Familiarise Dung Cakes

By Moumita Adhikary

What is dung?

  • Fresh cattle extracts are known as dung, vastly cow or buffalo in Asian countries like India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Pakistan, etc.

What are the uses of dung?

  • Cattle dung consists of undigested nutrients like Nitrogen, Phosphorous, etc needed by crops.

b.Dung without moisture can serve as natural manure in agriculture.

What is dung cake?

  • Dung given circular shape, it’s dried form is known as dung cake.

How does dung cake look like?

  • It is mostly given shape by women till date. Off course, men too sometimes fancy of preparing it for a different experience. Mostly the diameter of a dung cake is size of Asian female hands which normally ranges till 9 inch. Thickness of a dung cake depends mostly on density of the dung heap used as raw material, ranging between 0.25-0.50inch normally.

What is used to prepare dung cakes?

  • The answer is simple: dung. However, normally dung cakes are prepared in huge numbers and the dung used for it is a collective of dung picked from various locations practically on different days. Fresh dung of the day has a watery texture. Dung collected a day before is bit not so soft. When it’s two day old, it’s little soft. A three or four day old dung has started to be little hard. Dung collected four day previous till today is mixed by hands or sometimes in huge vessels where usually cattle fodder is served. The resultant dung mixture or dung heap is the raw material for preparing dung cakes.

How is dung cake prepared?

  • Following are the steps to prepare dung cakes : –

a.Dung is collected and given shape close to circular normally by hands.

b.Next it is dried usually sundried and the resultant is a bio-degradable fuel known as dung cake.

What are the uses of dung cakes?

  • Dung cakes are used as fuel mostly in Chulha(heat source for kitchen).

b.Other usage planned for dung cakes in terms of Gobar gas plant construction is yet to be implemented to replace Chulhas.

How does litting up dung cake affects environment and locality?

-> The harm caused are as follows : –

  1. Dung cakes produce a lot of smoke, causing air pollution and suffocation to human beings.
  2. Dung cakes have low calorific value (produces less heat per unit mass).
  3. Dung cakes produce large amounts of ash as residue.

Why dung cakes are still used as fuel despite of it’s affects?

  • There are reasons: –

a.People are used to Chulhas till date in many rural areas even in urban motels, dhabas or eateries.

b.Dung is free and easy to collect from anywhere around wherever cattle is there.

c.Dung cake preparation process is easy.

d.There is scope of small scale self-help earning by selling dung cakes, mostly for rural women involved.

e.Gobar gas plant construction and implementation is another promise of employment for many.

f.Reduces fuel cost for Chulhas.

g.Residue of burnt dung cakes is a lot however, it’s bio-degradable waste hence non-hazardous to environment.

Why is Gobar gas plant required instead of Chulhas or litting up dung cakes?

  • When people burn dung cakes, over 25 per cent of the arsenic in fumes could be absorbed by the respiratory tract and this leads to lung cancer and other diseases. But there are solutions to this problem. One of them is the construction of gobar gas plants.

Scope of Work: The Government offers a huge subsidy for Gobar gas plant construction. Implementing the scheme is sought after.

Following are images of dung and dung cakes taken in India : –

i.Three-Four hour old cow dung. On any sunny day, even a watery egestion of cattle say cow, buffalo, etc gets little less softened in three-four hour on normal sun exposure. Cattle rearing on grounds while day time is a convenient locality to find dung and collect it for further use. Another thing is, as these locality are mostly grounds with or without greenery on it, chunces are high that some greenery or dried up greenery is picked up while picking up fresh dung. These additionals viz. Straw,etc picked with dung acts other materials to change viscosity of the dung mixture used as raw material. In case, fresh dung is picked up from concrete base or road, care has to be taken that no non-biodegradable material is collected to obtain a desired dung mixture.

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Picture: Three-four hour old cow dung on a sunny day.

ii.One day old cow dung with the Sun high up in the sky takes little effort to collect. The texture of the dung is kind of semi-dried and it is easy to pick it up.

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Picture: One day old cow dung on any Sunny day.

iii.Three day old cow dung with the Sun in the sky on consecutive days is automatically detached from the base where it lies.

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Picture: Three day old cow dung laying on the ground in good weather days with the Sun in the sky everyday.

iv.A bed of dung cakes laying over the ground side by side are getting sun-dried. Some dung cakes are stationed at fourty-five degree position with the ground with support of wooden branches. The sunny side of drying up the dung cakes stationed at fourty-five degree position with the ground is that these are getting sun-dried on both sides simultaneously resulting in lesser total dung cake preparation time and reduced effort.

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Picture: Dung cakes getting sun-dried.

v.Dried up dung cakes are ready to be picked and shipped for further use.

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Picture: Ready dung cakes.

How can we get dung cakes?

  • Now that just the image of ready dung cakes are seen, some of us might be eager to know where from dung cakes can be obtained. Available sources to get dung cakes are as follows : –

a.Prepare for yourself.

b.Buy it from nearby, where dung cakes are prepared to sell. Rural locality has got high chunces of availability.

c.Now-a-days, dung cake preparation is considered fun and may be necessity hence made readily available to sell through online retail shopping provisions in India. Dung cakes can be ordered at door-step(s).

The Moon is white, lit up dung cakes helps Chulhas to be bright to make Chapati or Roti like the full Moon is white.

May a day to bring more employments through Gobar gas plant construction and implementations and more.

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