IIT Madras inks pact with SAEL

Chennai: Indian Institute of Technology Madras is taking up academia-industry collaboration for technology development in thermal power generation using paddy straw as fuel.

This will be a major boost to tackle ‘stubble burning,’ which causes soil erosion, kills beneficial soil organisms and emits harmful gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide and methane along with particulate matter, a press release said.

SAEL (Sukhbir Ago Engergy Ltd) is in the process of commissioning two 100 per cent paddy straw-based power plants in Punjab, besides implementing two more power plants based on the same fuel in Haryana. These plants are based on the technology provided by Danish companies to the Indian OEMs. Taking this as a threshold, the technology needs to be indigenously adapted to the Indian conditions, which also requires further improvements to achieve better efficiency and reliability.

With this aim, SAEL approached the NCCRD (National Centre for Combustion Research and Development) at IIT Madras to enter into collaboration for conducting research and developmental activities. This would require certain facilities to be constructed at IIT Madras to closely look into the combustion of paddy straw, with funding from SAEL. The results would be put to test for further development in a boiler environment with a facility created, as suggested by IITM, at a centre at one of the power plants of SAEL. The faculties of IIT Madras and NCCRD, as part of this consortium, will provide the expertise to create the facility and carry out the core research, the release said.

With the above background NCCRD at IIT Madras has entered into a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with SAEL which includes detailed research on establishing optimal operation of the power plant with 100 per cent paddy straw through systematic analysis and exploring possibilities of using paddy straw to produce useful fuels, the release said.

NT Bureau