NTPC/NVVN presents Green Charcoal Hackathon



Biomass torrefaction is a technology which can transform the humble agro residue waste into useful fuel. Torrefaction is a process of slow heating of biomass in an inert or oxygen-deficient environment to a maximum temperature of approximately 300°C. It is a process having isothermal pyrolysis of biomass in a temperature range of 200–300ºC.

The process generates a fuel similar to charcoal, which has a lower moisture content, better grind ability, and improved energy density than the original agro residue. Consequently, torrefied charcoal thus produced has the potential to replace natural fossil coal.

Power plants are the biggest consumers of coal. Typically a 1000 MW plant consumes about 5 million tonnes of coal annually. India's total coal-based power generation capacity is about 2 lakh MW, which theoretically can consume approximately 1000 million tonnes of coal annually. Even 10% of that, if replaced with torrefied charcoal will amount to 100 million tonnes of this fuel which will require approximately 165 MTPA of agro residue (considering 60% yield), sufficient to wipe out the entire unused agro residue in the country and thus eliminating the farm fires and produce approx. 20,000 MW of renewable power.

The idea has vast potential to increase rural income, provide local employment, cleaning the air by eliminating farm fires and also to generate enormous renewable energy with existing coal power infrastructure.

The technology to produce torrefied fuel using agro residue biomass is not easily accessible to small entrepreneurs due to the higher cost of imported machines, lack of sufficient manufacturers, and non-availability of the torrefaction plants having smaller capacity suitable for cottage industry entrepreneurs.

To fast-track the development of this technology, NVVN plans to organise a Green Charcoal Hackathon on the Reskilll online hackathon platform. The purpose of the Hackathon is to leverage the innovative Indian mind to bridge the technology gap, with the prime objective to clean the air by eliminating farm fire, producing renewable energy out of the agro residue, to promote local entrepreneurship, and to increase the income of the farmers.

The Design Challenge:

Challenge Statement:

To design a torrefaction plant/machine which can torrefy agro-residue biomass, especially rice straw, and convert it into charcoal.

Categories of the challenge:
  • Category I: 100 kg per day
  • Category II: 1000 kg per day
  • Category III: 10 tonnes per day

Any Indian national above the age of 18 shall be eligible to participate with their original ideas.

Design features:

Practical implementation, the flowability of biomass, inert atmosphere during torrefaction, preventing self-ignition of the product, reuse and recirculation of torrefaction gases, environment compliance, scalability, cost-effectiveness etc.


Top 6 participants, 2 each in each category, winning the final round shall be the winner of the challenge.

  • First Prize: 5 Lakhs each category
  • Second Prize: 3 Lakhs each category

NTPC/NVVN will provide financial assistance for the development of the machine prototype, subject to the quality of the idea and acceptability of the idea by the panel of judges.

The funding will be given to the relevant ideas, basis the mutually acceptable terms and conditions, which shall be discussed on later stages.


  • These Terms and Conditions (“Terms and Conditions”) shall govern Green Charcoal Hackathon Hackathon that is organized Reskilll (“Organiser”).
  • By registering for the Hackathon, the participants (“Participants”) agree to abide by all the Terms and Conditions.
  • The Organiser reserves the right to cancel, postpone, or change the date, venue and time of the Hackathon. There will be no refund of any personal expenses incurred by Participants if the Hackathon is canceled due to unforeseen circumstances. The Organiser reserve the right to amend the Terms and Conditions without prior notification and you agree to be bound by such Terms and Conditions.
Hackathon Mechanism
  • Participants are to submit their registration via the microsite only. The Organiser is not responsible for
    (i)late, lost, damaged, incomplete, or misdirected Entries, responses, or other correspondence, whether by e-mail or postal mail or otherwise;
    (ii) theft, destruction, unauthorized access to or alterations of Entries; or
    (iii) phone, electrical, network, computer, hardware, software program or transmission malfunctions, failures, or difficulties.
  • Each team must consist of max 5 and Min 1 team members only. Each individual is only permitted to register in one team.
  • Participants are to pre-select their team names at the time of registration. The team leader will be responsible for submitting his/her team members' names’ participation details.
  • All team members must appear in person online at the ntpchackathon Hackathon various checkpoints and must be present throughout the Hackathon on Hackathon website and predefined Communication platforms like Slack, Discord, Telegram, or Whatsapp. Failure to do so may result in disqualification for the entire team.
  • Team Demonstration and Presentation: The selected team has 5 minutes to present, including a minimum 30-second live demo of working proof of concept/prototype/app, and Q&A session with the judges.

Winner Selection/Judging Criteria

  • The winners will be selected by a panel of judges (“Judges”). By submitting any Hackathon entry, entrants release the Organiser, its sponsors, their respective subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents, and advisors from any and all liability for any claims, costs, injuries, losses, or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the decisions of the Judges.
  • The Organiser reserves the right to suspend, amend, or modify any of these rules, terms, and conditions, judging criteria with or without prior notice to Participants. Other modifications will be announced via the Hackathon microsite and emails. The Organiser will have the final decision when it comes to all matters of dispute arising from the Hackathon or the Prizes
  • Teams will be judged based on the following criteria, including but not limited to:
    - Impact: How would the project benefit the target audience?
    - Creativity: Ingenious solutions and original ideas, no matter how big or small.
    - Design: A well-thought-out blueprint and crash-proof, front-end layout, and UI/UX.
    - Execution: The solution should have a clear timeline and effective results from start to finish.
Rules of Conduct
  • Participants must comply with these Terms and Conditions at all times during the Hackathon, comply with all legal requirements and refrain from creating content that is unlawful or otherwise objectionable, or any content that may be construed as such.
  • Participants must not use any content protected under third party rights or subject to confidentiality obligations to third parties and must permit the Organiser to use the content for the intended purposes.
  • Participants agree that all Organiser's decisions will be final and binding on all matters related to the Hackathon.
  • Participants agree that all Judge's decisions will be final and binding on all matters related to the Hackathon.
  • Participants are not permitted to leave the online communication platform and Hackathon Dashboard once the Hackathon officially begins and. The Organiser may disqualify teams if Participants do not comply.

Prizes are non-transferable by the winner. Accepting a prize makes a prize recipient solely responsible for all applicable taxes related to accepting such a prize.

The cash rewards will be paid within 60 days of the date of the hackathon.

The cash rewards will see a deduction of TDS as per the government rules and regulations

Photographic and video recordings

The Participants agree that any photo or video containing his/her likeness or voice, as may be shot or filmed or Recoreded during the Hackathon, may be published by the Organiser, in part or in full, with or without stating the Participant's name, on any media, including but not limited to the Organiser's website and social media channels, at the Organiser's sole discretion. This authorization will be given for 10 years and shall be valid Worldwide.

Code of Conduct
  • We fully support appropriate behavior by all participants at the Hackathon, including during any and all official and unofficial activities. We expect all attendees, sponsors, partners, volunteers, and staff to help us make the the Hackathon a place that welcomes and respects all Participants, regardless of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, national origin, ethnicity, or religion. We will not tolerate harassment of Participants in person, online, or in any other form.
  • Examples of harassment include offensive comments, verbal threats or demands, overly sexualised images in public spaces, intimidation, stalking, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of sessions or Hackathons, and unwelcome physical contact or sexual attention.
  • We expect all Participants - attendees, speakers, sponsors, and volunteers - to follow the Code of Conduct during the Hackathon. This includes conference-related social Hackathons at off-site locations, and in related online communities and social media. Participants asked to stop any harassing behaviour are expected to comply immediately.
  • We thank our participants for your help in keeping the Hackathon welcoming, respectful, and friendly to all Participants.
  • The Organiser is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone. Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, photography or audio/video recording against reasonable consent, sustained disruption of talks or other Hackathons, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention. Overly sexual language and imagery are not appropriate at the venue, including hacks, talks, workshops, parties, social media and other online media.
  • Photography is encouraged, but other participants must be given a reasonable chance to refuse being photographed. If they object to being photographed, comply with their request. It is inappropriate to take photographs in contexts where people have a reasonable expectation of privacy e.g. in bathrooms or where Participants are sleeping.
  • Hacks created at our Hackathon are equally subject to the anti-harassment policy.
  • Participants who asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of the organizing committee immediately.
  • The Organiser will happily help participants contact any local security or local law enforcement, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the Hackathon.
  • Participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the Hackathon at the discretion of the Organiser. If a Participant engages in harassing behavior, the Organizer may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the venue.
  • Please report any incidents or concerns to the Hackathon organizing committee.
Intellectual Property Rights
  • For the avoidance of doubt, a Participant will grant the Organiser a right of first refusal for the acquisition of any exclusive license for all materials including software, source code, documentation, data, and concepts (whether created or developed independently by a Participant or jointly with others) (“Materials”) submitted to the Organiser during the Hackathon, for a period of 6 months following the conclusion of the Hackathon. During this period, the Participant may not sell, transfer, or license exclusively their intellectual property rights to a third party, without first offering the Organiser the opportunity to acquire or license the Materials on the same terms and conditions offered by the third party, whereby the Organiser will have 30 days to accept the Participant’s offer. If the Organiser does not accept the Participant’s offer within 30 days, the Participant will have the right to accept the third party’s offer.
  • The Participants expressly authorize the Organiser, to publish, to communicate, to expose and to disclose, divulge and represent the submitted ideas verbally, graphically or in writing, in any medium worldwide and without restrictions in time, and by any means, either present or future, free of charge, in relation to this Hackathon.
  • The results shall, in no Hackathon, infringe in any manner or induce infringement of any third party intellectual property rights. Should the right from identified third party right owners not be commercially available, the result may not be qualified to win the prize. The Participant undertakes to indemnify the Organiser against all claims asserted by third parties against the Organiser due to any actual or alleged infringement of rights resulting from the use of the result, as well as against all litigation costs (including reasonable attorney fees) required to defend the Organiser against such claims unless the Organiser itself is responsible for the infringement of rights by its gross negligence or wilful misconduct.
Protection of Intellectual Property

By submitting an entry or accepting any prize, Participants represent and warrant the following:

  • Participants will not submit content that is copyrighted, protected by trade secret, or otherwise subject to third-party intellectual property rights or other proprietary rights, including privacy and publicity rights unless the participant is the owner of such rights or has permission from the rightful owner to post the content and to grant the Hackathon all of the rights granted herein;
  • The participant will not publish falsehoods or misrepresentations that could damage the Organiser, its sponsors, or any third party;
  • The participant will not submit content that is unlawful, obscene, defamatory, libelous, threatening, pornographic, harassing, hateful, racially or ethnically offensive, encourages criminal activity, gives rise to civil liability, or is otherwise inappropriate or destructive to the Organiser’ or sponsors’ brand image or goodwill;
  • The participant will not post advertisements or solicitations of business;
  • The Organiser will not be obligated to pay any compensation to, or permit any participation by, any third party in connection with the use, reproduction, modification, publication, display, or other exploitation of any of the content that the Participant submits;
  • The content the participant submits does not contain any viruses, Trojan horses, worms, or other disabling devices or harmful code.
  • By posting or submitting an entry to the Hackathon (regardless of the form or medium of such content), the participant hereby grants the Hackathon and its sponsors, their respective affiliates, their affiliates’ agents, and third-party contractors a worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive right and license, with the right to sublicense, discuss, publicize, market, and otherwise display content derived from or relating to the Hackathon entry (“Marketing Content”), and to distribute and use such Marketing Content for promotional and marketing purposes either in the form submitted or in the form of a derivative or adapted work. The participant understands that he or she will not receive any compensation or credit for use of your Hackathon entry, other than what is described in these Official Hackathon Rules.


Participant represents and warrants that he or she is the sole author and copyright owner of the Submission, and that the Submission is an original work of the Participant, or if the Submission is a work based on an existing application, that the Participant has acquired sufficient rights to use and to authorize others; and that the Submission does not infringe upon any copyright or upon any other third party rights of which the Participant is aware, and that the Submission is free of malware.

General Eligibility
  • The Organiser will have the right at their sole discretion to determine whether an entrant is eligible for the Hackathon. The Organiser may disqualify entries that:
    1) are in violation of third-party rights, law, or regulation,
    2) use inappropriate or explicit language or images, or
    3) display content that the Organiser or its sponsors otherwise find objectionable or inconsistent with the Hackathon or its sponsors’ brand image or goodwill.
  • The Organiser will accept only those entries that are completed and submitted as described above and that conform to any technical requirements specified as part of the entry process. Entries that do not comply with the provisions of these rules will be deemed ineligible and will not be considered.
  • The Organiser will accept entries from those who are below the age of 18 (minimum age of 14) provided they are accompanied by a parent or guardian, or have completed the following ‘Minor Release and Waiver of Liability and Indemnity Form’ which will be sent via their registered e-mail. (NOT APPLICABLE IN GREEN CHARCOAL 18 Required)
  • The Hackathon is open to all eligible Participants, whereby shortlisted Participants will be chosen by the Organiser.

The Participants agree to abide by all applicable personal data protection legislation and process personal data only in the manner set out in the Personal Data Protection Act 2013.

The Terms and Conditions herein shall prevail over any inconsistent terms, conditions, provisions or representations contained in any other promotional or advertising materials for the Hackathon.