Today’s Solutions: November 28, 2021

The majority of chocolate is made from cocoa beans coming from Africa. For every ton of cocoa beans harvested, another 10 tons of cocoa pod husks are produced, which are typically left to decompose on the cocoa plantation or thrown away. Now, researchers have developed a system that will use the husks as feedstock to generate biofuel in Ghana. The husks are processed into pellets, or bricks, that can burn in generators and produce “green” energy. In a country where 80 percent of households use wood as their main source of fuel for cooking and heating water, which leads to widespread deforestation and contributes to indoor air pollution, the invention of this cocoa fuel system is spectacular news. If the system is successful, it could also help contribute to the Ghanaian government’s pledge to ensure 100 percent of Ghanaians have access to electricity by 2030. On top of that, the biofuel system would need workers to collect, transport, treat and process cocoa pod husks, creating additional jobs and income for rural communities.

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