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Biomass residue project aims to transform life in rural India

A new renewable energy technology which aims to help eradicate the problem of open field burning in India has been unveiled.

The technology, a Pyroformer container, has been developed by scientists at the European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) at Aston University, UK as part of a collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology Ropar.

It is believed farmers throughout India burn millions of tonnes of crop residue every year so a project based in the Punjab region of India called EnergyHarvest has taken agricultural waste left over from the harvests, such as rice and wheat straw, and using Pyroformer to heat them in controlled conditions.

The process generates oil, gas and biochar, all of which has a value when put to use rather than simply being burnt.

‘Open field burning is an enormous problem for India and I hope this project will provide a socially and economically viable solution for farming communities, not only in the Punjab but for the rest of the country,’ says IIT Ropar director M K Surappa.