Creating a ‘smokeless’ village in India
Kinnarahalli, a village in the Hassan district of Karnataka State, India has been declared ‘smokeless’ thanks to the World Agroforestry Centre’s Biofuel Programme.
Of the village’s 79 households, 77 are now equipped with biogas facilities which make use of locally available resources, such as cow dung, oil cake from tree-borne oil seeds and other organic wastes.
Oil cake, a by-product of oil extraction from tree-borne oils seeds is used as a catalyst to enhance gas production in biogas plants. Experiments have indicated that a kilogram of oil cake can increase gas production by 200-250 L in a 2 cubic metre biogas plant with a capacity of 2,000 L of gas production per day. This is sufficient for a seven-member family’s cooking energy requirements.
Previously villagers mostly relied on firewood and agricultural waste for their energy requirements.
Kinnarahalli is one of the Biofuel Programme’s pilot villages and will now serve as a model for adjacent communities. To become ‘smokeless’, it has received assistance from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, the District Council of Hassan and the World Agroforestry Centre.
The Biofuels Programme is conducting research along several biofuel value chains, while at the same time strengthening food security and improving the livelihoods of smallholders. It aims to provide alternative clean energy solutions that utilize locally available resources.