Amid growing concerns over the energy crisis, one of the foremost research institutes of the country claimed that it has achieved experimental success by generating electricity from tapioca leaves.
The Central Tuber Research Institute (CTCRI), Thiruvananthapuram , under the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), has come up with the new invention that can offer new impetus to India’s initiative for clean energy sources.
The efforts of the team led by Dr C A Jayaprakash, Principal Scientist, CTCRI have borne fruit under the project funded by the Department of Atomic Energy.
The experiment was presented before a group of journalists from Himachal Pradesh, who visited CTCRI on Friday under the aegis of Press Information Bureau under the ‘Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat’ project, an official release said here on Saturday.
“Wastage after the mechanical extraction of insecticidal molecules from tapioca leaves was subjected to Methanogenesis. Subsequently, pure methane was segregated from the gas complex by scrubbing off unwanted gases,” it said.
As the electricity was generated from cassava (tapioca), the end product has been christened as CASSA DIPAH.
“Approximately 5 tons of leaves and twigs are wasted per hectare of tapioca harvest. This shows the potential of generating electricity from the success of this experiment,” it added.
Meanwhile, India has cancelled some passenger trains to allow for faster movement of coal carriages as the nation scrambles to replenish depleting inventories at power plants in a bid to avoid a full-blown power crisis.
A scorching summer is driving demand for coal, which helps generate about 70% of the country’s electricity. Several parts of India are facing long hours of blackouts, while some industries are cutting output due to the fossil fuel’s shortage, threatening the economy’s revival from the pandemic-induced slump. The risk of a further spike in inflation is rising at a time when the government is struggling to rein in high energy prices fueled by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Coal reserves at India’s power plants have declined almost 17% since the start of April and are barely a third of the required levels. The supply crunch comes just months after a crippling power crisis last autumn saw coal stockpiles plunge to an average four days, triggering blackouts in several states.
Electricity demand has jumped as temperatures have soared in many parts of India, prompting the weather department to issue heat-wave warnings. The country’s average temperature reached almost 92 degrees Fahrenheit (33 degrees Celsius) in March, the highest on record for the month since authorities started collecting the data in 1901.