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Anand Rao

Professor, Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas (CTARA), IIT Bombay

Research Areas

  • Climate Change
  • Carbon Capture and Sequestration
  • Renewable and Energy Efficiency
  • Sanitation and Waste Management
  • Rural electrification
  • Energy Policy and Planning
  • Technology Assessment

  • Energy, Environment 

    Solid Waste Management: To Recover Energy or Materials?

    India generated 1, 27,486 tonnes per day of municipal solid waste (MSW) during 2011-12. It is estimated that 89,334 TPD (70%) of this MSW was collected and only 15,881 TPD (12.45%) was processed or treated (CPCB Status Report, 2011-12). This underlines the urgency of the necessity and potential for proper MSW disposal. Various options for waste treatment and disposal include aerobic and anaerobic digestion, vermicomposting, incineration, pelletisation, gasification and landfilling. One of the latest conflicts encountered in MSW disposal is that between energy and material recovery. This study aims to understand the various technological, environmental, economic and social factors that affect this choice and will attempt to build a decision support system to help the decision makers at various scales.

    Energy, Environment

    Biogas Technology: Can it deliver the promise? 

    Biogas technology has several advantages from the local, national and global perspectives. For example, clean, renewable energy resource, health benefits from improved indoor air quality, waste management, energy security, carbon mitigation, etc. However, this “win-win” solution to various problems has not delivered enough, in spite of the deployment efforts by various agencies. This study would try to assess this technology in India – especially in rural areas, and look for the potential avenues in the future.

    Energy, Livelihoods

    Modeling the future demand for bricks in India and its impact on resources, livelihoods and climate.

    The production and use of fired bricks have been very popular in India and we produce about 250 billion bricks every year. So, the traditional brick sector consumes about 10% of annual coal consumption in India and contributes to equivalent CO2 emissions. However, new construction materials are being introduced and getting adopted in the construction industry. Today there is a growing trend to use “unfired brick alternatives” such as cement blocks and flyash blocks. The project aims to understand these trends and build a model to project the future demand for bricks (fired and unfired) in India, based on a variety of techno-economic, socio-cultural and environmental/regulatory factors and policy scenarios. Such model will be helpful to understand the impact of the future demand – shaped by the various factors and policies – on our natural resources, livelihoods and climate. 


    Scope for technology intervention in the supply chain of NTFPs and NTFP-based products

    The tribal communities in various parts of India collect and process/ supply a variety of NTFPs (non-timber forest produce), such as honey, herbs, medicinal plants, leaves etc. The NTFPs contribute significantly to their livelihood, although they are
    not involved in most of the value added steps in the supply chain of the NTFP-based products. The study will try to identify the scope for technology intervention in the supply chain of NTFPs and NTFP-based products, so as to provide better livelihood opportunities to the tribal communities.