Ajay Kumar, 32, does not spend much money on fuel to light his house during load-shedding. He uses a kg of ammonium carbide, procured at Rs.80 a kg, for the purpose.

It started when he first mixed a small quantity of ammonium carbide powder with water.

Spark

Though he had a hard time putting out the resultant fire, it also sparked off the idea of looking at the compound as a source of energy, Mr. Kumar, who runs a service centre for LPG cylinders, said.

“The model that I have made is handy and uses ammonium carbide which is available in almost all chemicals stores. For a kg of ammonium carbide, we need to add just two large spoons of water in a tight container. A lamp is fixed to the pipe that is attached to this container. And with an adjustable knob, we have a fuel-efficient lamp,” Mr. Kumar, a native of Vazhayila, said.

Out of a crisis

It was high time that people switched to alternative sources of lighting as the State was facing a power crisis, he said.

Apart from the carbide lamps, Mr. Kumar had also come up with a gas leak detector.

Sensor

He claimed that detector could sense gas leaks effectively, thereby giving enough response time.

The detector worked on sensors and the instrument could be installed innocuously in some corner, he said.

The detector had been installed at places such as the food court at Technopark, he added.

Mr. Kumar may be contacted on 93497 61454.