Founder of Takachar
2019 Climate Fellow
Takachar is dramatically increasing the amount of crop/forest residues that are transformed into marketable products around the world. By deploying small-scale, portable biomass upgrading equipment, Takachar enables rural farmers to earn supplemental income by converting their crop residues into value-added chemicals like activated carbon (AC) on-site. By reducing the air pollution associated with crop residue burning, and by making renewable, biomass-based AC more price-competitive than fossil-based AC, the equivalent of up to 100 million tons of carbon dioxide can be mitigated each year.
Vidyut Mohan is the co-founder and CEO of Takachar, a social enterprise enabling farmers to prevent open burning of their waste farm residues and earn extra income by converting the residues into value-added chemicals like activated carbon on-site. Passionate about energy access and supporting rural livelihoods, Vidyut became interested in biomass-based energy/chemical development due to its untapped potential and close association with farmers. After initial exploration and research for his master’s thesis at TU Delft, he returned to India to work with village communities in the Himalayas to convert pine needle waste into a marketable charcoal-based product. This work led him to discover a way to dramatically scale farm residue utilization through technology, as well as to support farm-based livelihoods—which led to the formation of Takachar. Vidyut was named an UNLEASH Energy Talent in 2017, and is a fellow at the School for Social Entrepreneurs India. Vidyut is a 2019 Echoing Green Fellow.