Distinguished Lecture by Roey Rosenblith and Gyan Ranjan-Carnegie Mellon University in Rwanda - Carnegie Mellon University

Distinguished Lecture: "How to transform agricultural residue into electricity?- Biomass gasification for rural and industrial electrification"

By Roey Rosenblith and Gyan Ranjan

19h00, Friday, 5 October 2012
CMU-R, 4th Floor Telecom House

Abstract: Husk Power Systems ( www.huskpowersystems.com ) is an Indian company that is working on large scale rural electrification projects involving a technology called biomass gasification. The technology is pretty old (it’s been around since 1839) and basically it involves burning agro-residue (maize cobs, coffee husks, rice husks, cotton stalks, sawdust) etc. in a low oxygen environment. When that happens two products are created: syngas and char dust. The syngas (mostly carbon monoxide and hydrogen) after filtration can be used to run a gas fired generator to produce electricity and the char dust can be briquetted to make affordable charcoal briquettes. So the technology can basically power a village or a factory while also providing a side stream of cooking fuel that can replace traditional wood charcoal.

Mandulis Energy is the company commercializing this technology in East Africa. You can check out their solution on the video below:

Biography: Roey Rosenblith is the Chief Operating Officer of Mandulis Energy and Director of Village Energy. Roey holds a BsC Political Science and Biology, Minor Environmental Science. Roey has been working in the biofuel, biomass, and renewable energy sector since 2005 where he was the founder and chairman of Cape Fear Biofuels which distributed biodiesel to more than 500 members at five different fueling stations which the organization built in the south eastern region of North Carolina. At the same time he was working with an NGO that designed and disseminated agro-processing technology for small farmers in the developing world. At this time he began working on a project in Uganda to increase the amount of agro-residue, namely groundnut shells, collected by Hima Cement. Later he would work as Assistant to the President of the North Carolina Biofuels Center which disseminated almost $5 million in grants and loans to academic research projects and businesses involved in the biofuel and biomass sector. In 2009 he co-founded Village Energy, which has distributed solar systems to nearly 3,000 households in Uganda. In the spring of 2011 he co-founded Mandulis Energy to bring biomass gasification technology to Uganda.