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Reference Number EP/E045790/1
Title Enhanced biomass production and energy conversion for use in water-scarce areas of India
Status Completed
Energy Categories RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES(Bio-Energy, Applications for heat and electricity) 100%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 80%;
Applied Research and Development 20%;
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 75%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Environmental dimensions) 5%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Technology acceptance) 15%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Other sociological economical and environmental impact of energy) 5%;
Principal Investigator Professor RE Critoph
No email address given
School of Engineering
University of Warwick
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 September 2007
End Date 28 February 2011
Duration 42 months
Total Grant Value £294,073
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region West Midlands
Programme Energy : Energy
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor RE Critoph , School of Engineering, University of Warwick (99.999%)
  Other Investigator Professor PC Eames , Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Loughborough University (0.001%)
Web Site
Abstract The provision of modern energy services is an essential part of alleviating poverty in India and the developing world. Traditionally, biomass has been and remains the principal source of energy for many and it is likely to be a major energy resource of the future. However, the distributed and low-grade nature of biomass makes it essential to introduce more effective means of production and use.Biomass production requires water and land which are also needed for other purposes. Therefore it isimportant to take a holistic view when it comes to making the best use of these finite resources. Rather than viewing energy conversion in isolation, our approach is to introduce technologies having multiple benefits. Thus, we will set up a plantation in the village of Manpura (representative of isolated communities in Rajasthan) to grow crops which can yield not only energy but also food, fodder, soap and botanical pesticides. In Faridabad (a small town in Haryana state) we will grow energy crops but at the same time treat sewage. A small scale tri-generation system, fuelled by biomass, will be developed to provide electricity, ice for food preservation, heat for drying crops and/or pure water for drinking.The development and transfer of these technologies makes use of a great deal of expertise already developed in the UK. For example, the development of the tri-generation system builds on work on refrigeration accomplished at the University of Warwick while introducing the new challenge of making a small-scale device suited to use in developing countries. The work on solar distillation at Aston builds on experience gained in earlier overseas projects but aims to develop UK capacity in this area of growing importance. The combination of sewage-treatment with energy plantations is well tried through recent projects in the UK and Europe; but India presents a whole new set of constraints which need to be taken into consideration.Any technology could fail if specified by the provider rather than by the user and this is especially true when the two are geographically and culturally remote from each other. To minimise this risk, a key element of the work will be the identification of socio-economic success factors through interviews, focus groups and observations in India, facilitated by our partners at IIT-Delhi.The socio-economic study will enable success to be measured where these projects are implemented; but to go beyond that we will carry out modelling, taking into account both the physical systems (plantation, engine, refrigerator, etc.) and the human participants. This modelling will enable us to investigate a variety of future scenarios in which the technologies are implemented.This project is a consortium among the universities of Aston, Warwick, Leeds, Bristol and Coventry with assistance from WRc and in close collaboration with IIT-Delhi
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 31/05/07