IIT-M’s National Centre for Combustion Research and Development signs agreement with Sukhbir Agro Energy

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on December 12, 2019

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The collaboration will look at exploring the possibility of using paddy straw to produce useful fuels and/or chemicals

The National Centre for Combustion Research and Development (NCCRD) at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Madras has entered into a Joint Development Agreement with the Punjab-based Sukhbir Agro Energy Ltd (SAEL) to collaborate in R&D activities in areas such as combustion of straw.

Punjab and Haryana annually produces nearly 35 million tonne of paddy straw, which is not fit for cattle feed and being burnt in the fields causing huge pollution. But the straw has a heating value of around 3,200 to 3,500 K Cal/kg, which is nearly the same value as that of the coal used for power generation in thermal power plants.

SAEL, which is operating two biomass-based power plants each in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab with experience in collection, transportation and storage of paddy straw, plans to commission two 100 per cent paddy straw-based power plants in Punjab, This is besides implementing two more power plants based on the same fuel in Haryana.

The collaboration will look at exploring the possibility of using paddy straw to produce useful fuels and/or chemicals, and exploring possibilities of mixing/co-firing the paddy straw with other biomass fuels and / or municipal solid waste, says a press release from IIT Madras.

Satyanarayanan Chakravarthy, Professor In-charge, NCCRD, said that IIT Madras will meet the technical requirements such as design of prototype boiler, conducting trials and provide solutions to existing boilers and providing criteria for the design of new power plant boilers. The whole project will be funded by SAEL. The company will provide technical data from the operating boilers, conduct trials on the prototype boiler as directed by IITM to achieve the objectives.

Jasbir Singh Awla, Managing Director, SAEL, said that this collaboration is poised to indigenise the paddy straw firing technology. Further, around 4000 MW is possible with the straw available in each year in Punjab and Haryana. This 4,000 MW can be generated without greenhouse gases besides saving the land from stubble burning.

On technical contributions being planned under the agreement, V Raghavan of Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Madras, said, starting from systematic fuel characterisation, mathematical models to simulate and understand the salient aspects of paddy straw combustion will be developed, and the operating parameters of the boilers will be optimised. This will enable emission reduction and long-running of boilers fuelled by paddy straw.

Published on December 12, 2019

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