Amid the raging concerns over the energy crisis, one of the prior research institutes in India has claimed that it has accomplished experimental success by generating electricity from tapioca leaves.
Under the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), the constituent institute Central Tuber Research Institute (CTCRI), Thiruvananthapuram, has emerged with an innovation expected to bring momentum to the country's initiative for clean energy sources.
The tapioca power project has been funded by the Department of Atomic Energy and is led by Dr C A Jayaprakash, Principal Scientist, CTCRI. He said that the idea of generating electricity knocked him as he thought of utilising the biowaste produced after extracting insecticidal molecules from the cassava leaves, reported The New Indian Express.
'Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat'
The experiment was demonstrated before a group of journalists from Himachal Pradesh visited CTCRI on Friday, April 29. They visited under the Press Information Bureau (PIB) umbrella under the 'Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat' project, an official release said here on Saturday.
The release read, "Wastage after the mechanical extraction of insecticidal molecules from tapioca leaves was subjected to Methanogenesis. Subsequently, pure methane was segregated from the gas complex by scrubbing off unwanted gases," quoted The Week.
Further, the release added, "Approximately 5 tons of leaves and twigs are wasted per hectare of tapioca harvest. This shows the potential of generating electricity from the success of this experiment," quoted the publication.
The team leader Jayaprakas credited several others for the project's success. He said Dr Rajalekshmi, a chemist, and PhD scholars Sreejith S and Joseph Tom, too, assisted him in pulling off the ambitious project.
As the concept of clean energy was developed from cassava (tapioca), the end product has been christened 'Cassa Dipah', which was a by-product of the biopesticide manufacturing process.
As per the preliminary estimation, 1 kWh of electricity can be generated from 7 KG of cassava (tapioca) leaves. The scientist believes that further exploration of the subject might lead to another source of income for cassava farmers.