International Partners: Ayomide Fatunde, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), U.S.
Amrita Partners: Nishok Ilangovan, Neeraj Raghuraman, Pranav Nithin, and Mullapadi Sai, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Sciences
Village: Byse, Karnataka
Project Duration: 1 month
Identified Challenge & Aim:
Many rural residents do not have access to sustainable sources of energy, especially for heating their homes and for cooking. Current methods force villagers to crouch over small, make-shift, fires that burn wood, charcoal, and cow dung thereby causing health problems and an increase in air pollution.
Students held several group discussions with villagers to understand some of the current challenges they face. Through the discussions, villagers expressed their need for more robust fuel options. Based on this feedback, students conducted a field survey to understand current sources of energy and potential sources of energy given the naturally available resources in the village.
The team discovered that current methods employed to heat homes and power cook-stoves are largely unsustainable, cause long breathing problems, and increases air pollution in and around the village.
After collecting the required data from the preliminary field visit, the team went back to campus to design a prototype system that would meet the needs of the villagers. Once the prototype was made, the team traveled back to the village and worked with village residents to determine the best place to install the prototype system.
Once a consensus was reached, the system, a single 200 L anaerobic digester was deployed. The team then went about testing the system to identify and record possible limitations households would face when using the digester.