Scientist of Indian origin developing pedal-powered grain crusher

March 16th, 2008 - 12:05 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, March 16 (ANI): A scientist of Indian origin is developing a pedal-powered grain crusher, that people in developing countries can use to process anything from corn to barley.

The scientist in question is Dr. Beena Sukumaran, a civil and environmental engineering professor from Rowan University.

Along with Heather Klein, Josh Bonzella and Kevin McGarvey, all engineering majors, Sukumaran has built an aluminum grain crusher that attaches to a bicycle, which is mounted on a stand.

As a rider pedals, the back wheel moves a contact element that turns a pulley that moves plates in the crusher to process the food from large to fine pieces suitable for cooking.

“We wanted to come up with some kind of mechanized device that does not depend on power,” said Sukumaran.

According to her, if the Rowan team members come up with a workable design, they can transfer it to people in developing nations to produce themselves.

“That’s why we didn’t want a very complicated design,” said Sukumaran, who added that members of Rowan’s EWB (Entrepreneurs Without Borders) teams traveling to El Salvador and Senegal this year will contact local villages there to determine if they could benefit from such equipment.

According to Bonzella, their team made many different size tires for the grain crusher so that a number of wheel configurations will work with it.

“This bike could be any bike. Someone could ride this from village to village and then connect to the community grinder and basically perform this task,” he said.

If it’s successful, the grain crusher can help produce food for residents of Third World countries and enable some people to generate an income as they travel from community to community crushing foodstuff for a price.

“It will be nice to see it used by people who really need it,” said Klein. “That will be the best thing that people’s lives can be made easier because of this project,” she added. (ANI)

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