ACI envisions waste management technology by producing bio-fertilizer

According to ACI sources, the company is working to bring this technology, called EcoDigester, to Bangladesh in collaboration with the Netherlands.

08 April 2022, 12:00

Last modification: April 08, 2022, 12:26 p.m.

Infographic: TBS

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Infographic: TBS

ACI Fertilizer Limited plans to introduce waste management technology in Bangladesh that will convert organic waste into bio-fertilizer – a key substance for improving soil fertility.

According to ACI sources, the company is working to bring this technology, called EcoDigester, to Bangladesh in collaboration with the Netherlands.

In addition to large-scale waste management, the machine will produce organic fertilizers, important for sustainable agriculture.

Using a specific type of bacteria, the EcoDigester can process any decomposable waste in just 24 hours. It is possible to produce 5 to 10 tons of organic fertilizer per day with this industrial quality machine.

This environmentally friendly technology is widely used as a waste management tool in the Netherlands and many other parts of the world.

Although ACI is working to bring the technology directly to the country, the fertilizer production process will be a little different. The company will work with city corporations to produce organic fertilizer from the waste they collect. As the marketing company, ACI will then market the product to customers.

Bashir Ahmed, Commercial Manager of ACI Fertilizer, told TBS, “We have had initial discussions with Dhaka and Rajshahi municipal corporations. Dhaka municipal corporations are currently running another project on waste management where they have need a much larger amount of waste. But, Rajshahi City Corporation has expressed interest and a meeting has been held in this regard. We also want to work with other companies in the city.

A Dutch delegation will arrive in Bangladesh in a few days and a meeting with all stakeholders will take place soon. Work to implement this technology will begin after the meeting. The Netherlands will provide ACI with technical support, he added.

Dhaka North City Corporation is working on setting up a 42.5 MW power plant based on renewable energy using waste from its region. China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) is the contractor for the construction of the Aminbazar factory in Dhaka. A lot of waste will be needed for this factory.

According to ACI, this is mainly a waste management model according to the original plan. It will therefore be more efficient for the municipalities to treat the waste because they are in charge of waste management. With this machine, fertilizers will be produced in company landfills. Later, ACI will collect and market the product at a fixed price.

It will cost Tk 6 crore to set up a machine with a capacity to process 10 tons of waste per day. About 3 to 3.5 tons of bio-fertilizer can be produced from 10 tons of waste. Moreover, a smaller version of the machine will cost around Tk 30-35 lakh and can process 50 kg of waste per day.

EcoDigester will produce organic fertilizers by breaking down waste with a specific type of bacteria that farmers can use in their crop fields to increase fertility.

According to those involved, nationwide waste management will be much easier with the use of this technology. It is not necessary to take the waste to landfills and it can be treated in areas determined by the municipalities.

About 60-70 thousand tons of organic fertilizers are used every year in Bangladesh. Mainly produced in the factory using cow and chicken dung, the fertilizer market is valued at Tk 105-120 crore and growing by 30% every year.

ACI, Kazi Farms, Mazim and Annapurna are notable among the companies producing organic fertilizers in Bangladesh.

However, in collaboration with various non-governmental organizations across the country, many farmers are making low-cost organic fertilizers using different technologies at home.

ACI said the machine will work on all types of decomposable waste, such as food, vegetable, fish and meat waste, leftover hay after paddy harvest and chicken droppings. For example, if bacteria is sprinkled on the remaining straw in the soil after harvesting paddy, it will rot and turn into fertilizer.

Dr FH Ansarey, Managing Director of ACI Agribusiness, told TBS: “If we can use this technology, there will be a paradigm shift in waste management in the country. This technology will play an important role in protecting of the environment as well as in increasing the In addition, the availability of low-cost organic fertilizers will be ensured.”

When asked how the ICA would work if corporations in the city did not comply with the agreement for whatever reason, he replied: “Then we have to work with various small organizations. It can be through “agreements with residential areas. We will also work with hotels, restaurants, universities and various offices.”

According to the Environment and Social Development Organization (ESDO), an average of 25,000 tonnes of solid waste is generated per day in urban areas of Bangladesh. By 2025, the quantity will reach about 46,000 tons. The waste production rate per inhabitant in 1995 was 0.49 kg, it will be 0.69 kg in 2025.

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