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MNNIT scholar generates power from Ganga soil – india news

A research scholar at the department of electrical engineering in Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology (MNNIT), Prayagraj, has developed a technique to generate electricity from the soil of the Ganga riverbed, for which he has been selected for the prestigious Sristi-Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award (GYTI Awards)-2020.

President Ram Nath Kovind will present the award to Jeetendra Prasad, the scholar.

According to Prasad, the technique could come in handy for lighting remote areas of the country.

Using this technology, Prasad successfully charged a 12-volt battery, converted the generated current into AC with a voltage of 230 volts, and illuminated an electric bulb for nine hours.

“The technology will provide a source of power for electronic devices and military wireless sensors in remote areas,” he said.

The GYTI Awards are a Sristi (Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions) initiative to encourage youth-driven technology innovations in 42 categories.

After four stages of evaluation, seven teams are selected for the award and 15 are selected for the Sristi-GYTI appreciation award. MNNIT is the only national institute of technology to receive this award among all 31 institutes in the country this year, according to MNNIT officials.

Much of Prasad’s research work has been published internationally by Wiley, ScienceDirect and IEEE.

Prasad said, “I have developed 35 sediment microbial fuel cell (SMFC) reactors and used 500 grams of Ganga sediment to charge each reactor. Microbes in the sediment create electrons in the anode chamber. These electrons flow from anode to cathode via an electric circuit and produce voltage. Each SMFC reactor generates a voltage of 1.16 volts. By connecting all SMFCs in series-parallel connections, a voltage of 5 volts is harnessed.”

Further, the voltage can be increased up to 12 volts using an electronic circuit. A charged 12 volt battery can then convert it into an AC voltage of 230 volts, which is enough to illuminate an electric bulb for nine hours, he said, adding that this technology does not create pollution while generating electricity.  

This work has been published in Journal of Power Sources in January 2020, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy in July 2020, and International Journal oh Energy Research in 2019.

Prasad was born in Shakkarpur village of Ghazipur district (UP). His father, Ramkrit Prajapati, is a retired electrician who worked with the UP State Bridge Corporation Ltd. Prasad receives a stipend under the Visvesvaraya PhD Scheme for Electronics & IT from the Union Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology.

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