Rice Up To The Challenge

Bisman Deu, a young Indian inventor has developed Green Wood – a waterproof particle board made from rice husk.

Eighteen year old Bisman Deu has added the title of budding innovator to her name. Deu, with her partner Rayvin Thingnam have created a sustainable building material called ‘Green Wood’. Deu and Thingnam (under the group name Youth Innovators from India) were the first place winners of the Social Innovation Relay 2015. This is a worldwide competition organized by HP that encourages secondary school students to develop a creative business idea that addresses a social need.

Under the direction and backing of a HP e-tutor from Singapore, Deu and Thingnam created a sustainable building material, made out of rice husk. For their business idea the duo plan to purchase rice husk from farmers which will be the raw stock of their building material. From this husk they make “Green Wood” – a sustainable and waterproof particle board.

The threshing of rice produces undesirable husks and straw, and the choices for its disposal is limited. This husk has no commercial value and hence farmers often resort to burning the rice waste, leading to air contamination as well as killing insects and degrading the top soil. Breathing this dirty air is also clearly a health hazard.

Deu addressed this concern by developing a product that uses rice husks and straw as the raw material. Buying the waste rice husks and straws from farmers prevents them from burning it. From this they are able to create Green Wood which is a waterproof particle board that can be used for creating sustainable and rural habitats. This material is fungi and mold proof and is weather resistant as well. Their innovation could also have a social impact by improving rural livelihoods and creating a market for rice waste.

Though Green Wood is not yet available in the market, the team has developed a proof of concept and companies are already showing interest in their idea.

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