<p>Lemon grass essential oil is used in manufacture of soaps, beauty products, and mosquito repellents. Nearly, 40% of world lemon grass oil is produced in India and Kerala state plays a major role. Valaramkunnu is a village in Wayanad district of Kerala, situated on the top of a hill with 300 inhabitants. The villagers walk for 8 km down the hill for daily wages as there is no other source of income. 25 acres of land is available, where lemongrass is grown naturally. The village had a history of extracting lemon grass oil, has two problems a) Batch operation - oil extraction is limited by equilibrium and b) Fire wood is used as energy source - this results in deforestation and therefore not a sustainable energy source. To address these challenges, a semi-continuous lab scale distillation was set up to overcome the limitation of equilibrium and was tested. The proposed system was initially tested at lab scale. A prototype lemon grass essential oil is setup in Valaramkunnu. For the prototype, a solar steam generation system is chosen. Effects of process parameters such as drying time, steam temperature, distillation time and packing density on oil yield were studied. It was found that 8 times more essential oil can be extracted, when compared to existing commercial methodologies. It is also estimated that, nearly 55 litres of oil per acre per annum may be produced in Valaramkunnu. Based on the current price of lemon grass oil, the villagers are estimated to earn INR 800,000 per annum. The report will describe the socioeconomic disadvantages faced by the study population, limitations of their attempts to address these disadvantages, and the analysis to rationalize projected benefits from the proposed technological and social interventions. © 2016 IEEE.</p>
cited By 0; Conference of 6th Annual IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2016 ; Conference Date: 13 October 2016 Through 16 October 2016; Conference Code:126376
Dr. Udaya Bhaskar Reddy Ragula, Dr. Sriram Devanathan, and Mohan, R., “Solar based lemon grass essential oil distillation for sustainability and livelihood in tribal community”, in GHTC 2016 - IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference: Technology for the Benefit of Humanity, Conference Proceedings, 2016, pp. 738-744.