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Power Minister RK Singh virtually Launches ‘Green Charcoal Hackathon’ to focus on technology to convert Farm Residue into Green Charcoal

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Power minister launches Green Charcoal HackathonOn December 1, 2020, Minister of State (MoS) (Independent Charge) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Raj Kumar Singh virtually launched ‘Green Charcoal Hackathon’ to deliberate on technology to convert Farm Residue into Green Charcoal. The hackathon has been organised by Energy Efficiency Service Limited (EESL) & NVVN (NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation Limited) Vidyut Vyapar Nigam).


The hackathon has been launched with an aim of attaining clean air through elimination of farm fire and producing renewable energy out of the agro residue making use of the innovative Indian Minds.

Dignitaries Present:

Ashish Upadhyay, Additional Secretary of Power, Gurdeep Singh, Chief Managing Director (CMD) of NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd), AK Gautham, Chairman of NVVN, Mohit Bhargava, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NVVN were present during the virtual event.

Combating Air Pollution:

i.Burning of Stubble and Agro residue by Local Farmers is one of the major contributors for Air Pollution in Delhi and other parts of India.

ii.In order to tackle it, NVVN is looking for technologies to convert agricultural waste into a form to be used by Power Plants.

iii.NVVN is considering the option of Torrefaction (a thermal process to convert biomass into a coal-like material) to convert agro residue to Green Charcoal.

Highlights from the Launch:

i.The Hackathon has been launched to reduce India’s Carbon footprint.

ii.Emphasis is on Commercial Model (Cost of Machine & Charcoal Production) & Lesser emission during the process of conversion of agro residue into green charcoal.

iii.Cash Prizes of up to INR 24 Lakhs have been announced to encourage the participants.

iv.The Hackathon also has 3 Categories. They are

  • Category – I –Technology for Production of 100 kg per day of Torrefied Biomass Pellets
  • Category – II – Technology for Production of 1000 kg per day of Torrefied Biomass Pellets
  • Category – III – Technology for Production of 10 Tonnes per day of Torrefied Biomass Pellets

Capacity of India’s Power Plants:

Power Plants are the biggest consumers of Charcoals.  A 1, 000 MegaWatt (MW) is capable of consuming 5 Million Tonnes of Coal annually.

i.India’s total coal-based power generation capacity is around 2 Lakh MW consuming around 1, 000 Million Tonnes of coal annually.

ii.If India replaces 10 % of 1, 000 Million Tonnes of Coal with Green Charcoal it will require about 160 Million Tonnes of Agro residue and Municipal waste, which will wipe out the entire unused agro residue in India.

iii.Green Charcoal is capable of generating 20, 000 MW of renewable power and generates a revenue of INR 50, 000 Crore per year.

Recent Related News:

i.On July 20, 2020, Minister of State (MoS) for Power, and New & Renewable Energy, Raj Kumar (RK) Singh inaugurated two initiatives by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) focusing on energy efficiency (EE), improving indoor air quality (IAQ) and promoting e-mobility.

About Energy Efficiency Service Limited (EESL):
Chairman –  Rajeev Sharma
Headquarters – New Delhi

About NVVN (NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam):
Chairman – AK Gautham
Headquarters – New Delhi