Bioenergy production: Moringa bio-gel
About the Implementing organization
Name: Lifebuilders Nigeria
Year of establishment: 1999
Type of organization: Legally recognized non-profit status
The Moringa bio-gel is an effective alternative cooking energy source for domestic use. It is derived from ethanol produced from Moringa Oleifera stems which is mixed with gelling chemicals to obtain a clear gel which burns longer than liquid ethanol. The gel burns with a blue flame, heats up fast and does not stain cooking pots. This innovative action is relatively new in Africa, let alone rural areas. This is a veritable means of climate change mitigation because rural dwellers are the major users of firewood which contributes to greenhouse gas emission in the atmosphere. The moringa bio-gel production deviates from the norm of taking from consumers only. it encompasses the inclusion of users in the production which they stand to gain from when the raw materials are bought from them. A scaling up of the project also results in a scaling up of their revenue generation. This therefore is a project that rewards the users as they use the product and also helps to make their environment friendlier and healthier. In a nutshell, moringa farmers in the project community are compensated as they supply stems to the moringa bio-gel production team making it a win-win situation for the project community.
Type of Action
Protection / Restoration / Sustainable use / Pollution prevention, clean up / Awareness and education
Sustainable Development Element
Jobs and livelihoods / Health / Renewable energy / Climate action
The moringa bio-gel production project involves tree planting as this is the main supply of the raw materials needed for the project. The first impact on the environment is the reforestation of communities by community members and the initiative which helps to stop deforestation and the trees which also absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, thereby making the environment cleaner. Also, the initiative has led to an increase in moringa trees in Alore-Ijaiye communities in which over 500,000 moringa trees have been planted, resulting in a reduction of carbon dioxide emission by 122,400,000 tCO2. Also, by cooking with clean cook stoves, the carbon emitted through cooking with firewood is greatly reduced as the biogas releases less carbon to the atmosphere. The initiative therefore helps to mop up the atmosphere and reduces the carbon emission afterwards through sustainable practices.
Sustainable Development Impacts
The moringa bio gel production involves tree planting and this has created more income for households. Jobs have been created for youths and women who work in the production centre and also for artisans who have helped in the production of local equipment to be used for production. This has improved numerous lives. Health wise, the use of moringa bagel has helped to reduce the ailments and health issues that are associated with fossil fuel usage which women and household face when carrying out energy consuming activities. Also, indoor air pollution has been drastically reduced. Renewable energy is relatively new with an increasing acceptability on the part of users. The use of the moringa bio fuel increases the awareness and acceptability of users and the attendant benefit they stand to gain when using renewable energy sources. The initiative helps to mitigate carbon emission of existing sources by introducing the use of the bio fuel and also encourage the planting of trees
The initiative is highly scalable. Already, the Small Grant Programme (SGP) has found it worthy of support for scalability because the entire value chain from raw material production to generate several metric tonnes of wood substrate will create jobs for youths, female and elderly farmers alike, even including mechanized farming. Already, the Ogun-Osun river basin authority has agreed to allocate land for planting the moringa trees. In addition, the wood particles to be generated from the crushed moringa stems is also a viable raw material base for the briquette and ceiling material industry being organic fibres. Since moringa is a plant that grows almost everywhere in Nigeria, the initiative could be popularized and scaled up in other parts of the country and elsewhere in developing nations in the tropics
This initiative should be replicated because of its potential benefits to create thousands of jobs in agricultural sector for youths and women, clean and mop up the environment to make it friendlier and cleaner, provide raw materials for the building and paper industries which would also boost the economy of the country.
The replicability can be popularized by creating awareness on the outcomes of the initiative so that government can buy into it, individuals can buy into it as a credible carbon print reducing initiative. The need to embrace renewable energy cannot be over emphasized and the need to get more people in the general populace to know about climate change impact mitigation using this initiative is highly desirable. More so, the plant is a nutrient dense as well as environmentally friendly plant despite been a mono-cotyledon plant.
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