UK engineers create renewable energy solution for India's poor

11 February 2016
By Tereza Pultarova
Mobile version
Share |
A simple device to make renewable fuel for Indian woman has been created by Loughborough University engineers

A simple device to make renewable fuel for Indian woman has been created by Loughborough University engineers

A simple device developed by Loughborough University engineers will give access to cleaner and cheap renewable energy to India’s poor.

The device, a wooden briquette-maker, enables Indian women to make use of paper waste, sawdust and ash, to create biomass briquettes that can be used for heating instead of the more polluting charcoal or wood.

The project is a partnership between Loughborough University, the Russ Foundation, working with disadvantaged women in south India, and the MyIndia enterprise, which aims to tackle fuel poverty in the region.

“MyIndia is an excellent example of a project which is making a real difference to people’s lives,” said Richard Blanchard, Lecturer in Renewable Energy at the Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology at Loughborough University, who developed the technology together with chemical engineering student Matthew Palmer.

“Matthew initially asked me to help out and make a wooden prototype briquette press which could be easily replicated by the Russ Foundation. On my part I’m sharing knowledge and expertise to help people in poverty make a better life for themselves and their families and ultimately be a part of a project that they can take ownership of – this is what it’s all about.”

A metal version of the prototype press has since been made and installed at the charity to allow the women to create low-cost biomass briquettes, earn a wage and gain vocational skills.

The project received £1,500 of funding through the Santander 60 Second Pitch competition after one of the team members posted a 60 second video about the benefits of biomass briquettes.

In India, approximately one million people die annually from respiratory diseases due to household air pollution caused by smoke and fumes from burning firewood and charcoal in an open fire or simple stove with incomplete combustion.

“This project demonstrates the power of collaboration and I hope it inspires other student engineers to take up opportunities outside their degree and get involved with projects such as MyIndia,” said Matthew Palmer. “This is also a great example of students and lecturers working together to share simple engineering knowledge overseas.”

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1605

"We visit Barcelona, one of the smartest cities in the world, to find out what makes it so special. What does it look like and what is the future?"

E&T jobs

  • High Voltage Engineer

    Premium job

    Essex X-Ray & Medical Equipment
    • Great Dunmow, Essex

    This High Voltage Engineer will provide design leadership for high voltage cable assemblies up to one megavolt.

    • Recruiter: Essex X-Ray & Medical Equipment

    Apply for this job

  • Sales Electronics Engineer

    Premium job

    Precision Microdrives
    • London (Greater)
    • £25,000 - £30,000 starting salary, inclusive of on-target commissions.

    Precision Microdrives (PMD) is a fast growing technology company that designs, produces and trades miniature electro-mechanical mechanisms

    • Recruiter: Precision Microdrives

    Apply for this job

  • Smart Grid Research Engineer

    Premium job

    University of Strathclyde
    • Cumbernauld, Glasgow
    • Grade: 6/7* £26,537 - £37,768*

    Work as part of a growing dynamic team on a wide range of technical projects with particular emphasis on experimental validation and testing

    • Recruiter: University of Strathclyde

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Development Engineer, Electronics

    Premium job

    Helmet Integrated Systems / Gentex Corporation
    • Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire
    • Competitive

    We are innovative, robust and fast growing business, whose main focus is to deliver continues improvement to existing products and offer new soluti...

    • Recruiter: Helmet Integrated Systems / Gentex Corporation

    Apply for this job

  • Analogue Electronics Engineer

    Premium job

    Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF)
    • Uppsala (Stad) (SE)

    The Swedish Institute of Space Institute (IRF) in Uppsala search for an analogue electronics engineer.

    • Recruiter: Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF)

    Apply for this job

  • Principal Robotic Systems Engineer

    Premium job

    National Oceanographic Centre
    • Southampton, Hampshire
    • £45,271 to £49,207 per annum

    Responsible for technical oversight and project management of internally and externally funded innovation centre projects.

    • Recruiter: National Oceanographic Centre

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Engineer - Water

    Premium job

    Mott MacDonald
    • Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

    Mott MacDonald's highly successful Water and Environment Unit is recruiting an electrical engineer....

    • Recruiter: Mott MacDonald

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Design Engineer

    Premium job

    Mott MacDonald
    • Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

    Mott MacDonald's highly successful water business continues to win and deliver a fantastic amount of work....

    • Recruiter: Mott MacDonald

    Apply for this job

  • ILS Engineer (Spares Modelling)

    BAE Systems
    • Bristol, England / Glasgow, Scotland / Portsmouth, Hampshire, England
    • Competitive package

    As an ILS Supply and Support Engineer, you will be analysing supplier recommendations related to equipment spares, and carrying out ranging and scaling and modelling, to ensure appropriate equipment availability throughout the life of the ship

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Research Fellow - Power Networks Metrology

    University of Strathclyde
    • Strathclyde
    • £49,230 - £55,389

    The University of Strathclyde seeks an experienced post-doctoral researcher to join their collaborative smart grids research programme.

    • Recruiter: University of Strathclyde

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T