PRODUCTION OF VARIOUS SOURCES OF ENERGY FROM WASTE PRODUCTS
Explain your idea in details:
Energy security is still an issue in Tanzania. More than 70% of Tanzanians use charcoal for household uses whereas the country is completely dependent on imported fossil fuels, whose prices of continue to fluctuate daily, to run machines and vehicles. On the other hand poor waste management continues to haunt Tanzanians especially those living in busy cities such as Dar es Salaam. Random disposal of wastes such as used cooking oil, sawdust and waste papers pose a threat to the environment. My idea is based on using some of the waste materials as biomass to produce sources of energy particularly bio-diesel and briquettes. This will help solve the waste management problem to some extent whilst providing Tanzanians with alternative sources of energy which are cheap and environmental friendly. The biodiesel will be produced from waste vegetable oils while briquettes will be produced from a variety of wastes such as sawdust, rice husks, papers and maize combs. Prior to everything, we performed experiments at the University of Dar es Salaam and as such we were able to scientifically produce our products which met different established standards. We tested the briquettes to see if they would burn similar to charcoal but without smoke, and they did. As for biodiesel, we compared its properties against those established by the Tanzania Bureau of Standars (TBS) to see that it was within the range. We plan to establish programs that will increase awareness on bio-diesel (which is almost a new thing to many Tanzanians). We also plan to meet with various stake holders who will help put pressure on the government so that it can make policies on biofuels since Tanzania lacks one.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
It will contribute to the reduction of disposed organic waste. Dar es Salaam alone has more than 200 hotels and more than 250 restaurants. This means the amount of waste cooking oil (WCO) disposed on a daily basis is quite large. If this WCO is collected for recycling, the amount of disposed waste will be lowered. It will help lower dependency on other countries for fuel. This is because of the renewability of bio-based energy products like bio-diesel. If blending of petro-diesel will be a requirement, then a significant proportion of diesel required to be imported would be replaced. It will reduce the dependency on petroleum derived fuels, wood and charcoal. The energy demand is constantly rising and exploitation of resources to meet the demand is inevitable. Offering alternatives that can be replenished to meet the demand will significantly be of great assistance. It will contribute to the control of deforestation. Th current government of Tanzania has made policies to minimize deforestation. For such polices to be implemented Tanzanians need an alternative to charcoal and firewood. Briquettes are a good option. The produced ash (made up of degradable compounds) from briquettes synthesis can function as an alkaline fertilizer which can be used to correct soil acidity and creation of basic soil for cultivation of crops and flowers. This will lower dependency on industrial fertilizers that are costly and not environmental friendly. Briquettes do not produce fly ash which would otherwise affect the respiratory system and in the long run affect the health of Tanzanians thereby endangering their lives. Both bio-diesel and briquettes from most waste have been scientifically proven to have less emission of gases such as carbon dioxide and other gases compared to their counterparts making them relatively friendly to the environment. Create job opportunities to the local people.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
We have already established the proper ratios of the materials required to synthesize both bio-diesel and briquettes. We are now registering Matel Industries and following up legal procedures so that we can produce products for commercial purposes. The strategy we will use will be mainly business-to-business strategy combined with business-to-consumer strategy. The produced briquettes will be sold in retail by use of existing charcoal networks apart from company shops. Infiltrating into the charcoal networks will be carried out through demonstration and exhibitions for retail and whole sellers of charcoal so that they can sell our briquettes through their already established networks. This approach has the benefit of reaching more people since the sellers would recommend the use of briquettes to their customers. We plan to sell briquettes at 600 Tshs/kg of briquettes as compared to 1000 Tshs/kg of charcoal. Because few have the knowledge of bio-diesel in Tanzania, we will perform sampling for the first time Matel Industries launches her product so as to increase awareness among people and to attract customers and demonstrate its efficiency in diesel engines as a blend. We have already contacted some oil companies so that they can be our main customers. They will then blend it with Petroleum diesel and sell it. Biodiesel will be sold at 1500 Tshs/liter in comparison to 1880 Tshs/liter of petroleum diesel. Matel is currently funded by its founders. However, due to lack of enough funds we have not been able to buy the necessary equipment for operations. We decided to participate in various entrepreneurship challenges such as this one whilst applying for grants from various institutions.
My name is Tecla Ndenge aged 22 from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. I just finished my degree program of Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Chemistry on 24-June 2017 at the University of Dar es Salaam which comprised of a course in renewable energies. I became interested in alternative sources of energy as a replacement to current sources of energy that cannot be replenished. That's where my idea began. I teamed up with my colleagues namely Elifadhili Shaidi and Magese Salala who shared similar interests with me and together we are currently forming our company. The company will mainly focus on converting waste products, which are available in large amounts, to affordable and environmental friendly products in particular bio-diesel and briquettes. For the past two months beginning from May 2017 we began experimenting on preparation of bio-diesel from waste vegetable oil and briquettes from organic wastes. During that time, we used facilities located at our university for experimenting whilst consulting our tutors for more knowledge. Currently we are able to produce bio-diesel and briquettes of high quality by use of methods we have developed. The produced bio-diesel has been verified by GC-MS (Gas Chromatography Mass Spectroscopy) to be pure bio-diesel mainly consisting of fatty acids methyl esters (FAME); and the briquettes produced had a good water resistance, strength and a slight better heating effect than the locally produced charcoal. A number of professionals have agreed to assist in terms of knowledge and technical assistance, these associates are Engineer Eli, Dr. Quintino Mgani senior lecturer (Organic Chemistry), Dr. Hasan Rajab Senior lecture from department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering from the University of Dar es Salaam and Dr. Fredrick Salukele Senior lecture at Ardhi University.