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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Techno-economic feasibility of green charcoal production in Kenya
Editor:Kung, Kevin S.
Periodical:Sustainable access to energy in the Global South: essential technologies and implementation approaches
Geographic term:Kenya
energy resources
sustainable development
energy economics
waste management
Abstract:Many people in emerging markets use solid fuels such as charcoal for domestic cooking. This has alarming negative environmental and economic impacts. Efforts have been made to find ways of replacing wood charcoal with waste-derived briquettes also known as 'green charcoal.' This chapter explores the technology, economics, and implementation of charcoal briquettes made from pyrolyzed organic waste, based on a case study in Kenya. Given the lack of formal and centralized waste management systems in emerging markets, we focus on a low-cost thermal treatment system for producing the briquettes. First, we present an economic analysis of the current domestic cooking fuel consumption pattern. The low-income households we surveyed spend a significant fraction (about 25 %) of their total income on charcoal, and the most important criterion by which they assess charcoal quality is its energy density. This is worth considering when developing alternative products. We then explore the low-cost processes enabling the conversion of agricultural residues into substitute charcoal. We find that the uptake of green charcoal production practices is possible at the community level, but depends critically on how well the product meets customer needs-and, hence, on the economic viability of the business proposition. At national and international scales, uptake tends to be enhanced by favorable guiding policies. [book abstract]