CHANDIGARH (TIP): Alarmed bymassive stubble burning in vastagricultural fields of the state — thattriggered massive smog in Delhi —Punjab’s first-ever IIT has developed atech marvel to bring an end to thedisastrous practice by the farmers.The inexpensive prototype, namedas community bio-oil generationplant, has been made at a cost of justRs 19,000 at IIT-Ropar.The machine will be used for twopurposes — To extract bio-oil fromwheat as well as rice straw, and rundiesel engine with its blending in theratio of 70 (diesel):30 (bio-oil).Stowed away in the rural hinterlandof India’s cereal bowl, Ropar hadrecently emerged as the mostattractive talent pool for themultinationals among the new IITswhen two of its students walked awaywith offers worth $105,000 or Rs 63lakh per annum (LPA) at a U.S-basedhealth major Epic systems.
The project was completed within aspan of two months, under IIT Ropar’sflagship programme Rural TechnologyAction Group (RUTAG).A budget of Rs 2.15 crore has beenallocated for RUTAG under the grantssanctioned by the principal scientificadvisor to Union government of India.”The objective is to help farmersrealise that stubble burning is a deathcausingpractice. From toxic soot to asignificant amount of carbon dioxideis released from straws, there is ahuge danger there,” said ProfHarpreet Singh, the RUTAG facilitatorat IIT Ropar.
The technology is suchthat the plant first converts strawsinto pellets, using a pelletiser, andthen goes to pyroformer andcondenser to convert into either of byproducts:bio-oil or bio char.On November 5 last year, the NASAimages had shown Punjabpockmarked with red dots whichcorresponded to paddy stublle blazesdeliberately lit by farmersOn an average, 23.5 million strawsare put on fire by the farmers everyyear. And, an estimated 12 megatonnesof CO2, a greenhouse gas, is said to bereleased in the air through this .
Besides, the environment expertsalso say that the soil also loses itsfertility and farmer-friendly insectsand micronutrients.IIT Ropar even experimented usingbio-char as manure for growing onionsand found that the yield was better at3780 g/litre of water than without biocharat 3320 g/litre. This no-mean featcomes just at a right time for IIT Roparwhen it would be holding theconvocation of is first-ever batch onFebruary 2.