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2013: TCP Launches A Moonshot Called HFI

Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 3.42.45 PM

For us at The Charcoal Project, it’s not a stretch to say that launch of Apollo 17…

Eighteen months ago, we received an unexpected call from D-Lab at MIT. It was Saida Benhayoune, the newly appointed director of D-Lab’s Scale-Ups Program. The call went something like this:  “We’re launching a new initiative designed to scale up access to simple technology solutions for poor people in the developing world. Would you be interested in working together in aggressively boosting access to better technology and fuel solutions for people who depend on wood, charcoal, and animal dung around the world?”

“Heck, yeah!” we answered. It was a no-brainer.

In January we launched the Harvest Fuel Initiative, a joint collaboration that incubates social enterprises in Africa working to deploy truly renewable solid biomass fuels and better combustion technologies, like fuel briquettes made of ag waste, improved charcoal kilns, and clean burning cookstoves.

... is akin to the launch of HFI.

… is akin to the launch of HFI.

Twelve months later, HFI has invested technological expertise, business resources, and close to US$100,000 in four promising companies in Africa that are delivering results.  TCP has been able to engage in this work because of your strong financial support and we hope this will continue in 2014.

Make a donation to support TCP’s work on the Harvest Fuel Initiative!

Outlook for 2014

The raw material for briquettes would normally be burned or left to rot in the field.

It’s all about combining sustainable feedstocks…

Last week Sylvia and I met with our partners at D-Lab to review our program. The highlight of our meeting was seeing the preliminary results from a survey of consumers that have switched to using briquettes from two of HFI’s enterprises. The data suggests consumers are loving the new fuels and stoves. The briquettes are seen as burning cleaner and longer than charcoal. What’s more, users say they consume less fuel than they would if they were using charcoal, which is already an improvement on woodfuel. This translates into savings of time and money, which is exactly the type of assumption we are attempting to validate.

After stuffing it with waste biomass, the kiln is outfitte with a stove and its contenty pyrolyzed over many hours.

… with better kilns to convert ag waste into char…

Together all these improvements are benefiting thousands of men, women, and children in some of the poorest corners of Africa. We feel good about this achievement and we hope you feel like you did your part by supporting our efforts in 2013.

The students show off the goods.

…that produce better fuels.

Our hope for 2014 and 2015 is to see tens of thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands, of people benefiting from TCP and D-Lab’s collaboration in HFI.

We hope you will join us in achieving this vision!

 

Please Support TCP’s continued Space Program so we can deliver better fuels and cooking technologies for the earthlings that urgently need them! Thank You!

Sylvia and Kim

 



2 Comments

  1. Pingback:2013: TCP Launches A Moonshot Called HFI : One Percent for the Planet

  2. samuel says:

    GOOD I AM HAPPY TO SEE GUYS DOING THIS . IN INDIA WE ARE DOING CHARCOAL TREATMENT FOR BAD WOUNDS AND FOR ALL THE THAT CAN BE CURED UNDER CHARCOAL. WE ARE DOING THIS BY OWN NEED IS BIG , PRAY FOR US .

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