Sugar mills in Maharashtra are closely watching the pilot plant of Dharashiv Sugar Mill from Osmanabad district to produce oxygen at its ethanol plant. Once succeeded, the experiment could be launched at other sugar mills in the state to produce oxygen. This will help in meeting the shortage of oxygen supply to treat Covid-19 patients.
According to the news report published in Financial Express, Abhijit Patil, chairman of the mill is confident of the success of the pilot plant. The mill has modified its ethanol plant to generate 20 metric tonnes of medical oxygen every day by catching and processing oxygen released in the atmosphere, he said. The molecules required for purifying oxygen to medical oxygen grade have been installed at the plant, he said.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar last week had urged sugar mills to take steps to produce oxygen at their ethanol production plants.
At Dharashiv mill, the ethanol plant of 60-kilo litre per day capacity has been modified to generate 20 metric tonnes of medical grade oxygen. Osmanabad district requires 18 metric tonnes of oxygen and if the project succeeds, the mill will cater to the needs of the district, said Patil.