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Bihar’s Husk Power Systems (HPS), a award winning rural electrification company, has got second round of financial support from Shell Foundation to further scale up operations of their unique biomass gasification technology which converts rice husks into electricity.

HPS, currently owns and operates 35-100 kW “mini power-plants” that deliver electricity as a pay-for-use service to villages of 2,000 to 4,000 inhabitants in West Champaran district of Bihar. Each plant becomes operationally profitable in the first six months of operations.

HPS has successfully implemented projects in 50 villages in Bihar and will expand its footprint to 100 villages in 2009, 400 in 2010, and 2000 in 2012.

Rice husks (the casing on the outside of rice grains) have traditionally been discarded. However, upon heating, rice husk releases gas and which HPS uses to run modified diesel engines to generate electricity. The waste product of the process is high in silica and can be sold to concrete manufacturers.