The project started in October 2015. Last year, a group from the TU Delft also worked on it. They were involved in the design phase of the distillation unit and wrote an initial business plan for the new product. After their departure, the distillation unit was manufactured and delivered to the village. The distillation unit is installed and ready for use. However, before being able to produce lemongrass on a regular basis and under standard operation, the prototype needs to be tested and the optimal distillation conditions (parameters) need to be determined. Then, after determining how to operate the distillation, the villagers that are going to work with it need to be trained as well.
This is where we came in: we were sent by the TU Delft to do experiments on the new unit in order to optimize the process. After this, we would have to train the future employees and provide a step-by-step operating guide. This includes taking into account all the safety measures that need to be considered when working with the prototype. Next to the technical part, our task was also to further elaborate the already existing business plan, and to think of new possible products derived from the lemongrass oil.