IIT Guwahati develops new low-cost improved natural draught charcoal retort

Guwahati: Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, have developed a unique low-cost 'Improved Natural Draft Charcoal Retort' (INDCR) to help Indian charcoal producers overcome technological and capital investment problems.

Charcoal is commonly utilised as a heating fuel in both home and industrial settings. While most industrialised countries employ the retort technology to create industrial charcoal, it was not available to Indian charcoal producers due to technological limitations and the necessity for a larger capital expenditure.

"Upon further evaluation and mentorship by the NTPC officials, the developed reactor has been given an opportunity to be demonstrated at the NTPC township of Ramagundam Thermal Power Station in Telangana to produce charcoal from Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) of five tonnes per day," according to an IIT Guwahati release.

Professors at the Department of Chemical Engineering at IIT Guwahati, Dr. Arun Kumar Chandrasekaran and Dr. Senthilmurugan Subbiah, who were the key designers of the INDCR system, have filed for an Indian patent for the design of this unique reactor. The technical details of the reactor, as well as its performance, were published in the American Chemical Society's prestigious peer-reviewed journal aEnergy & Fuels Journal.

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