Empower Village and the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Natural Resource Research Institute (NRRI) are collaborating to develop a commercialized manufacturing system capable of utilizing a wide range of biomass materials to produce a truly sustainable bio-charcoal. Burkina Faso is the first site, but the system could be rolled out worldwide.
The NRRI has proven that bio-charcoal manufacturing technology can achieve yields in excess of 62% utilizing various non-wood based biomass materials. This is double the output of traditional artisanal methods currently being used.
Empower Village, in collaboration with the Burkina Faso Ministry of Agriculture, will work with the NRRI to produce one ton of bio-charcoal made from various bio-mass source materials. The bio-charcoal briquettes will then be distributed for real-life testing by women in Burkina Faso.
Over a two month period, surveys will be conducted and the results analyzed to determine the best source material for commercial bio-charcoal production. The manufacturing process will be reviewed and a commercial prototype will be designed utilizing the tested torrefaction and densification technologies.
Funding for this phase will be provided through individual private donors and the participants of this fundraising effort.
Empower Village has the full support of the Ministries of Environment and Agriculture to build the commercial prototype manufacturing facility in Burkina Faso.
Funds will be secured through various governmental and non-governmental agencies such as the African Development Bank, the European Union, and the USAID and the World Bank Group’s Carbon Initiative for Development (Ci-Dev).
The Ci-Dev recently loaned $19 million to a group in Rwanda to develop clean burning ceramic cook stoves which utilize wood pellets. The funding was made possible through the ability of the project to produce Carbon Tax Credits which can be utilized to repay the loan. Empower Village will incorporate a similar strategy.
Empower Village needs your help for Phase One! Together, we can raise the funds for prototyping and testing of this game changing technology which is capable of tripling the amount of charcoal currently being produced by artisanal wood-based charcoal producers.
View the milestones for Phase one
As seen in the side-by-side comparison, the cattail based biomass briquettes produced by NRRI are similar to those produced by Kingsford and have a very similar heat content and curve.
Empower Village will work with environmental
authorities in Burkina Faso to determine the most
abundant biomass materials available there for
developmental testing at the NRRI in Minnesota.
The NRRI lab will produce one ton of bio-charcoal made from various sources and Empower Village will distribute to women in Burkina Faso for in-home testing.
Empower Village will conduct a professional survey of the in-home testing and work with the NRRI to analyze the results.
Empower Village will conduct a professional survey of the in-home testing and work with NRRI to analyze the reports.
Empower Village will work with the NRRI and a third party
engineering firm to design a prototype commercial scale
bio-charcoal production system using proven torefaction
and briquetting technologies.