By Paojel Chaoba
IMPHAL, June 4: To meet the unavailability and escalating price of cooking gas and other cooking material a 34 year old entrepreneur Maibam Nandakumar Singh of Heirangoithong Maibam Leikai Keibung has invented the ‘Wai-nam’ gas.
The cooking apparatus consists of a round column of at least two and half feet in height with a mouth having a diameter of 4 and half inches. The base has two switches to start a small fan and to control the heat.
Briefing reporters in the regard near his residence, Nandakumar stated that he conceived the idea with some of his friends and started working on the project about four months back.
His objective is to use rice husks as the fuel thereby providing the public especially the underprivileged section a low cost cooking apparatus.
Demonstrating his invention, Nandakumar poured about 700 gm of rice husks inside the silo; turned on the 15 ampere mini fan powered by a 12 volt battery at the base, burnt some pieces of paper at the top of the silo and ignited the husk.
The husk immediately caught fire, provided combustion by the mini fan from the bottom. A vessel with 2 liters started boiling within 9 minutes, the flame burnt sans smoke. A beaming Nandakumar said that the “Wai-nam” will cost approximately Rs 3,000.
“If we get some benefits from the state government, then we can bring down the price further”, he said. Presently, he has also started working on another prototype which will exclude the fan and battery to make his invention less costly.
The battery provides at least 7 days of power to the fan, totaling a cooking time of 168 hours, one fill of rice husk can provide heat for 50 minutes.