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India-Sweden join forces against stubble burning to deal with air pollution
The India-Sweden Dialogue on innovations for sustainable development and partnership that took off on Monday saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sweden's King Carl Gustaf do a virtual launch of the technology, tested in pilot mode, that can be useful in combatting the problem of stubble burning. The stubble burning in states surrounding Delhi is seen as one of the major factors behind the post Diwali smog and rise in pollution. Currently operational in pilot mode, the technology involving a torrification process converts paddy straw to green bio coal. The pilot located in Mohali's National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute campus has a capacity of converting 150-200 kilograms of paddy straw to bio coal every hour and reduce Co2 emissions by 95 percent. The energy potential of the current pilot project in Punjab is pitched at 15000 Mega Watts. The plant plan, if scaled up using the technology at hand, has a potential to convert two tonnes of paddy straw per hour to bio coal. The biocoal generated can be readily mixed with coal being used across thermal power plants thereby helping power plant operators to meet their blending obligations. According to details shared on the official Twitter handle of the Swedish Embassy in India, the pilot project to convert agricultural waste to bio coal has been set-up with the support India's Principal Scientific Adviser's office and department of biotechnology in collaboration with Swedish company Bioendev to tackle crop stubble burning and air pollution in India." The Embassy also shared a video in the same tweet showing the process of converting paddy straw to bio coal at Mohali. According to Business Sweden delegation here the pilot is seen as an important step in Indo-Swedish joint effort to showcase technologies working on a circular economy approach and reduce stubble burning.