Charcoal project in Kenya    Localized solutions for region-centric challenges                                            ...
Contents1. Introduction                                                   3p2. Situation of Charcoal Problem s of m ateria...
1. IntroductionOn 29th September 2010, as a Kopernik fellow, I went to western Kenya for 6months to research how solar lan...
2. Situation of Charcoal2.1 Market for charcoalBefore explaining the problems I encountered, I would like to first explain...
Figure 2                                       Figure 3A woman is selling roasted maize on Figure 2 and fried fish on Figu...
2.2 Feedback on new type of charcoal from agricultural waste.One month after the charcoal project began, I researched how ...
waste. However, since we implemented our project in the poor village, wehave faced difficulties in using these 2 materials...
carbonization (as in figure 12 below). In western Kenya there are two rainyseasons, which are from April to May and August...
Figure 13. Cores of maize are stored to use for cooking burning materials.- SummaryTo summarize, Table 1 presents the part...
3.2 Problems with toolsObtaining tools like a drum and a compressor is difficult for people in villagebecause of their hig...
4. Solutions4.1 MaterialsAs we mentioned, we had issues of collecting materials. Now I would like todiscuss how we tackled...
Figure 15                               Figure 16Storage house at the village for sugarcane bagasse, which came from thesu...
Figure 17                              Figure 18Last idea for replacement of cassava is molasses, which my Kenyan friendsu...
Figure 20                        Figure 21- Cow dungIt is important not to choose overly dry cow dung, which will not be t...
Figure 24                        Figure 25The photos below show bricks made from differing binders.Figure 26. Made from ca...
Figure 26. 22 bricks made from cassava   Figure 27. 12 bricks made with molasses- HardnessHardness is an important quality...
Figure 29. Normal mode of transport of charcoal from village to town.- Period of ignitionI tested how long it takes for ea...
emitted a lot of smoke were the ones made with cow dung. So, it is notappropriate for use in a restaurant. View a short cl...
bagasse. Until a similar partnership can be made with another sugarcompany, we still need to look for an alternative binde...
the lowest cost possible. In this spirit, I developed an oven with 100 bricks,which cost around 500Ksh(4.86 USD), which is...
Then I asked people there whether they have an idea to make the mud stickto the oven better. And they told me that by ferm...
.Figure 43                                 Figure 44The next step is to insert burning material through the four holes at ...
Figure 49                                      Figure 50From the oven tests conducted, we conclude that this oven design c...
rain and wind, but the carbonization process for the charcoals simultaneouslyand effectively transforms the unbaked bricks...
The price of pots ranges                                                with size. This time, I tried                     ...
Because of the round shape on the bottom of pots, it cannot stand on its own.We dug up ground and made a small hole where ...
From this test, we produced good charcoal as seen on figure 66, making pots astrong and reliable alternative for drums.- S...
Figure 68                               Figure 69And after that you put the upper part (see figure 71) to compress charcoa...
This is whole picture of the  compressor. To simplify it, I  first is identified which part is  necessary and which is not...
5. SummaryAs discussed, there are four problems concerning management of charcoalproject. To solve these problems, a bette...
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Charcoal Project in Kenya

  1. 1. Charcoal project in Kenya Localized solutions for region-centric challenges Takuro Haraguchi Kopernik Fellow -Tokyo Institute of Technology Department of International Development Engineering
  2. 2. Contents1. Introduction 3p2. Situation of Charcoal Problem s of m aterials 4p 2.1 Market for charcoal 4p 2.2 Feedback on new type of charcoal from agricultural waste 6p3. Problem s 6p 3.1 Problems of materials 7p 3.1.1 Agricultural waste 7p 3.1.2 Cassava 9p 3.2 Problems of tools 10p4. Solutions 11p 4.1 Materials 11p 4.1.1 Agricultural waste 11p 4.1.2 Cassava 12p 4.2 Tools 19p 4.2.1 Oven 19p 4.2.2 Pot 24p5. Sum m ary 30p 2
  3. 3. 1. IntroductionOn 29th September 2010, as a Kopernik fellow, I went to western Kenya for 6months to research how solar lanterns contributed to people’s lives in avillage where there is no electricity.I had many conversations with peoplethere and realized that there exists a great inequality between the rich andthe poor even in villages. Actually, there are so many widows without stableincome sources who have to support more than 5 children. Many of them arenot in a position to meet basic needs like eating supper, using kerosene lampevery night, and so on. What can we do for them? One approach is to providenew job opportunities because lack of income source is the main reasonbehind their poverty. With this perspective, I decided to initiate the charcoalproject in western Kenya in December 2010 by using technology invented byD-Lab MIT. I managed the charcoal project on the ground in Kenya duringtwo separate terms; December 2010 to March 2011 and August 2011 toSeptember 2011, partnering with a local, community-based organization inboth occasions. During these periods, we have had many difficulties with theproject, which prevent charcoal production from increasing. Therefore, Iwould like to share our experiences of difficulties and how we have tried totackle them in this report. 3
  4. 4. 2. Situation of Charcoal2.1 Market for charcoalBefore explaining the problems I encountered, I would like to first explain thegeneral situation of those who use charcoal in western Kenya. Since there isno infrastructure of Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for cooking, people areforced to use charcoal or firewood, driving the demand for charcoal very high.Then, the question arises: “What type of people use charcoal?” I dividedcharcoal users into two groups of people: those who live in town and thosewho use them it for business2.1.1 People who live in townThe first type consists of richer people living mainly in towns. Figure 1 belowshows the estate of a sugar company where workers and their family live.Everyone here uses charcoal for cooking.Figure 12.1.2 People who use it for business.The second type consists of people who use coal for their businesses. Actually,there are so many people who do it. The reason why they use charcoal insteadof firewood is to avoid emitting smoke otherwise customs won’t come to takefoods. In addition, charcoal is much better in terms of efficiency of cooking.Nevertheless to say, there are some kinds of business with charcoal. So, Iwould like to explain one by one. - Charcoal for cooking foodIf you go to market at towns, you can find many people on roads who areselling food cooked using charcoal as a source of fuel. 4
  5. 5. Figure 2 Figure 3A woman is selling roasted maize on Figure 2 and fried fish on Figure 3.And also if you go to a restaurant located in either a town or a village, peoplethere cook using charcoal.Figure 4 Figure 5- Charcoal for other purposesAnother type of use for charcoal is for ironing (see figures 6 and 7 below).Figure 6 Figure 7 5
  6. 6. 2.2 Feedback on new type of charcoal from agricultural waste.One month after the charcoal project began, I researched how people whoregularly use charcoal feel about our charcoal. I gave out samples to around20 people who run restaurants to get feedback.Figure 8 Figure 9The results from the feedback conveyed that most people were satisfied withthe workability of the charcoal. From this we can conclude that charcoalproduced from agricultural waste is a viable substitute for charcoal by wood.3. ProblemsI have managed the charcoal project in Kenya on the ground for 6 months intotal and found there were 4 problems with charcoal production.Figure 10. The flow of charcoal production.As you see Figure 10, we use 2 materials (Agricultural waste and Cassava)and 2 tools (Drum and Compressor) to produce charcoal from agricultural 6
  7. 7. waste. However, since we implemented our project in the poor village, wehave faced difficulties in using these 2 materials and 2 tools.3.1 Problems with materialsWe encountered a problem in stably acquiring agricultural waste and cassava.3.1.1 Agricultural wasteOwing to western Kenya’s relative prosperity in agriculture, there is quite abit of agricultural waste to benefit from, such as stocks of sugarcane, maizecores and stocks of maize. In this sense, you might think that it is easy to getplenty of materials, which is what I thought initially. However, after startingthe charcoal project I realized that it was not easy to acquire a sufficientamount of these materials. Through observations, I learned that there arefour critical factors that influence the success of people participating in theproject in collecting the necessary raw materials.1: Whether it is harvest seasonOne of the major materials for charcoal production is maize. In westernKenya, there are two harvest season of maize, which are the only times it ispossible to procure maize materials. If maize is not being harvested, it is verydifficult to collect those materials. On the other hand, there is no harvestseason for sugarcane; it grows all year round. This allows procuring wastematerials of sugarcane to be independent of seasons.Figure 11. Dry is desirable.2: Whether it is the rainy seasonOne requirement for carbonization is to use dry materials. Otherwise, it wiltake a lot of time for the materials to catch fire in the drum. In addition, wetmaterials means using more burning material than normal, which reducesthe efficiency of the process. Finally, wet materials can lead to ineffective 7
  8. 8. carbonization (as in figure 12 below). In western Kenya there are two rainyseasons, which are from April to May and August to September. Hence, it isdifficult to get dry materials during these seasons.Figure 123: Proximity of waste materials to burning siteAs for waste materials of maize, you can find these ready on land just afterharvesting two times per year. And also you can find numerous sugarcanefields in western Kenya but unlike maize, sugarcane matures after a fewyears, whereas the period of maturity for maize occurs after just a fewmonths. Although abundant, getting waste materials of sugarcane iscompletely dependent upon where the waste material is located. If they areharvested at location far from the charcoal burning site, it is difficult for theparticipants of the project to pick them up because the main mode oftransporting goods in this region is by foot.4: Whether you own lands for maizeCollecting the cores of maize is dependent upon whether people own land andgrow maize. In western Kenya, after harvesting maize, people move it toinside their houses to store, take out the kernels, and leave the cobs. So, youcannot get maize in the field as same way you get maize stock. How muchamount of cores of maize you can get is dependent upon how large of field youhave. Of course, many poor people don’t have lands for maize. 8
  9. 9. Figure 13. Cores of maize are stored to use for cooking burning materials.- SummaryTo summarize, Table 1 presents the particular difficulties each agriculturalwaste has.Table 1. The situation of collecting agricultural waste.3.1.2 CassavaIn western Kenya, you can find a lot of cassava. But, there are 2 difficultiesspecifically with cassava.1: Competition with foodsMany in western Kenya people treat cassava as food, especially in Busia town,which is located along the border with Uganda where cassava is a main dietstaple. In this area, there might be resistance to use it as a binder. So far thescale of charcoal production is small, but if it expands in the long term, itmight trigger a competition with foods.2: ScarcityWe can find cassava all year round. However, the demand for cassava inwestern Kenya in which the main food is maize depends on harvest seasonsof other foods. During harvest season for maize, there is a large supply ofmaize so demand for cassava is low, but during non-harvest seasons for maize,price of maize go up and demand for cassava is high. Therefore, suppliers ofcassava hold out on selling cassava in maize harvesting season in order toprofit from the higher prices they will reap when maize becomes scarce in theoff season. 9
  10. 10. 3.2 Problems with toolsObtaining tools like a drum and a compressor is difficult for people in villagebecause of their high costs. Here in western Kenya, the price of a metal drumis very expensive, which is 1,700Ksh(16.63 USD 1) The price of a compressoris slightly expensive, 400Ksh(3.91 USD). To give you a better sense of justhow high these prices are in western Kenya, let me give an example. Peoplewho are working at primary schools as a teacher can get income around15,000Ksh (145.85 USD) monthly. But, I realized from my interviews thatpeople living in villages only get around 2,000Ksh (19.45 USD) monthly as aprofit from their diverse businesses. So, as long as we target people invillages, getting drums is next to impossible. Initially, I tried to adopt a loanmodel to allow people in villages to acquire drums. I loaned out 6 drums andcompressors (in total, 2,100Ksh each) and asked them to pay back the sameamount of money in 6 months time. The time interval would allow them togain the necessary money by selling charcoal made from the drum. When Icame back to Kenya 6 months later, I realized that the loan model works onthe assumption that they can produce a lot of charcoal without any problems.In addition, it assumes that they can sell a large quantity of charcoal in alarger marketplace. My conclusion is that the loan model has not been asuitable way to assist initial investment.1 I converted Kenyan currency to USD by this ratio USD/KES = 0.00978, 13th Oct 2011 10
  11. 11. 4. Solutions4.1 MaterialsAs we mentioned, we had issues of collecting materials. Now I would like todiscuss how we tackled these issues.4.1.1 Agricultural wasteThere are three main agricultural wastes of materials, which are core ofmaize, maize stock and sugarcane. However, core of maize and maize stockare not available in all seasons. So, I focus on sugarcane, which is harvestedon a daily basis somewhere in the region. In western Kenya, there are morethan 10 sugar companies and fortunately one of biggest sugar companies inKenya is located near my village. I heard from a friend that the factorydumped its sugarcane waste nearby.Figure 14. A hill by dump site of sugarcane bagasse at one of the sugar companies.So, I went to there to talk with a manager at the sugar company to ask himwhether it is possible for them to provide sugarcane bagasse for the project.He told me that they don’t throw out it anymore and instead use it forgenerating electricity. However, since he was interested in collaborate on thischarcoal project, he finally accepted to provide some sugarcane bagasse forthe project. 11
  12. 12. Figure 15 Figure 16Storage house at the village for sugarcane bagasse, which came from thesugar company factory.Through this partnership with the sugar company, we came to have steadyaccess sugarcane bagasse. But, problems still remain.. We still need to paymoney for transporting the bagasse from the factory to the village as well asfor rent of a storage house even though we have not yet secured a big marketto sell charcoal.4.1.2 Cassava4.1.2.1 Alternatives to using cassava as binder in production ofcharcoalOne of my friends attempted to use mud instead of cassava as the bindingagent for making charcoal because it is very sticky and, more importantly, weare able to get it at no cost. Another advantage of using mud is that it canhold heat even after fire of charcoal goes off.Inspired by this attempt, I started to think of other alternatives for easilyavailable and free material that could replace cassava in the productionprocess. I came up with the idea that cow dung could be used because manypeople own it and it’s also free, like mud. For people who live in developedcountries, there might be a resistance to using this material, but it is part oflife in the village. For instance, they use it for building the foundations andwalls of local houses, like in figures 17 and 18 below. 12
  13. 13. Figure 17 Figure 18Last idea for replacement of cassava is molasses, which my Kenyan friendsuggested because it is sticky. Molasses is the waste liquid of sugar thatcomes out in the process of producing sugar. (see figure 19 below)Figure 194.1.2.2 How to make binderBefore explaining how to check the effectiveness of each binders, let me firstexplain how they are made.- MudThe first step is to dig up some soil with spade and add water. After this, youmix the water and the mud using the spade and also using your feet until themud becomes well mixed and sticky. 13
  14. 14. Figure 20 Figure 21- Cow dungIt is important not to choose overly dry cow dung, which will not be tackyenough to use as a binder in charcoal. After finding wet cow dung, you mix itwith charcoal directly until it is well combined.Figure 22 Figure 23- MolassesUnlike cow dung and mud, molasses does not easily become solid and willbreak down if you mix it with charcoal directly. Molasses is like honey; itneeds some processing to make it become solid. To achieve solidity, I boiled itand, as a result, some parts of molasses became solid. Thus, from thisattempt, you can use molasses as a binder in making charcoal. 14
  15. 15. Figure 24 Figure 25The photos below show bricks made from differing binders.Figure 26. Made from cassava Figure 27. Made from mudFigure 26. Made from cow dung Figure 27. Made from molasses4.1.2.3 Testing an alternative to cassava.We were initially unsure if the above mentioned binders would work well asan alternative to cassava. Thus, we undertook tests to ensure their feasibility.To bolster the reliability of our results, I asked a local restaurant owner torun the same tests that I would run, controlling for variability in the data.The result of our tests was very similar, as shown below. The central pointswe focused on in the research were cost, hardness, period of ignition,heat output, quantity of smoke produced and durability.- CostI calculated the input costs for producing charcoal with cassava and molassesto find out which one is cheaper in the production process. My method was tobuy 10Ksh worth of cassava and molasses and make as many bricks possibleusing those materials. The result of this test was that the per unit cost ofcassava was cheaper at 0 .45Ksh whereas molasses cost 0.83Ksh per unit. 15
  16. 16. Figure 26. 22 bricks made from cassava Figure 27. 12 bricks made with molasses- HardnessHardness is an important quality that buyers look for because if the charcoalis not hard enough it will break down when carried from place to place. Infact, if the charcoal is not hard enough, the producer will not even be able totransport it from the place of production to the marketplace. I tested thehardness of the different charcoals by touch. Below are my results, fromhardest to least hard.Mud > Cassava > Cow dung >> MolassesThe strongest one is mud. Cassava is also strong too. It is difficult to breakbricks with these binders by hand. Bricks produced from cow dung weremuch weaker. It is possible to break by hand the bricks produced with cowdung. As for molasses, these bricks did not completely solidify and thus werevery easy to break (see figure 28). My conclusion is that molasses is not asuitable material for selling charcoal since its durability is very questionable.Figure 28 16
  17. 17. Figure 29. Normal mode of transport of charcoal from village to town.- Period of ignitionI tested how long it takes for each type of brick to catch fire. Below are theresults:Cassava : 3 minCow dung : 10 minMolasses : 30 minMud : Nil Figure 30 As you can see, cassava is the best, just 3 min. I found that molasses takes the longest time, 30 minutes, to catch fire. Mud simply did not start to burn, like the bricks oictured on figure 30 above.- Heat outputHeat output is an important index for determining the suitability of thecharcoal for cooking. Our results below show that cassava produces enoughheat to cook hard food like beef and chicken. But the heat output of molassesis too weak to cook hard food so that only soft foods like rice and smalloperations like warming tea are possible.Cassava > Cow dung > Molasses- Quantity of smoke producedThe restaurant owner who also ran these tests said that the only bricks that 17
  18. 18. emitted a lot of smoke were the ones made with cow dung. So, it is notappropriate for use in a restaurant. View a short clip of our charcoals inaction here.- DurabilityLast but not least, I tested the charcoals’ durability. This is also an importantindex for cooking because if the charcoal does not last long, we need to addmore charcoals, making it neither economical nor fuel efficient.. The resultsare shown below. Cassava : 2 hours Cow dung : 45 min Molasses : 4 hours Cow dung lasted just 45 min, after which most parts became ash. Surprisingly, bricks made out of molasses produced heat for more than 4 hours although it was not hard before burning. Figure 31I realized that in the burning process, molasses becomes a very hard materialthrough a chemical reaction, which allows it to last longer.- SummaryFrom this test, we found that molasses is a feasible material. The otherperson who did the same test said that we can use cassava and molassescharcoal bricks separately for cooking different types of foods. For instance,bricks made from cassava can be used for cooking hard foods whereas bricksmade from molasses can be used for cooking soft foods and warming foods.Table. 2. The result of test to find out alternatives of cassava.4.1.2.4 Action assignmentAs I suggested, molasses has potential to be a good binder but it still poses aproblem. Molasses is only available in towns where sugar factories arelocated because it is a waste product in the production of sugar. It is costly forpeople in far away villages to go there and pick it up. However, it might bepossible that the sugar companies will provide molasses like one did with 18
  19. 19. bagasse. Until a similar partnership can be made with another sugarcompany, we still need to look for an alternative binder in the meantime.4.2 Tools4.2.1 DrumAs I discussed, the problem with the drum is that it costs too much and it isnot affordable for the project’s target demographic. So, I decided to look for analternative that works well like a drum but would be less costly. Finally, Icame up two ideas that have high potential to be alternative of drum.4.2.1.1 Oven with bricks- How to make it.If you go to a village in western Kenya, you will come across a lot of bricksthat people make from soil. The idea I had was to make an oven with bricksand use mud to bind these bricks together.Figure 32. Unbaked bricks Figure 33. Baked bricksFigure 34 & Figure 35. A workshop for ladies to teach how to make oven with bricks.The oven had to act exactly like the drum, that is to say, it needed to share itscharacteristics. First, it requires holes on the bottom that allow fire to burninside. The second requirement is a way to cover the hole where agriculturalwastes are inserted and catch fire. The third and last requirement is a placefrom where the charcoal can be removed from inside once it is ready.Therefore, we need to devise an oven design that meets these requirements at 19
  20. 20. the lowest cost possible. In this spirit, I developed an oven with 100 bricks,which cost around 500Ksh(4.86 USD), which is much cheaper than a1700Ksh drum. The trickiest part of this oven is how to remove the finishedcharcoal from inside. When using a drum, one can easily flip the drum overand get the charcoal out. But, the oven is attached to the ground, renderingthe extraction process difficult. To solve this issue, I include removable bricksin the construction of the oven that enables easy removal of the charcoal aftercooling down.Figure 36. Figure 37In the process of carbonization, you cover the removable bricks with mud likeleft pic and when you take out charcoal, you remove bricks, as in the pictureon the right.So far I talked only about bricks. Needless to say that mud as a binder is veryimportant for this oven. Initially, I built up the first prototype of oven usingmud as a binder that I made by mixing soil and water until it became sticky.But, it was easily affected by strong rain and eventually fell down.Figure 38. First oven prototype Figure 39. Destroyed by rain after a few days 20
  21. 21. Then I asked people there whether they have an idea to make the mud stickto the oven better. And they told me that by fermenting mud, they couldmake it stickier. The way to ferment it was very simple. All you have to do isto gather mud in one place and cover it by plastic paper. Then you wait for afew days, and that’s it—you get perfectly good, fermented mud after that.Initially, I doubted its workability but I realized that it was stickier thannormal mud. After that I developed a second prototype of the oven withfermented mud, while also providing a training session for ladies on how tobuild it.Figure 40. Gathered mud Figure 41. Covering with paper to ferment The second prototype with fermented mud withstood erosion caused by wind and rain. As you see in figure 42 on the right, the mud on the outside of the oven has not fallen down because fermented mud is more sticky and attaches to bricks. Youmight still think that even after mud become dry, the hardness of an oven cannot withstand to support. But, I am sure that the mud will harden in the process of carbonization because direct contact with will transform the mud to be like brick. Figure 42- How it worksAfter developing an oven, we started to burn agricultural waste to confirmwhether the oven functions successfully. First step is to put agriculturalwaste inside until it is full. 21
  22. 22. .Figure 43 Figure 44The next step is to insert burning material through the four holes at bottom,which are connected to inside. Then ignite the materials with fire and let thematerials burn inside.Figure 45 Figure 46After about 15 minutes, fire will rise to the top. At this point, cover the holesin the bottom with bricks and soil. Cover the top hole with an iron sheet.Figure 47 Figure 48The final step is to remove the detachable bricks out from both sides andextract charcoal. 22
  23. 23. Figure 49 Figure 50From the oven tests conducted, we conclude that this oven design canfunction properly for carbonizing agricultural waste and is a viablealternative to the steel drum.- ImprovementsA. Wire meshOne criticism from the ladies who attended the training workshop was thatmost of the charcoal, after carbonization, fell down to the holes at the bottom.Because the size of the holes is big, it is difficult to collect the carbonizedcharcoals that are lodged there.Figure 51 Figure 52Carbonized material fell down to the holes on the bottom.A way to prevent materials from falling down is to set a wire mesh above theholes.B. Unbaked bricksSo far, we assumed that baked bricks (5Ksh per brick) will be used, makingthe total cost to build an oven around 500Ksh as I mentioned. But, I believethere is a possibility to reduce cost of building up an oven from 500Ksh to200Ksh by using unbaked bricks that cost 2ksh per brick. You might thinkthat unbaked bricks are weak and will not be able to withstand erosion by 23
  24. 24. rain and wind, but the carbonization process for the charcoals simultaneouslyand effectively transforms the unbaked bricks into strong and sturdy bakedbricks. In the process of turning unbaked bricks into baked ones, you need to pile up bricks like in figure 53 and directly expose the unbaked bricks to the fire. Figure 534.2.1.2 Pot- How to modifyA second alternative to the drum that we came up with is pots for storingwater. You can find these in every village household (see figure 54 and 55).They can also be used for making local alcohol. And like bricks, pots aremanufactured and available locally in villages.Figure 54 Figure 55 24
  25. 25. The price of pots ranges with size. This time, I tried to use the size that is commonly used, whose price is around 450Ksh (see figure 56 and 57). The only modification that needs to be made is to make holes on the bottom so that you can ignite the fire inside from the bottom as you doFigure 56 with a drum and an oven.Figure 57 Figure 58Figure 58 shows the modified pot with holes on the bottom that serves as analternative to a drum for making charcoal briquettes.- How the pot worksThe first step is to put materials inside in the same way you do for a drumand ignite fire from bottom.Figure 59 Figure 60 25
  26. 26. Because of the round shape on the bottom of pots, it cannot stand on its own.We dug up ground and made a small hole where bottom of pot can fit andstand upright stably. Unlike drums, pots are made with soil whose heatconductivity is lower than iron, which means you can hold it by hand withoutbeing burned. (See figure 62).Figure 61 Figure 62The second step is to cover the top hole with an iron sheet and mud toprevent smoke from leaking out.Figure 63 Figure 64After 2 hours, it will be cooled down so that you can take out the charcoal.Figure 65 Figure 66 26
  27. 27. From this test, we produced good charcoal as seen on figure 66, making pots astrong and reliable alternative for drums.- SummaryI summarized the features of each structure that can be used for carbonizingcharcoal on Table.3. The most important factor is price. We are able toprovide a better option by developing cheaper alternatives of drum while stillguaranteeing the same quality outcome. The other factor is size. This factor isalso important if we consider that the amount of agricultural wastesavailable each year differs. For instance, rainy seasons prevent people fromgetting a sufficient amount of carbonizing materials to fill up an entire drum.In this case, a pot may accommodate the available materials moreappropriately.Table 3. Comparison of each structure for carbonization.4.2.2 CompressorThe other tool is a compressor. AsI mentioned, the problem with thecompressor is that it is stillexpensive, 400Ksh, even thoughmost of them said that it is veryeffective. So what I have done is tosimplify the design to make itcheaper. Before stating to explainit, I would like to discuss step bystep the design developed at D-Lab works. Figure 67First step is to put a lower part inside the pipe that work to push up charcoalafter the charcoal is compressed. As seen on figure 69, the part consists of astick that protrudes from the bottom of the pipe. 27
  28. 28. Figure 68 Figure 69And after that you put the upper part (see figure 71) to compress charcoal.Figure 70 Figure 71After compressing, remove the upper part and push charcoal up by hittingthe stick on the lower part to a base so that you get charcoal easily.Figure 72 Figure 73 28
  29. 29. This is whole picture of the compressor. To simplify it, I first is identified which part is necessary and which is not. I noticed that the lower part that pushes ready out is not necessary, simplifying the compressor to only 2 parts, as seen on figure 74. Figure 74The points that increase the cost of this compressor depend on the number ofmaterials you use to weld. The one developed at D-Lab needed to use 6 ironmaterials and weld 3 places to connect them. However, I modified the designto require only 3 iron materials and places to be welded, decreasing thecompressor’s cost from 400Ksh to 150Ksh.And also, you can see the difference by movies from these links: compressordeveloped at D-Lab and the D-lab compressor that I modified. 29
  30. 30. 5. SummaryAs discussed, there are four problems concerning management of charcoalproject. To solve these problems, a better understanding of the beneficiaries’lifestyles and cultural as well as the local technologies available to them isessential in providing and customizing technologies that are appropriate andfitting for them. Unfortunately, this information tends to be ignored. As longas the beneficiaries are those living below or near the poverty line, we need tocontinually rethink and understand how they live and what they want inorder for technologies, such as the D-lab compressor, to fit their lives and touse other local technologies and materials because each country and regionhas its own local technologies, cultures and environments. Otherwise,technologies which have been developed to assist them are not as effective asthey could be. So, again I would like to say that “localization” of appropriateand improved technologies is very important..In this report, I talked abouthow we can localize technology of charcoal production for Kenyans, and it ispossible that this may not apply to other countries. Thus, we need to developother strategies to localize the same project if we decide to bring this projectto other countries. I hope this report will contribute to introducing charcoaltechnology in other countries. If you have any questions or suggestion, please let me know. takuro.haraguchi@gmail.com Takuro Haraguchi Kopernik Fellow -Tokyo Institute of Technology Department of International Development Engineering 30

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