Swapping out charcoal with ethanol

Swapping out charcoal with ethanol

In Mozambique, Africa, forests from which its residents get their cooking fuel in the form of charcoal, have dwindled, now one-third of what they used to be, says Joanna M. Foster reporting for the New York TimesGreen blog. And with the cost of charcoal doubling in the last three years ethanol is becoming an attractive option as fuel.

“This week, CleanStar Mozambique, a company formed by CleanStar Ventures andNovozymes, opened a biofuel plant to supply ethanol to the hundreds of thousands of households in Maputo, the Mozambican capital, that rely on charcoal for cooking,” Foster says.

“The organizers are also working with rural farmers to help them shift from slash-and-burn subsistence agriculture and charcoal production to more modern farming methods that could result in far bigger food crops and the use of cleaner fuel. The push to supplant charcoal is also a big business opportunity: the charcoal market in sub-Saharan Africa is valued at more than $10 billion.”

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