India Harnessing Rice Power

FILED UNDER: Technology

Two students from the University of Virginia have set up a business in rural India selling energy produced from rice husks.

The business, called Husk Power Systems, was set up by Manoj Sinha and Charles Ransler and is currently operating two pilot plants in India. They expect to break even in three years.

“Farmers get their rice milled in a local rice mill and we collect husk from these mills. This is local and hence has very low transportation cost,” said Sinha.

According to Sinha, this method of power generation is currently saving up to 200 tonnes of CO2 per year for each village.

The system came online last August, after 10-12 weeks of set-up time to electrify the two villages. As well as generating electricity, it also produces a useful by-product, Ash. This can be used either as an ingredient in cement or as a fertiliser, the company said.

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