Cooking Fuel Made from Agricultural Waste

By using agricultural waste to produce cooking fuel and provide clean, low-cost cooking stoves, GreenChar is improving the environment and public health.

GreenChar produces and distributes charcoal briquettes made from agricultural waste and distributes improved cookstoves. The low-cost briquette line is sold to households in rural and peri-urban settlements that spend an average of $1.50 per day on traditional charcoal briquettes and experience various health
problems from household air pollution caused by cooking with wood-based charcoal and firewood. According to GreenChar, the company’s briquettes are 38% cheaper, more energy dense, and longer lasting than conventional wood charcoal and firewood, while at the same time being nearly smokeless.

By using waste as a resource, the briquettes and cookstoves curb local deforestation and reduce CO2 emissions. Since launching in 2014, GreenChar has sold more than 138,000 kg of briquettes and distributed more than 300 cookstoves. Use of the products has saved more than 700 trees, reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 1,433 tons, and improved more than 5,000 lives.

Relevance of solution

Currently, more people die globally from incremental, ongoing inhalation of smoke from their own homes than from malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS combined.12 Additionally, Kenya loses 12,000 hectares of forest cover every year.3 With the use of safe and environmentally sustainable cooking fuels, health costs and environmental impacts are curbed.

Triple Bottom Line

Environmental

For each kg of charcoal briquettes created from agricultural waste, GreenChar offsets 10 kg of CO2 emissions and saves 5 kg of wood.

Social

By switching to clean cookstoves and almost smokeless briquettes, families reduce health risks linked to household air pollution.4

Economic

Replacing regular charcoal with GreenChar’s sugarcane-based charcoal saves families up to $200 annually.


Sources

  1. WHO. “Household Air Pollution and Health.” (2016)
  2. Institution for Health Metrics and Evaluation. “Deaths and Infections from HIV, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Plummet Globally.” (2014)
  3. International Union for Conservation of Nature. “The Underlying Causes and Drivers of Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Kenya.” (2015)
  4. Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. “Igniting Change: A Strategy for Universal Adoption of Clean Cookstoves and Fuels”. (Undated)