Nigerian company creates clean biofuel for domestic use.
Aug 10, 2015 A Nigerian startup company, ‘Green Energy and Biofuels’, is converting waste from sawdust and water hyacinth into clean-burning fuels designed specifically for cooking stoves. The organization is doing this as part of its initiative to reduce dangerous smoke and gases from homes.
Myke Ologunoye, Vice President of the company, said that the company chose to use sawdust and water hyacinth because they are both easily available.
“Like many other ethanol process that we have in the market today, most of the majority the food grade but our ethanol is a second generation bio-ethanol so we don’t process our ethanol from cassava, maize, sugarcane like many other companies actually extract their ethanol from. Ours is from the biomass like the water hyacinth and the saw dust,”
Ologunoye added that the sawdust waste used to create the bio-gel is generated from local saw mills.
Advocates of biofuels argue that they can help fight climate change because the growing plants ingest as much carbon dioxide from the air as the fuels made from them emit when burned.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 98,000 Nigerian women die annually from smoke inhaled while cooking with firewood. The founders of the company maintain that they are helping women who depend on firewood and charcoal for cooking by providing them with a safer, more environmentally-friendly alternative.
The company’s Chief Executive Director, Femi Oye said that finding creative solutions to local environmental challenges is his major driving force
“Femi Oye believes so much that we could create a world that is green, that is clean and is sustainable. That has helped my thinking in ways by which I want to invest and where I want to put my money to work, and the kind of legacy that I want to leave behind. So I teach young people and I’m also teaching business communities as well on ways by which they can invest, they can do business, they can conduct themselves and of course they can live in a clean and green way,”
The company which started in 2011, produces over 5,000 liters of gel daily. With over 45,000 distributors, the bio-gel is currently being used by over 350,000 households in Nigeria, Ghana and Benin Republic. It is used with a specially designed stove which can cost between 2,800 naira and 4000 naira.
59-year-old Irene Adepitan who started using the stove and gel in 2013 had this to say:
“Having being an asthmatic patient for a very long time, I saw this as a welcome … I was excited that if the end product is oxygen then it will definitely be good for me, which means that my kitchen, my environment and everything will be saturated with oxygen which gives life as against carbon. So that was one of the main reason why I decided to use the stove,”