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IIT Mandi Organized Workshop on Eco-Friendly Utilization of Pine Needle

Monday, 29 October 2018, 19:11 IST
By SiliconIndia

Indian Institute of Technology Mandi’s Centre for Innovative Technology for the Himalayan Region (CITHR) organized a workshop on eco-friendly utilization of pine needle for benefit on 25th October 2018 at the campus. The main objective was to make people aware about the use of dry pine needles and induce them to set up a pine needle based industry.

Pine needles’ non-biodegradable and highly inflammable nature poses as a threat to the ecosystem, forest biodiversity and local economy in the Himalayan region. Centre for Innovative Technology for the Himalayan Region (CITHR) proposes to address the challenge of utilizing pine needles for social benefit by making pellets which can be used as fuel for domestic & industrial purposes. CITHR has been working on this from last three years, and now it has successfully prepared the briquettes and pellets from pure pine needles and the mixing of pine needles with other biomasses. These briquettes provide more heat at a lower cost and are less harmful to the environment in comparison to the wood or coal. In small and large industries, the briquettes can be used as a fuel in place of wood and coal while on the other hand, they can also be extensively used to cook food in secure manner. In addition to the pine needle, the machine can be used for making briquettes of wood dust (Sawdust), sugarcane peels, rice straw, wheat straw and dry leaves. The Centre has now its own briquette and pellet production plant set up in IIT Mandi campus and receives the financial as well as resource support of Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India. The Government of Himachal Pradesh has also announced a subsidy of fifty per cent, up to 25 lakh, for one unit, on capital expenses for pine needle based plants.

The workshop witnessed participation from Mr. S.S Kashyap, District Forest Officer (DFO), Mandi, representatives from the Forest Department, Gram Pradhan’s of the region, ward members, Industrial partner - Infinity Energy Pvt. Ltd., Delhi, ACC cement, local and social groups like FMCs, MahilaMandal, YovakMandal and many more experts.

Mr. S.S Kashyap, District Forest Officer (DFO), Mandi, says, “We all have to work together and install the machine at the earliest so that we can contribute to human mankind and this will be a big step to save our biodiversity and environment.  We will give our best so that everyone can avail this facility from the Government and every group and individual can install without any difficulty”.

Dr.Arti Kashyap, Principal Project Investigator, Centre for Uplifting Himalayan Livelihood (UHL), says “Saving forests and preserving the environment is not a responsibility of a single entity rather it requires a combined effort of society, government and technical expertise from institutes like IIT. We at IIT Mandi have developed a technique for eco-friendly utilization of pine needles which is low cost. We also participated in designing the policy which is launched very recently. HP Govt. has not only announced subsidy but is also ready to help in the collection. We hope to see this whole exercise evolve as a successful business while helping the environment”.

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