Indian Cleantech firms gearing up for bigger opportunities

by Dave

The Economic Times

The Indian cleantech sector is broadly divided into three areas: clean energy, clean water and sustainable agriculture. Energy includes both generation and efficiency management companies while water has companies that are into filtration, desalination and conservation.

Sustainable agriculture involves the use of hybrid seeds, organic farming practices, cleaner pesticides and fertilisers. One of the early entrants in the Indian cleantech space was Pune-headquartered Praj Industries, which began in 1984 by offering technology, design and machinery to turn molasses (generated during sugar production) into alcohol for biofuels.

That’s been the experience of STEPS or Sustainable Technologies and Environmental Projects, another cleantech company founded by T Raghvendra Rao, an oil and gas sector veteran. It has developed technology to turn waste plastic into diesel and petrol, and is in final stages of negotiations to install its units in companies within India as well as in Spain, the Netherlands, Italy and Germany.

One such company counting on supportive policy changes is SEDEMAC, a start up led by a professor and his former students at IIT-Bombay. SEDEMAC has developed an electronic control unit for fuel injection, which reduces fuel consumption by 10% and emissions by nearly 90% in two wheelers.

HyCa has two patent-pending reactors, respectively, to prevent biofouling in water-cooling towers and cleanse ballast water (carried by empty cargo ships for stability) of invasive marine life. Water-cooling reactors used in sectors such as manufacturing, pharma and engineering goods to carry heat away from overheated systems, are often breeding grounds for biological life.

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