United Nations award goes to company born out of university pollution project

  • An energy start-up in India, formed out of an Aston University scheme, has won a prestigious United Nations’ award for its work
  • A2P Energy, which harnesses technology and expertise developed through EBRI’s Energy Harvest initiative, converts rice straw waste into energy products including pellets, oil, gas and biochar
  • By establishing a market for rice straw waste, A2P helps to improve air quality by eliminating open field burning

An energy start-up in India, born out of an Aston University scheme aiming to tackle the international challenge of dealing with agricultural waste, has won a prestigious prize.

A2P Energy, formed through the university’s European Bioenergy Research Institute’s (EBRI) Energy Harvest project, won The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) award, which recognises the work being done in India to combat air pollution.

The company, founded in 2018 by Sukhmeet Singh and Robert Berry, seeks to provide a solution to the challenge existing in Northwest India relating to agricultural waste management. Farmers in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh regularly burn residual rice straw as it is seen as having little value. The burning causes substantial local disruption and health problems; additionally, large amounts of pollution are then blown by prevailing winds to the heavily populated city of Delhi.

In a bid to reduce the resulting health problems, A2P has established a supply chain that collects the paddy straw and produces energy pellets that can be used as a replacement for non-renewable fuels. These pellets can also be transformed through EBRI’s expertise in pyrolysis technology into biochar to help improve soil structure and crop yields.

The UNDP award, the latest accolade that A2P has won, will help the start-up to carry out a pilot in one of the UN’s selected cities in India.

Sukhmeet Singh, Co-founder and CEO of A2P Energy said: “A2P Energy is proud to be recognised among the UNDP’s top three companies in India working on combating air pollution.

“From its birth, the company has managed to save biomass from over 1000 acres from being burned in the open field, and thus helping the planet and the pollution problem in India; as well as generating annual permanent and part-time employment for 55 local people.

“A2P Energy, through this initiative with UNDP, and through the technology support from Aston University, aims to be a frontrunner in providing Green Energy solutions in India and making a real positive impact on the environment and improving farmers’ income.”


About A2P Energy Solution:



About Energy Harvest: https://www2.aston.ac.uk/eas/research/groups/ebri/projects/energy-harvest

Photos (click links to download)

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, call Simon Glover, Press & PR Officer,
on 0121 204 4592 or email s.glover@aston.ac.uk

Be first to get the latest news, research and expert comment from Aston
by following us on Twitter or subscribing to our press list.

Need an expert for your story? Browse our expert directory