IIT Bhubaneswar team led by Dr. Remya Neelanchery, Assistant Professor, SIF bagged the Innovation award and cash prize at the prestigious Green Charcoal Hackathon, a technology challenge organized by National Thermal Power Plant (NTPC) and Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL). The event is organized with a motto to fast track the development of technology to convert agro residue to charcoal in the pursuit of reducing carbon foot print. The purpose of the event is to bridge the technology gap with the prime objective to clean the air by eliminating farm fire, to produce renewable energy from agro residues, to promote local entrepreneurship, and to increase the income of the farmers. The competition has witnessed exceptional submissions from across the country.

Speaking about the distinctive achievement, Prof. R.V. Raja Kumar, Director, IIT Bhubaneswar complemented the winning team and wished that participation and winning becomes a practice at the institute. He further mentioned that each faculty member of the institute should strive to foster innovative thinking and creativity amongst their students, in class rooms, laboratories and beyond. He reiterated that the Institute feels proud by constantly raising the standards on all fronts including internationalization of academic programmes, international collaborations on research of high industrial & societal relevance. 

The award winning team, Dr Remya Neelancherry, Shardul Narde (MTech student) and Neha Shukla (research scholar) designed a microwave torrifier and pelletizer plant to produce 100 kg/d of charcoal from rice straw, one of the agricultural residues. The team presented the complete process and instrumentation of microwave torrifier, torrefaction operation details and business model canvas. The designed technology is capable of converting agro residue to charcoal at a faster rate compared to conventional method. In addition, the charcoal pellets obtained from the process showed heating value comparable to that of coal. Along with this stunning achievement, the team will also receive financial assistance from NTPC for the development of machine prototype on the basis of mutually accepted terms and conditions.

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