Can Indi Energy’s Sodium-ion battery solve the problem of stubble burning in India?
October and November are the most festive months of the year in India. Though for northern India, the ecstatic celebrations get marred by the severe pollution levels across the entire region! One of the prominent culprits is Stubble Burning which destabilizes our climate, as well as our health. India’s farmers burn their crop residue twice a year, and the smoke usually dissipates rapidly in the summer. However, during winters, it traps half of our country beneath a thick layer of smog due to the cold weather and reduced wind speed. Indie Energy’s indigenously developed Sodium-ion batteries might just be the answer to India’s burning issue of stubble!
Why do farmers burn stubble in India?
Punjab, Haryana, and Western Uttar Pradesh led the country’s green revolution in 1966 by encouraging farmers to rotate wheat and paddy crops and utilizing modern technology to boost crop production. It was intended to make India self-sufficient in grain production. In recent decades, mechanized combine harvesters have grown in popularity across the country. The reasons for this are the high wages of labor during the harvesting season, a consistent labor shortage, and unpredictable weather. As a result, combined harvesters are the most economical and efficient solution for farmers.
Combine harvesters leave behind a lot of straw stubble that needs to be removed, or else it will attract termites and pests that can damage the next crop. The optimum course of action is to let the stubble decompose and turn it into fertilizer, but this can take one to two months. Farmers, however, do not have enough time because the soil needs to be prepared for the next harvest. The manual removal of stubble is also a financial drain for them and since the paddy residue is high in silica, it makes it unfair for it to be used as animal feed. For these reasons, crop residues are intentionally burned, as they are cheap, convenient, and easy to dispose of.
What are the stubble burning effects on the environment?
During the burning process, carbon monoxide, methane, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and volatile organic compounds are released into the atmosphere, contributing to the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, it substantially contributes to winter haze and smog in Delhi and surrounding states by drastically deteriorating the air quality index.
Furthermore, stubble burning emits fine particulates that can get trapped in the lungs, causing severe respiratory issues and increasing lung cancer risk. Not only do farmers end up suffering health consequences, but burning crop residue adversely affects soil fertility by killing microbes needed to keep the soil nutrient-rich. Aside from that, the heat from the fire penetrates the soil, increasing erosion and moisture loss. This will lead to more disease-prone crops in the future.
Stubble burning alternatives brought by the government
There have been attempts by the government to prevent stubble burning, even banning it. They have offered incentives and pitched alternatives, such as “Happy Seeders,” a machine that cuts stubble and plants wheat seeds at the same time, but renting it is not financially feasible for all farmers. Despite fines, prison sentences, and other punishments, those who burn crop residue do not seem discouraged.
Can this (Stubble) burning issue be countered by Indi Energy?
Indi Energy, an energy storage firm based in Uttarakhand, has developed an effective solution that can prevent this from happening in the future. In place of lead-acid batteries and lithium-ion batteries, they developed their own patented sodium-ion batteries. Indi Energy’s sodium-ion batteries have the distinct advantage of using “hard carbon,” derived from straw stubble and biomass, and have exceptional electrochemical capabilities.
In addition to the fact that biomass is not a scarce resource, Indi Energy will be able to produce its sodium-ion batteries for a fraction of the price, with performance similar to lithium-ion batteries and a much longer lifespan than conventional batteries. It not only helps farmers financially as they can sell their unutilized crop residue but also exceedingly benefits the environment since no crop residues get torched. That is the rationale behind their adoption of the moniker “the common man’s battery” to describe their creation.
The advent of Indi Energy has enabled India’s transformation towards sustainable, independent, and self-sufficient energy production. We should make the most of this opportunity to reverse ecological damage before it’s too late.