Our colleague and advisory board member, Amy Smith along with the rest of her team has won a $199,650 Development Marketplace Grant from the World Bank for their “Fuel from their Fields Alternative Charcoal” Project [#07-0540].
Here is their description of the project from DM site at the World Bank.
To improve human health by creating micro-enterprises in Haiti that specialize in the production and sale of affordable, clean-burning cooking charcoal made from agricultural waste.
In Haiti, half of the population uses wood and/or agricultural residues as their primary cooking fuel. Breathing the smoke from these fires leads to persistent acute respiratory lung infections, mostly in children. Cleaner-burning wood charcoal is available at great expense (often 25 percent of a familyâ€™s income) leaving families with less income to cover basic health needs such as medications, food and clean water. A clean-burning, affordable cooking fuel can have major health, environmental and economic benefits for Haiti and other countries around the world.
Innovation / Expected Results
This project has developed an array of technologies to produce clean-burning cooking charcoal from agricultural waste materials at a lower cost than current methods. Converting agricultural residues to charcoal leads to a significant reduction in airborne particulates, and thus to improved respiratory health. This agro-charcoal does not contribute to deforestation and is more affordable than conventional wood charcoal. Moreover, local jobs and micro-enterprises will be created, further increasing incomes and consequently improving health. This project will train at least 1000 agro-charcoal producers, with a goal of achieving a production rate of 100MT (metric tons). By the end of two years, more than 10,000 families are expected to be using the agro-charcoal and producersâ€™ incomes will increase by US$500. Since the process can use a variety of agricultural waste materials it can adapt to suit diverse local conditions and is thus easily replicable.