Corn cobs to light up Bihar villages

MNRE plans to use the cobs along with coal to generate thermal power


Sweta Ranjan | February 3, 2011

The ministry of New and renewable energy is soon going to generate electricity using corn cobs. After successful projects of electrification through rice husk the villages in Bihar will see electricity generation using corn cobs.  Sources in the ministry say, “we are going to bring in the technology that converts corn cobs electricity. It will soon gain grounds in Bihar. Due to increase in energy demands, fuel cost, and environmental issues, the reliance of fossil fuel has to be reduced. One of the alternatives is to utilize agricultural residues. The programme aims to utilize locally available corn cobs so that rural areas get electricity for domestic, commercial and industrial purposes, and simultaneously minimizing conventional fuel used for transportation of cobs.”

Initially MNRE has plans to start the corn cob project in Araria, one of the districts located in north-eastern part of Bihar.  This practice may be an opportunity for added income for some farmers. Corn cob is a waste product for farmers who have limited to no alternative use for it. Corn cobs are abundantly available in the north eastern part of Bihar.

There are several reasons for adding corn cobs to coal:

• Abundant in the corn belt

• Good heating value

• Not utilized by most farmers

• Minimal preparation is needed for combustion

• Low in sulfur and ash content

Many villages in Bihar have literally lifted out of darkness with an uninterrupted, self-sufficient power supply, thanks to rice husk power generation system.  And now it is corn cob that will bring in lights in to the darkness.



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