Amid raging concerns over the energy crisis, one of the earlier research institutes in India has claimed that it has achieved experimental success in generating electricity from tapioca leaves.
Under the aegis of the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), the institute constituting the Central Tuber Research Institute (CTCRI), Thiruvananthapuram, has emerged with an innovation that is expected to give impetus to the initiative of the country for clean energy sources.
The Tapioca Energy Project was funded by the Department of Atomic Energy and is led by Dr. CA Jayaprakash, Principal Scientist, CTCRI. He said the idea of generating electricity struck him as he considered using the bio-waste produced after extracting insecticidal molecules from cassava leaves, The New Indian Express reported.
‘Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat’
The experience was demonstrated before a group of journalists from Himachal Pradesh visited the CTCRI on Friday, April 29. They visited under the aegis of the Press Information Bureau (PIB) as part of the “Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat” project, an official statement said on Saturday.
The statement read: “Waste after the mechanical extraction of insecticidal molecules from tapioca leaves was subjected to methanogenesis. Subsequently, pure methane was separated from the gas complex by removing unwanted gases,” quoted The Week. .
Further, the statement adds, “About 5 tonnes of leaves and twigs are wasted per hectare of tapioca harvest. This shows the potential for generating electricity from the success of this experiment,” the publication quotes.
Team leader Jayaprakas credited several others for the success of the project. He said Dr. Rajalekshmi, a chemist, and PhD students Sreejith S and Joseph Tom also helped him realize this ambitious project.
As the clean energy concept was developed from cassava (tapioca), the end product was dubbed ‘Cassa Dipah’, which was a by-product of the biopesticide manufacturing process.
According to the preliminary estimate, 1 kWh of electricity can be generated from 7 kg of cassava (tapioca) leaves. The scientist believes that further exploration of the topic could lead to another source of income for cassava growers.
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