Best Projects 2020 features all the nominated entries submitted ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs.
BioFSM (Biofuel of Sheep Manure)
Explain your project in details:
Biofuel of Sheep Manure (BioFSM) is is a startup that strives to realize clean and affordable energy in Kazakhstan. We created an alternative source of energy consisting of several components. Firstly, the main component is sheep manure, because sheep are one of the most widespread domestic animals in Kazakhstan. Moreover, their dung cannot be used in agriculture as fertilizer because excess nitrogen in sheep droppings causes chemical burns in plants. The second substance is coal chips, which are considered a waste because they do not burn in furnaces. Furthermore, the addition of coal suppresses the unpleasant smell from burning manure. The third component is a bonding agent (soaked cardboards; clay; starch) reducing the amount of ash and preventing biofuel from the breakdown. Mixing sheep manure, coal chips, and bonding agents in a mass ratio of 40:20:7 will help to achieve the highest specific heat of combustion with the lowest amount of investments. The components are affordable for villagers and ecologically safe. The cost of biofuel is only $25.75 per tonne, while the cost of coal is $60 per tonne worldwide. The biofuel can be used for heating homes, greenhouses, and sheds. Moreover, we constructed special equipment for household manufacturing of biofuels consisting of 2 parts (mixing and pressing devices), so that to ease the production of biofuels manually in villages. Mixing device consisting of a mixer or drill and a mixing container would help to achieve a relatively uniform consistency of biofuel, while the pressing device consisting of a rhombic Jack and 4 compartments would squeeze excess liquid. A new machine type is suitable for villagers with low income, as its price would be less than that of other machines. Therefore, our innovation is affordable for all individuals and environmentally safe.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
Globally, the fossil fuel replacement problem is especially acute. First, their use leads to global warming, since 87% of the total CO2 has been emitted from the combustion of fossil fuels. Despite this, BioFSM will not lead to global warming, since the combustion of sheep manure enters the carbon cycle. Secondly, coal is often unaffordable for villagers. Since the price of coal is $60 per ton worldwide, it is expensive for rural residents and the unemployed, especially in developing countries. Meanwhile, our startup will offer a cheap and affordable alternative, the price of which will reach only $25.75. Thirdly, toxic substances emitting from fossils combustion negate the consumers health. In China, for example, severe smog and air pollution caused by cars, numerous factories, and coal-burning lead to headaches, shortness of breath, and respiratory illnesses. Furthermore, due to BBC news, smog was the primary cause of many premature deaths (1.4 million) in China in 2015. Unlike coal, manure does not contain heavy metals such as lead and mercury. These aspects of our biofuels will relate to SDG-7, as well as SDG-1 and SDG-10 because of the cheapness and availability of the product for both rural residents and citizens. Moreover, sheep manure is not usually used in the household. The reason for this is the high concentration of nitrogen in sheep manure and the small size of the excrement. As for the coal chips used, they are usually discarded because they do not burn in furnaces. Taking into account that one-third of coal purchased is coal chips, wasting this component would be economically inefficient, especially considering that they could make biofuel appliable in home conditions due to neutralizing unpleasant manure odor. Therefore, since there will be no waste left after the production of BioFSM, this leads us to SDG12.
Sustainability and future plans
The current business plan consists of a number of stages that would begin with Prototyping (creating more biobriquettes for burning it in a furnace and modeling the beta version of our biofuel production equipment), Experimenting (observing the effectiveness of biofuels within a single household), Detail Design (creating a business plan to confirm the profitability of this startup in Excel due to its convenience, the ability to enter formulas and output long-term forecasts), Piloting (creating a startup mini-enterprise with beta products and a prototype of our real equipment for the production of biofuels; assessing the demand from the rural population; testing the effectiveness of this biofuel throughout the village), Launch (bringing our product to the national market). In the near future, we plan to participate in startup projects with investments, such as the Student Project Contest, Startup Competition held in Italy, Jacobs Startup Competition, and Global Meetup 2021 for initial capital. We could also get our initial capital from the national fund, a Startup Network, run by the Kazakh government, and from our private Fund. We will raise awareness about our product through social media by selling biofuels online and offline. BioFSM has several channels for making a profit, more precisely, through the production and sale of biofuel briquettes or the sale of our equipment for its production
Your profile as an entrepreneur
Dilnaza Karmenova is a 17-years-old Kazakhstani girl studying in a senior class of Nazarbayev Intellectual School. She is an active participant in various competitions including subject Olympiads (both online and offline), project contests (Vernadsky, Satpayev Readings), International contests (Breakthrough Junior Challenge), and MUNs (Kazakhstani and international ones). Due to her assertiveness and the help of her tutors, she took 1st place in the Vernadsky project contest being among 370 out of 1200+ participants. In addition to that, she wrote a number of articles and essays for scientific magazines (Ziyatker), teenage journals (Discover Kazakhstan), and regional newspapers. Thus, her vision, education, practicality, commitment, and creativity will be useful for preserving and caring for the environment and natural resources of the world, as well as helping to prevent social inequality in various segments of society