It can make efficient use of agro-residues

In order to achieve more efficient use of agro-residues, it is essential to give them density so that one could make them into compact pieces of definite shape and high thermal value.

Briquetting is one of the several compaction technologies, P. Murugesa Boopathi, Vice-Chancellor of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, said here recently.

Inaugurating a briquetting plant at the university, the Vice-Chancellor said TNAU had developed briquetting technologies using agro-residues for the first time in the country, which were under testing.

“Agro-residues are free, or of low cost, are indigenous, and serve as abundant sources of energy. These are bulky, low in combustion and liberate smoke copiously.

“The direct burning of these in domestic and industrial applications is inefficient and is associated with wide scale air pollution. Hence, the need to put them to efficient use is essential,” Mr. Boopathi said.

S. Santhana Bosu, Dean (Agricultural Engineering), TNAU, said the project on “Value Chain on Biomass based Decentralised Power Generation for Agro Enterprises” was being operated by the Department of Bio-energy of the university, and funded by the National Agricultural Innovation Project.

The main objective of the project was to make briquettes from agro-residues and to use them to generate producer gas for thermal and power generation.

“Almost all agro-residues can be briquetted. Agro-residues such as tapioca waste, groundnut shell, cotton stalk, pigeon pea stalk, and castor husk can be briquetted and used instead of wood or coal,” Mr. Bosu said.

For details, contact P. Venkatachalam, Head, Department of Bio-energy, TNAU, Coimbatore – 641003; or call 0422-6611276; e-mail to bioenergy@tnau.ac.in