- Woman entrepreneurs

How two Odisha -born sisters introduced biodegradable electric vehicle batteries from crop residues: Nexus Power

As you know air pollution is the biggest problem for our national capital Delhi. Every year the crop residues are burned in states like Punjab and Haryana. The effects are seen in Delhi in the form of heavy smoke and air pollution. The city gets covered with heavy black smoke which makes it difficult for the Delhiites to commute and the biggest problem is the issue of breathing as it might be the heavily polluted air which can have severe health issues. 

Due to the increase in such cases of air pollution, two Odisha-born entrepreneurs have introduced something which can be considered revolutionary for this problem. An old Biochemistry book was what inspired Nikita and Nishita Baliarsingh to create a battery that works on crop residues for electric vehicles.

 “It is still so clear in my mind. There was a statement that read, ‘Proteins may have potential benefits in electrolytes’. That was the turning point. We pushed ourselves into continuous research and development and founded Nexus Power in April 2019,” Nikita told in an interview with The Hindu.

The biodegradable batteries are fashioned from crop residue. “A cell consists of three structural elements – the cathode, anode and electrolyte. Our process of manufacturing plays with the chemistry of the cell and builds all these elements with nanodot proteins derived from crop residue. Our batteries are lithium ion-free. We procure the crop remains from local farmers, and by applying a unique extraction and filtration process, we manufacture rechargeable energy-storing EV cells out of it,” explains Nikita.

The young entrepreneurs aim to take EVs across vehicle segments. The current market caters mainly to low-speed electric two-wheelers that use lithium. Nikita elaborates, “We spent almost six months only on theoretical research on bio-organic batteries. Our prototype was built at home during the lock-down with simple household objects.”

The biodegradable batteries are fashioned from crop residue. “A cell consists of three structural elements – the cathode, anode and electrolyte. Our process of manufacturing plays with the chemistry of the cell and builds all these elements with nanodot proteins derived from crop residue. Our batteries are lithium ion-free. We procure the crop remains from local farmers, and by applying a unique extraction and filtration process, we manufacture rechargeable energy-storing EV cells out of it,” explained Nikita in The Hindu interview.

The materials used by Nexus Power are taken from the industry where they are either underutilized or wasted. “We emphasize having a sustainable manufacturing process with a zero-waste model. The production of our batteries creates bio-fertilizer as by-products, which we intend to return to the market to facilitate a favourable agricultural yield. That way we ensure a circular and viable green model,” Nikita adds.

The batteries charge eight to 10 times faster than conventional ones and last 20% to 30% longer. “Most importantly, once the batteries die, they can be recycled at no extra cost, which is not the case with the regular EV offerings.

Made out of biodegradable material, the cells rule out toxicity hazards and using crop residue ensures that some of it are not burnt, which in turn protects from deterioration of air quality. Our entire process is energy efficient and sustainable,” says Nishita.

About Pragnya Priyadarshani

Read All Posts By Pragnya Priyadarshani

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.