Thematic Area: Livelihood & Skill Development
Project Guides: Dr. Udaya Baskar Reddy Ragula, Department of Chemical Engineering
International Partners: Mick Richards, Douwe Muller, Rutger Ronald Komen, TU Delft, Netherlands
Amrita Partners: Challa Mahesh Reddy, Nidhin T. Madhu, Prithvi G., Department of Chemical Engineering
Village: Mothakara, Kerala
However, with recent government restrictions on cutting trees, villagers’ options for earning an income began dwindling. With the inability to collect and sell wood, which is burned in the distillation process that produces the lemongrass oil, villagers were forced to find work elsewhere. With the inability to find consistent work, villagers soon entered a sustained state of poverty.
Guided by Dr. Ragula, students from TU Delft and Amrita conducted a field survey to identify locally available resources, including sources of renewable energy, with a goal of designing and building a low-cost and sustainable distillation unit for villagers.
After several meetings with villagers and group discussions among themselves, the team proposed to set up a solar thermal-based steam distillation unit to distill oil from the lemongrass plant. After consulting with villagers about the proposed idea, the team designed and deployed a prototype solar-powered steam distillation unit at a mutually agreed upon plot of land in the village.
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.
Addresses Sustainable Development Goals: