG firm Kaleesuwari on switching from coal to biomass products including turmeric and sawdust

GSH has worked with Kaleesuwari since 2015 to managing its refineries in India to produce steam used in the extraction of oils from nuts, seeds and other raw materials for sale into the food, personal and household markets.

In November 2017, they started to mix biomass – including sawdust, wood charcoal powder and turmeric – with coal as a fuel for the fluidised-bed combustion boilers in two power refineries in Palani and Chennai. Over the course of the following six months, this increased to 60 per cent and 20 per cent biomass respectively. GSH achieved a 60 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions together with a 15 per cent reduction in the cost of steam.

Biomass ash content is low compared to coal, making for easy and more environmentally-friendly disposal. And the products, which are sustainably sourced from close to the refineries, are safer to store.

The results have been so positive that GSH is now in the process of switching over completely to biomass and increasing the range of biomass products it uses including chilli powder.

The announcement was made on 22 November 2018 at an awards ceremony at the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane in front of the industry’s leading figures. The awards recognise schemes and projects that enhance the environment or offset carbon emissions including a demonstrable commitment to managing the risks of energy to the environment and reducing the carbon footprint of the industry. GSH faced fierce competition in this category – including a project to reduce air pollution in Beijing and another in an Iranian gas refinery.

Malcolm Brinded, president at Energy Institute, said, “Beating climate change – while extending the tremendous benefits of energy to all populations – calls for innovation and a lot of hard work, by many smart people, all around the world.”

The EI Awards, now in their 19th year, is run by the Energy Institute to recognise those individuals and businesses shaping the world's energy future. The awards celebrate the achievements of the energy industry across the globe, giving recognition to individuals and organisations who take an innovative and responsible approach to solve the industry's challenges of providing society with clean, sustainable, low cost and dependable energy.

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