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Saving the malagasy forest through new energy solutions

In Madagascar, the forest is disappearing at an extreme rate. 90 percent of the original forest area has disappeared. There are several reasons for this: mining, illegal logging for precious woods, slash and burn for the creation of arable land but above all the illegal logging for the production of charcoal for daily use. Almost every Malagasy household (98%) cooks with small stoves made of thin sheet metal and charcoal. During the last 30 years, a large part of the forest area and especially of the primary forest in Madagascar has disappeared, so that now only 10% of the original forest stands are left.

The production of charcoal leads to a drastic decline of the forests in Madagascar!

To counteract this development, the Malagasy environmental association AJPER has been researching alternative fuels and optimized stove models for 7 years. Together, we have now further developed the product "BioPellets" and secured the financing of a pellet factory with the help of a crowdfunding campaign. The BioPellets are pressed from the rapidly renewable and abundant Miscanthus grass and are intended to displace the nature-damaging charcoal from the Madagascan market in the long term. 


Miscanthus gras which is highly abundant in Madagascar is used for the pellet production

The initial plan is to build a pellet factory in Sakaraha, where we already have a plot of land. The pellets will then be distributed through regional small traders and sold at a lower price than charcoal. Harvesting and delivering the required Miscathus grass will also provide a livelihood for those who previously relied on charcoal production. At the same time, pellet production powered by renewable energy paves the way for the structural establishment of solar energy in Madagascar.

The pellet plant consists out of a chopper, hammer mill and press. Afterward the finished dried pellets get distributed to the population.

And there is another advantage at once: in combination with the stoves also developed from local raw materials, such as clay, the pellets carbonize in an energy-efficient and low-emission manner when the food is prepared. By charring, we prevent the CO2 previously bound in the plants from being completely released. Thus, the locals can use the charred pellets as fertilizer for the eroded soil, closing an almost autonomous production cycle. Depending on the size of the press, we save between 125 and 2500 tons of CO2 annually.

The charred pellets can be used as fertilizer on eroded soils. Thus, we close an almost autonomous production cycle.

Reducing the CO2 emissions for everyday cooking

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750 families get 

supplied by 1 press


0.5kg per meal


The press is driven by solar energy, the pellets produced are used in insulated, energy-efficient stoves, the charred pellets can be spread on the fields as fertilizer, the widely available Miscathus grass (of the grasslands in Madagascar) is harvested and delivered, and the process begins anew

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