“Monoculture pine forests that have infested the middle level elevations of Himalayan region are depriving the local population of availability of water, fodder and fuel wood.
On one hand, pine needles which litter the forest floor during dry summer months form a carpet on the soil causing the rainwater to run down the slopes before it percolates into the soil. On the other hand, the highly inflammable pine needles cause forest fires which deprive all other species except pine (trunk being fire resistant) from regenerating.
In continuation of our work with appropriate technology, AVANI has been exploring the possibility of harnessing the destructive energy of pine needles that litter the forest floor. We have been working on the idea of using pine needles as feedstock for a biomass gasifier to produce electricity.
After many years of exploring and researching, a 9 kW pine needle gasifier system has been developed and installed in this year, as a pilot, at AVANI campus. This system is fully operational and generates 9 KW of electricity. Out of this 9 KW, 1.5 KW is consumed for running the system and a continuous output of 7.5 KW is available for productive use such as welding and calendering applications. Work is also ongoing to study the economic viability of such systems and a report will be brought out once the studies are complete.”