Updated Mar 27, 2019

Harnessing the destructive energy in pine needles for rural energy needs

http://avanibioenergy.com/

Rajnish Jain

Send Message

Our innovation gives economic value to pine needles - by generating usable energy, both electrical and cooking, leading to job creation and carbon emission reduction - which left on the forest floor cause massive forest fires and destroy biodiversity

Pine needles are collected and used in biomass gasification where typically part of the biomass is combusted at regulated oxygen supply, to increase the temperature of the rest to about 1000ºC +, at which the biomass volatizes into producers gas, a mixture of CO, H2, CH3 which are all combustible gases. These gases are then cleaned for use in internal combustion engine to generate power. Trad...
SEE ALL
Pine needles are collected and used in biomass gasification where typically part of the biomass is combusted at regulated oxygen supply, to increase the temperature of the rest to about 1000ºC +, at which the biomass volatizes into producers gas, a mixture of CO, H2, CH3 which are all combustible gases. These gases are then cleaned for use in internal combustion engine to generate power. Traditionally woody biomass has been used in gasifiers to produce electricity. Low density biomass like pine needles is difficult to use in these gasifiers as they do not flow through the system. We have invented the process of using pine needles in these systems. The pine needles are crushed for reducing their size to 10-20 mm, when they are ready for use in the gasifiers. In the process, 10% pine needles come out as residue, which is high quality powdery bio-char. We have also developed the process of using a locally available root tuber as a binder for briquetting this charcoal into high quality fuel briquettes for cooking. 500 grams of these fuel briquettes can cook one meal for a family of 5 people. Our model is to set up small scale decentralised power plants close to where pine needles exist, so no mechanised transportation is required, and bundling them together to create an impact. The gasification process is completely emission free, and exhaust from use of gas for running an engine are a quarter to 1/50th of permission levels allowed for green technologies.
SEE LESS

Stage 4: Transition to Scale

We have set up multiple power plants, are now incubating rural micro-entrepreneurs to set up enterprises using our technology. State policy incentivising use of pine needles and remunerative tariff has sparked considerable entrepreneurial interest.

Focus Areas:

Distributed Generation Systems, Climate Change and Resilience and Economic Empowerment

Distributed Generation Systems, Climate Change and Resilience and Economic EmpowermentSEE LESS

Implemented In:

India

IndiaSEE LESS

80,000
Lives Impacted to Date
12
Key Partners
1
Country Implemented In
102
Customers
10
Employees
$800,000
Funds Raised to Date

Problem

Himalayas have large tracts of pine forests, where recurrent forest fires spread by pine needle litter during dry summer months destroy biodiversity and eco-system services - water, fuel, fodder, herbs and timber, rural poor depend on forest for. This results in severe stress on the communities living around these forests, who are already facing the stress of migration due to lack of livelihood opportunities.

}

Solution

Our innovation has given an economic value to pine needles, creating employment opportunity in its collection to generate usable energy. Our technology gasifies pine needles to generate electricity and charcoal. We are commercialising this by developing rural micro-entrepreneurs who are in the process of setting up power stations, removing the cause of forest fires thus enhancing biodiversity, and generating rural employment, while providing electrical and cooking energy to their communities.

Target Beneficiaries

We aim to serve rural communities who are facing brunt of climate change causing scarcity of water, fodder and cooking fuel, as well as lack of employment opportunities. All these factors are causing stress based migration to urban slums. Women are hugely benefitted by our innovation as it offers an opportunity of making cash income, and enhances eco-system services, collection of which is primarily the burden of women. Our innovation also benefits rural youth by creating employment in villages.

Mission and Vision

We are working to create a a climate adaptive global community which will make economic development while enhancing biodiversity and eco-system, developing a highly sustainable source of energy in an entrepreneurial mode leading to sustainable habitat and massive carbon emission reduction.

Competitive Advantage

Competition is with charcoal briquetting technology: • As opposed to us using all the pine needles available in the area, thus preventing forest fires, they only solve part of the problem by using only 10% of the pine needles, leaving the problem of forest fires and resource degradation as it were; • As opposed to our project generating employment for all families in the village, they generate employment only for a few families as they need few pine needles; • As opposed to us generating more value by generating electricity for driving local economy and creating entrepreneurial eco-system, their activity has no such consequence; • Our business model, through large scale paid collection of pine needles, enables people to have surplus cash income to be able to buy cooking charcoal, while their project has no such fallout, resulting in people not using this fuel; • Ever increasing compliance market for clean electricity due to global concerns for reducing carbon emissions.

Planned Goals and Milestones

We plan to incubate rural micro-entrepreneurs, in order to set up 5 MW of generation capacity across the globe by 2021, where we can provide technology, and financial support to develop 200 viable rural businesses. In order to achieve this, we plan to start an incubation centre, which will provide entrepreneurial and technical training to rural youth and financial support to kick start their businesses.
Funding Goal500,000
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted3,000,000
New Implemented CountriesPeru
Recruit3 management, 2 technical, 2 board, 4 volunteers, 10 maintenance
New FeatureA fully mechanised plant to be managed by one person in each shift.

The Team Behind the Innovation

The team is led by Rajnish Jain, with 25 years of experience in innovation and entrepreneurship, ideates, does fund raising and team building. Chanchal Singh has 15 years of experience and is responsible for developing fool proof prototype. We have a rural team of technology service providers, a network for maintenance support. Ajay Singhal, an engineering graduate is working with business development. Shivani Chowdhary is joining us in April to work with community outreach.

EXECUTIVE TEAM INCLUDES WOMEN

Milestone

Sep 2019
Key Partnership
Other
 
as part of
 Global Social Business Incubator
May 2019
Lives Impacted
80,000
Mar 2019
Recognition ReceivedPENDING
Jan 2012
Recognition ReceivedPENDING
May 2009
Created
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
India

Supporting Materials

Avani-Electricity-from-Pine-Nedles.pdf
women-collecting-pine-needles.pdf
Business-World.pdf