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Woman and girl collecting firewood for cooking (copyright – Project Gaia)

NABDA’s representative and manager of the EMD, the project is a cornerstone in the much awaited Nigeria’s rural renewable energy revolution. Amongst the social and economic benefits of the project, Soliu mentions that around 2,500 people will be free of indoor air pollution. The project also received support from the Nigerian government and from Project Gaia, an international nongovernmental organisation that promotes adoption of clean cooking stoves fuelled by ethanol. The EMD’s technology was designed by a Brazilian enterprise called Green Social Bioethanol (GSB), with the main goal of making the process for ethanol production more efficient, standardised, and sustainable. In regular distilleries, starch-to-ethanol conversion is constrained by the high temperatures the process requires. In the process implemented by GSB, “no-cook” enzymes can break the starch with great efficiency at lower levels in a simultaneous process of saccharification and fermentation. “With this process we could bring access to clean fuels for anywhere in Africa,” explains engineer Eduardo Mallmann, GSB’s founder.

Nigerian worker washing cassava to use in the EMD

replicable. Similar projects can be installed even in remote communities without access to electrical grid due the presence of an ethanol power generator, which supplies enough electricity to keep all machinery at work and also provide extra power to the surrounding community.

Green Social Bioethanol staff working in the production of distillation columns

The generator is fuelled with only a small portion of the ethanol produced in the EMD. This is a very important asset to be considered for projects in Africa, where the lack of a reliable supply of electrical energy still hampers the implementation of many industries. Moreover,

Ethanol micro-distillery implemented in Ogbomosho, Nigeria for producing 1,000 liters of ethanol per day from cassava

by-products of ethanol production from cassava can be used as crop fertilisers and extra feedstock supply, contributing to improvements in agricultural productivity. “This is a win-win situation for all of us,” says former senator Ayo Adeseun, director of Premium Ranch, a Nigerian private company that also joined the establishment of the project. “Nigeria today imports ethanol for all sorts of uses. If we can produce ethanol from cassava, this will propel our country’s economy.” The case in Nigeria is illustrative of many other realities across the African continent, where economies still rely on highly priced imported fuels, especially oil and gas. They also rely heavily on traditional biomass, which leads to health problems and ecological damage. Substituting bioethanol in the household energy sector offers even more socioeconomic and environmental benefits than its use in the transport sector. In this scenario, local production of bioethanol, when established in an efficient and sustainable manner that respects the environment and empowers local people, can contribute to Africa’s rural development and also to a worldwide transition towards cleaner fuels. l

Reaping the benefits The EMD installed in Ogbomosho has other features that make the model attractive and widely

biofuels international

Bioethanol being produced in the EMD

For more information: This article was written by Luciana Brandão, communications officer at Green Social Bioethanol. Visit:

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Biofuels International July-August 2016  
Biofuels International July-August 2016