Fueled by chocolate: Ghana’s newest biofuel

April 26, 2019 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Fueled by chocolate: Ghana’s newest biofuel

Researchers in Ghana are testing a system that will turn cocoa into biofuel  — but don’t worry — it uses the green waste produced during harvest, so you can still eat all of the chocolate! The project is funded by the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom and will be tested in Ghana, one of the world’s largest producers of cocoa. Chocolate is a multi-billion-dollar international industry, with the bulk of cocoa coming from Africa. “Every ton of cocoa beans harvested generates 10 tons of cocoa pod husks,” says Jo Darkwa , professor of energy storage technologies at Nottingham and one of the project team leads. Husks are typically discarded during harvest after the beans are extracted. Usually, the husks are left to decompose on the cocoa plantation while the beans head to fermentation and drying facilities before they are turned into chocolate. Now, researchers have developed a system that will use the husks as feedstock to generate biofuel. The husks are processed into pellets, or bricks, that can burn in generators and produce “green” electricity. Related: Cargill announces plan to reduce deforestation from cocoa “Feasibility studies indicate that cocoa pod husks could be converted into valuable biofuels and become an important energy supply for rural areas that only have 15 percent coverage at present,” explained Professor Darkwa. The many benefits of cocoa fuel This initiative is not only an innovate green technology, it also has other secondary benefits: Increase access to electricity If successful, the project could contribute to the Ghanaian government’s pledge to ensure 100 percent of Ghanaians have access to electricity by 2030. Reduce deforestation and improve climate and human health Currently, 80 percent of households in Ghana use wood as their main source of fuel for cooking and heating water. This practice not only leads to widespread deforestation in order to harvest wood, but indoor air pollution from wooden stoves is one of the top four leading risk factors for death worldwide. Create jobs If successful, the biofuel system would need workers to collect, transport , treat and process cocoa pod husks, which would create additional jobs and provide income for rural communities. Cocoa as chocolate, cocoa as compost Since it is the beans that are used to make chocolate, the husks are simply bio-waste, and therefore the biofuel system would not take away from farmers ’ profits in any way— in fact it would augment the profitability of the entire cocoa pod. However, cocoa pod waste is an important source of nutrients for cocoa trees. During harvest, ripe cocoa pods are collected and piled throughout the plantation. When the farmers are ready to extract the beans, the pods are cracked open and usually left in a heap to decompose. When husks biodegrade, they are an incredibly rich source of nutrients that help trees grow, improve soil quality and reduce plant disease. Studies show that the decaying pods host beneficial fungi and microbiotics, so will farmers and their crops be losing out on natural fertilizer if they ship their husks off to biofuel systems? Farmers with the capacity to do so might collect and bring the husks to an on-site composting location, but most small farmers do not have the capacity to process or evenly distribute the nutrients from the pile of decomposing husks and rely on nature to take its course. Farmers who do maximize the use of the compost may prefer to continue to do so, however those without that ability now have the option to profit from electricity generation instead. Testing the system in Ghana and the world “Undoubtedly, provision of sustainable energy services through cocoa pod husks would go a long way towards improving the quality of lives and thus alleviate poverty in rural communities as well as fight against climate change,” Professor Darkwa told Climate News Network . The project team is expected to test a prototype of their system at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in July 2019. The plan is to design, build and operate a small-scale bio-power electricity generation unit that burns husks in a gasification system. Each system includes a gasifier, small generator, solar drier and pelletizer and costs approximately US $50,000. If the prototype is successful, the system could be replicated in other countries following additional feasibility studies. Via Climate News Network Images via Flickr ,  dghchocolatier

See the rest here:
Fueled by chocolate: Ghana’s newest biofuel

Mars candy company plans to fix the "broken" cocoa supply chain

September 21, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Mars candy company plans to fix the "broken" cocoa supply chain

Some big changes are ahead for Mars Wrigley Confectionery. The company, which produces some of the most popular treats in America, is revamping its cocoa supply to help combat poverty, child labor and deforestation . Mars hopes its new strategy will be fully in place by the year 2025 and fix what it referred to as the “broken” cocoa industry. “The cocoa supply chain as it works today is broken,” said John Ament, the vice president of the company, in an interview with Reuters . Related: Colombia to produce free chocolate — deforestation-free, that is… Critics have targeted the cocoa industry this year, because it negatively affects farmers and has contributed to environmental issues like deforestation. Mars Wrigley hopes to change the industry by investing in a new strategy — one that will ensure that all its cocoa is purchased from responsible growers. Although the plan is great for the environment and sustainability, Mars expects to spend around $1 billion to get it done. This is not the first time Mars has initiated a sustainability plan. In previous years, the company promised to buy only certified cocoa . This goal was supposed to be met by 2020, but Mars now says that certification is not enough. Related: Mars Australia to go to 100% renewable energy in just over one year The new strategy means that the company will be able to trace all the cocoa it purchases back to the original source, and a third party will verify that the growers are not contributing to deforestation. Mars will also pay more for cocoa that meets its new standards. Not only will this help fight poverty and child labor among cocoa producers, but it also gives farmers more incentive to practice sustainability. Under the old certification plan, farmers were not paid more for producing sustainable cocoa, which is why the strategy came under fire in the first place. Mars also plans to educate farmers on better growing practices and give them better access to funding. The company hopes this will lead to greater sustainability and increased production. + Mars Via Reuters Image via Mars

See the original post: 
Mars candy company plans to fix the "broken" cocoa supply chain

10 Warming Vegan Drinks for Autumn and Winter

November 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Green, Recycle

Comments Off on 10 Warming Vegan Drinks for Autumn and Winter

Although winter isn’t officially here yet, the biting winds and snowfall are inspiring many of us to order hot lattes, apple cider, and cocoa instead of frozen drinks at our  favorite cafes . All over the northern hemisphere, folks are wrapping chilled fingers around warm mugs to sip at the deliciousness therein. Whether you’re aiming to be more budget-friendly or would just rather make your own drinks at home, you can whip up some fabulous, delicious vegan sip-ables with just a few ingredients, a saucepan, and a stove top. Read the rest of 10 Warming Vegan Drinks for Autumn and Winter Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: autumn beverages , autumn drinks , beverages , butterbeer , chai , Christmas , cider , cocoa , Earl Grey , fall beverages , fall drinks , hot beverages , hot chocolate , hot drink , hot toddy , latte , London fog , miso , miso soup , mulled , tea , thanksgiving , vegan , vegan drink , wine , winter beverages , winter drinks

See more here:
10 Warming Vegan Drinks for Autumn and Winter

D.C.’s Affordable Net-Zero Empowerhouse is Moving to Philadelphia

November 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on D.C.’s Affordable Net-Zero Empowerhouse is Moving to Philadelphia

Read the rest of D.C.’s Affordable Net-Zero Empowerhouse is Moving to Philadelphia Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “solar energy” , affordable housing , architecture competition , empowerhouse , energy efficient home , low-cost housing , net zero , net zero home , parsons new school , Solar Decathlon , solar gain , student work

Here is the original: 
D.C.’s Affordable Net-Zero Empowerhouse is Moving to Philadelphia

African Cocoa Farmers Tasting Chocolate for the First Time – Priceless

July 31, 2014 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on African Cocoa Farmers Tasting Chocolate for the First Time – Priceless

It is a sad fact and indicator of the inequality of our society that many of those who put in the labor may never taste its fruits. A group of cocoa bean farmers in Africa’s Ivory Coast recently had the opportunity to do just that when they tasted the chocolate made with their beans for the first time. A correspondent from Metropolis TV visited the farmers and gave them their first-ever chocolate bar – hit the jump to see a video of their reaction. Read the rest of African Cocoa Farmers Tasting Chocolate for the First Time – Priceless Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Africa , African , African cocoa bean farmers , chocolate , coast , cocoa , Cocoa farmers taste chocolate for the first time , farmers , farming , ivory , Ivory Coast chocolate , video of first chocolate bar

Read more here:
African Cocoa Farmers Tasting Chocolate for the First Time – Priceless

$21 Carbon Neutral Chocolate Bar Arrives By Boat in UK

May 11, 2012 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on $21 Carbon Neutral Chocolate Bar Arrives By Boat in UK

Next week, winds permitting, 24,000 bars of hand-pressed chocolate will arrive in the United Kingdom port of Portsmouth with an unusual claim: the bars are the world’s only carbon neutral chocolate confections. Sailing on the 105 foot-long wooden brigantine Tres Hombres , the 100 gram (3.5 ounces) bars of Gru Grococo bar will retail for £12.95, or $21 in stores, which almost certainly makes it the most expensive chocolate bar on either side of the pond. Read the rest of $21 Carbon Neutral Chocolate Bar Arrives By Boat in UK Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: brigantine , carbon footprint , carbon neutral chocolate , caribbean , chocolate , cocoa , fair transport , Grenada , grenada chocolate company , gru rococo , rococo chocolates , tres hombres , united kingdom

Read the rest here: 
$21 Carbon Neutral Chocolate Bar Arrives By Boat in UK

Sweetening the Palate with (Nearly) Guiltless Gourmet Chocolate

March 4, 2011 by  
Filed under Business, Eco

Comments Off on Sweetening the Palate with (Nearly) Guiltless Gourmet Chocolate

Sweet Earth Chocolates's Aztec Cocoa Mix, just one of a few better products made by chocolate ecopreneurs Courtesy of the Global Cocoa Project and Hub SoMa , I sampled about 20 different “eco chocolates” right before the Valentine’s Day weekend. Another key supporter of the event, Sweet Earth Chocolates, brought its cherry chipotle-truffle red foil-wrapped dark chocolate hearts to sample, as part of its ongoing Project Hope and Fairness (read more here ) A water closet paid for by a Project Hope and Fairness patron Tom Neuhaus is an unlikely Bay Area chocolate ecopreneur. Founding Sweet Earth Chocolates in 2004 with his sister, Joanne Currie, Tom is also an associate professor in the Food Science and Nutrition department at California Polytechnic State University (or “Cal Poly”) in San Luis Obispo, Ca

Go here to see the original: 
Sweetening the Palate with (Nearly) Guiltless Gourmet Chocolate

The Man Who Stopped The Desert

March 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on The Man Who Stopped The Desert

Watching for the first time this short movie of Yacouba Sawadogo, I couldn’t stop myself from sharing it with every one whom I can reach to. It’s a story of hope… Yacouba Sawadogo is the man of passion, a man who transformed lives of thousands in the Western Africa. The man who stopped the desert… No matter if he is illiterate

Original post: 
The Man Who Stopped The Desert

Chocolatey Myths

December 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Chocolatey Myths

The biological properties of cocoa are widely misunderstood.  A Science News article has recently reported that chocolate needs to be looked at in a new light.

More here:
Chocolatey Myths

Bad Behavior has blocked 1881 access attempts in the last 7 days.