In an attempt to curb pollution due to crop burning, Kriya Labs, a start up of IIT-Delhi, has developed a processing technology to convert agro-waste like rice straw into pulp — which can then be used to make several biodegradable products like cups, plates and other tableware.
The project, along with other research and innovation projects, will be on display at the institute’s Open Day, to be held on April 21.
“Unlike existing pulp-making process, which requires heavy machinery and economy of a large scale, our process can be economically integrated and sustainably run even in smaller scales. Additionally, the solvent system developed for the process is also completely biodegradable, non-volatile, made of natural products and completely safe to use,” states a note on Kriya Labs website.
Neetu Singh, a faculty member from the Department of Biomedical Engineering, who’s working on the project, said this would also be profitable for farmers. “The pulp that we make from the waste can be sold for Rs 45 per kg, even by the most conservative estimate. So it would actually be profitable for the farmers, instead of burning the straw. A one tonne processing unit will cost around Rs 35 lakh,” she said.
“We thought of directly selling the products, but we later felt that it would not have a considerable impact. So we’re hoping to sell the technology to governments and companies, which can then be used to make it more widespread,” said Singh.