German-African Business Summit 2019 (GABS)

GABS (Bild: Thomas Mockenhaupt)

A delegation of NRW.international GmbH and TH Köln travelled to Accra/Ghana for the German-African Business Summit 2019(GABS) Conference.

Sunhut2 TH Köln in Accra/Ghana (Bild: Thomas Mockenhaupt)

The TH Köln represented by Thomas Mockenhaupt presented the concept of the pyrolysis furnace, for the production of cocoa shell coal from cocoa shells for cooking.

A Ghanaian partner Sunhut Enterprise could be won for the continuation of the project.

Ghana is one of the largest producers of cocoa. As a waste product, approximately 1 million tons of cocoa shells are produced annually, which on the one hand represents unused potential for biomass utilization and on the other hand causes a reduction of soil compaction.

This waste utilization and processing is an economic optimization of the entire value chain and can solve the problem of soil compaction. The technique of pyrolysis was developed at the TH Köln by means of a furnace made of the simplest materials and manufactured with simple hand tools and the effectiveness of the application was investigated. This simple technique could have enormous socio-economic improvement potential for the rural population of Ghana.

In private use, the stove can reduce costs through the sustainable use of these waste products as fuel instead of using firewood or coal.

Compared to the use of firewood, emissions are reduced and at the same time the population becomes less dependent on expensive charcoal. The calorific value of cocoa shell charcoal is slightly below the calorific value of charcoal, but its use as a fuel for food preparation does not contradict this. The coal produced can also be used as fertilizer, or potentially be upgraded to activated carbon and used for drinking water treatment. Forest clearing for firewood production can be minimized by using cocoa shells as a raw material and thus reducing CO2. Local economic structures can be established by using the kiln on cocoa plantations or founding companies that offer raw material collection, processing and marketing as a service.

The possibility of further training of young population strata looking for work in large cities to enable them to manufacture ovens and distribute them represents a further development potential. This can help avoid unemployment and the resulting homelessness of young people in cities. A local development potential exists in the investigation of other biogenic residues and the testing of charring in the developed pyrolysis furnace. The need of the enterprises for trained workers can be met by adapting the educational institutions.

Due to the technical expertise of the TH Köln a sustainable and stable development of industrial sites is possible. The production of the ovens is an example of how people are trained in the simplest skills that can be used as a benefit for companies to generate manpower.

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