Biochar to address stubble burning in India

The northern states in India every year burn the stubble remains after crop yield. This contributes to the air pollution in Indian cities of Delhi, making it a huge problem to tackle.

Pyropower is a startup active in the field of sustainability. Pyropower wants to introduce their services for Indian market, to solve the problem of stubble burning in Northern India. The company intends to address the problem through the introduction of biochar systems in the Indian context. To bring such systematic change, Pyropower joined forces with the government, local bodies, academic institutions etc. How will such business model look like?

Biochar systems

A Biochar system is a combination of waste management, biochar, energy and carbon credit streams working together to build a suitable solution. Biochar is a carbon-rich product of pyrolysis of organic waste. Biochar, due to its hollow microscopic structure is beneficial for different sectors such as pharmaceuticals, agriculture, construction etc.

Energy in the form of heat is also obtained as a product of pyrolysis, which can be utilised for drying the waste or generating electricity.

Overall, during pyrolysis, carbon is not emitted, instead, carbon gets trapped to form biochar, which results in the carbon-negative operation of the whole system, due to which one can gain carbon credits.

Understanding the context

We started with understanding the context in which Pyropower wants to introduce its technology. We conducted interviews with local farmers, other knowledge holders such as news reporters, and professors to identify the root cause and different viewpoints of different stakeholders.

By building a context map we visualised the different needs of different stakeholders. We researched government policies and actions they took to solve the problem. We also looked at social problems and inspiring stories from the region.

Managing complexities through value designing

We identified around 10 main stakeholders. Using value modelling blueprint, we devised the value exchange between these stakeholders. Visualising the value exchange helped is to easily capture the whole ecosystem of the proposed business. It also helped to simplify the next stages of business model development.

Multisided business models

To capture/provide suitable value to each stakeholder, multiple business models are needed to work together and achieve the stated results. Using business model canvas we formulated different business models to show different ways of capturing the value. The business plan was then proposed to the government as a possible solution for the stubble burning problem.

We created a 3 stage roadmap to implement the business plan in the northern state of India. We identified a central semi-rural place in the locality to implement the business model and run the pilot.

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