Waya Cottage Energizer

While technology for large-scale waste heat harvesting from biochar or charcoal conversion processes is well-established and widely utilized globally, its adoption by cottage industry-level producers has been hindered by the sophistication and costliness of existing solutions. These systems demand significant investments and specialized maintenance expertise, posing challenges for smaller-scale producers.

Research Team: (From left) Charaka Jayathunga, Arundi Isurini, Kavindi Adikari, Pradeep Wijendra, Lucky Wellalage, Manjula Wickramasinghe (Lead), Suchira Hathurusinghe, Thanya Priyadarshana, Avishka Herath, and Pasan Sanjeeva.

Recognizing this disparity, the above team of researchers from the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Technology has developed a patent-pending technology aimed at bridging this technological gap. Their innovative approach introduces low-tech, cost effective solutions tailored to small-scale biochar conversion processes. By doing so, they aim to empower cottage industry-level producers to harness waste heat energy efficiently. Unlike traditional biomass-burning methods, which are known for their low energy efficiency and detrimental environmental impacts, this novel technology offers a sustainable alternative. By harvesting waste heat energy effectively, it enables the utilization of heat for various low-temperature applications, such as food dehydration. Moreover, it minimizes harmful emissions, thus contributing to environmental conservation efforts.

This breakthrough holds significant promise for enhancing the sustainability and viability of small-scale biochar conversion processes. It not only addresses the technological limitations faced by cottage industry-level producers but also promotes environmentally friendly practices in the field of biomass energy conversion.

AHEAD/RA3/UBL/WUSL/OVAA36 grant under Accelerating Higher Education Expansion and Development (AHEAD) Operation from the World Bank is acknowledged for the financial support. Correspondence: manulaw@wyb.ac.lk