Young innovator Darshil Panchal creates briquetting machine to manage agri waste

We are in the 21st Century today, where we utilize all the advanced technologies and yet, if you go out into rural India, you find a totally different scenario. Rural India has a lot of undiscovered wealth. If you look at the current scenario in the villages, you find that there are a lot of resources such as agri-waste generated in the farms, sawdust, waste paper, cow dung cakes etc., which is seen as just waste due to lack of proper knowledge about its potential.

Agri-waste management in rural farms

In contrast, waste management has always been a herculean task in urban cities, while in villages, it is totally neglected. Household garbage and agri-waste either ends up piled on the roads or burnt carelessly as there is no proper solid waste management system in place. This leads to a lot of pollution. Despite various schemes by the government to provide LPG connections at subsidized prices, rural women tend to use firewood for cooking, which has a lot of ill effects on their health and also the environment. On the other end, there is a lot of agro-waste being generated in farms. Can’t there be a solution that helps the rural communities to turn the waste into a resource?

“Yes, it can be”, emphatically says Darshil Panchal, Managing Partner of S K Engineers. Darshil pursued Master of Science in Industrial Engineering from New York University, USA and returned to India to join his family-owned company, S K Engineers. Established in 2011 by a group of technocrats, it is a company based in Vapi Industrial Estate, Vapi, Gujarat.

During his company’s work with NM Sadguru Foundation, Darshil worked closely among rural communities and observed the lack of a reliable source of cooking fuel. In the search for a solution to this problem, Darshil came across boilers that used briquettes instead of coal. Agricultural waste is being generated in abundant quantities was procured from the rural communities by briquetting plant owners who in turn make briquettes out of it and supply it to boiler plants. On the other hand, rural farmers burn away the agricultural waste generated at their farms without realizing its potential.

Understanding this, Darshil ideated on manufacturing a manual version of a briquetting machine to manage agri waste, which could prove to be a boon to rural India, especially women. Since   S K Engineers work closely with various NGOs and voluntary organizations that work for the cause of rural upbringing, they came up with an appropriate solution for the effective management of various types of waste such as agro waste, fodder, kitchen waste, paper/plastic/cardboard waste, etc.

S K Engineers innovated three different models of the manual briquetting machine:

  • Briquetting Lever Press – ‘BLP’
  • Briquetting Jack – ‘B-JACK’
  • Briquetting Hydraulic Jack – ‘B-HACK’

Briquetting machine to manage agri waste

All kinds of household and agro-waste material such as kitchen waste, sawdust, fodder, cow dung, trash paper and others are first shredded into tiny pieces. This mixture is then blended together with little water and cow dung to create a slurry. Once the slurry is ready, it is poured into the cylindrical cavity of the BLP machine and the lever is pressed to start the compression process. Then the compressed slurry is removed and dried in the sun and the briquette is ready. These briquettes can be directly used at home as an alternative fuel for cooking or can also sold in the market at a price of INR7-10 per kg to earn extra income.

The briquettes produced are pretty light in weight and can easily be stored or transported. Compared to uncompressed waste, briquettes burn comparatively for a longer duration. This lightweight machine can be easily installed by anyone at any place and also be dismantled for transportation. The ready waste available at farm location becomes the raw material and input to this machine and various briquettes are formed. So, BLP brings extra income to rural families and improves their economic condition.

Technical Specifications

Briquetting Lever Press Briquetting Jack Briquetting Hydraulic Jack
Capacity / hr

20-25 briquettes

35-40 briquettes

48-56 briquettes

Daily production

40 Kg

64 Kg

90 Kg

Price (with GST)

INR15,500 INR21,000

INR28,000

Quoted capacity is for 2 manual laborers working 8 hours per day

Working closely with rural communities helped S K Engineers to fabricate a few more innovative machines:

  1. Manual Dry Powder Blender (Required for mixing of dry powder)
  2. Manual Baler Machine
  3. Manual Nursery Seeder Workstation

They designed these handy equipments with the following properties:

  • Power: No electricity requirement
  • Mobility: Compact enough to easily store & transport
  • Lightweight: Can be lifted with ease even by women (BLP only)
  • Negligible after-sales service expenses on the customer side
  • Briquette size: Large enough to burn for comparatively long time
  • Design: The products are specially engineered to suit the purpose

Manual Baler Machine

Generally, plastic waste, multi-layered plastic packaging, paper waste, cardboard, farm waste etc., do not have much value since they are too bulky to transport easily. Understanding this problem, Darshil Panchal innovated a new type of manual baler machine that helps to effectively manage waste and transport them in an organized way. This product can be used by any waste recycler or rag picker communities to manage waste in an organized manner and sell it to companies to earn more income.

This Manual Baler Machine can be easily transported since it has the provision of wheels. It is easy to operate and highly economical as there is no maintenance required for it. Effective compression enables it to remove voids and compress the maximum amount of waste material which in turn helps in the reduction of empty space during transportation.

Tech Specs for Manual Baler Machine

  • Average size of waste that can be baled – 600 mm x 600 mm x 600 mm
  • Bale weight – upto 40 Kg
  • Time taken to produce one bale – 10 minutes
  • Daily production – 1,280 Kg
  • Price – INR30,000

These machines are unique since they need no electricity and very less manual power and are easily installable & operable. With the Briquetting machine, the agri waste is turned into resources and used as cooking fuel and also earn income by selling the excess briquettes produced. And the Baler machine is another income generator as the waste is managed and transported effectively. The only resource needed to put in is human energy. Not much financial capital is required for setting up the machines.

Already numerous NGOs and rural development organizations have bought these machines and utilized them for waste management and income generation. You can contact S K Engineers here.

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Goutham Veerabathini
Goutham Veerabathini is a Civil Engineer who is very passionate about upcoming green innovations. Being an eco-enthusiast he takes up challenges for promoting social causes. In this regard, he works with an NGO called Street Cause. Goutham also loves socializing.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Very nice idea Sir, but i have a question – how much small pieces we should chop our agri-waste? what machine we should use?

    • Dear Navin,
      Thank you for your query.
      There are two options available in the market.
      One, one can go for a manual thrasher machine (one which is used for making livestock for animals). This will help to chop down agri-waste which is loose in nature like pine needles, rice husk, etc. It will approximately aid to chop in variable sizes. But one should take care that the chopped size should be between 4-10 mm. NOT MORE!
      Second, one can go for an electric shredder machine. This will aid to convert the agri-waste similar to saw-dust. This option is essential when one has to use agri-waste like coconut shell, fallen tree trunks, etc.

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