Charcoal made of poop
Charcoal, one of the most basic, yet reliable sources of fuel.
To most people, it’s only really useful for barbecue parties. But to others, it’s what they use every day to cook their daily meals.
Unfortunately in some countries, the charcoal made out of almost-burned wood could be costly. Usually because the time it takes to cut down the trees and process to make and mass produce it can be costly.
This is why some countries like India use another form of charcoal, called “gobar”, which is basically cow dung processed into a combustible fuel.
It’s cheap, it’s safe, and most of all, it’s readily available.
So in a quest to search for other alternative sources of fuel, a startup company from Kenya took the idea of gobar, but one step further: They process human feces into a safe and efficient alternative to traditional charcoal.
Kenya, a developing country in East Africa, has always struggled with sanitation issues, especially when it comes to human waste. This is why the engineers behind Sanivation, a social enterprise company, used this to their advantage, and turned the country’s most devastating problem into an affordable and easy to access form of charcoal. That’s two birds with one stone!
The process is simple: collect the sludge from the Rift valley region, sundry it for 2-3 weeks, heat in in a kiln, mix it with sawdust and molasses and viola!
You have poop charcoal, minus all the harmful gasses, bacteria, and other volatile matter.
This form of processed human feces not only works as a good substitute to charcoal, it actually works better, being able to burn longer than wood-based charcoal and firewood.
Also, contrary to what you might think, it emits less smoke and has no odor whatsoever. And when we say it’s cheap, we mean really cheap. It only costs $1 for one kilogram! Make that three birds with one stone!
Sanivation is currently producing 2 tons of charcoal per month, but they hope to increase production to 10 tons per month by the end of 2017.