Free Poo Power! Zim Could Soon Be Fuelled By Human Faeces

A Zimbabwean entrepreneur has plans for a biofuel project that could revolutionise the country's energy sector. Will South Africa follow suit anytime soon?
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An enterprising Zimbabwean developer has plans in the works to see Zimbabwe's human waste turned into fuel reserves, and his plan could be realised sooner than anyone thought.

30-year-old Tawanda Chitiyo, who describes himself as an "entrepreneur and climate-change enthusiast", has been working away on a R1.2-billion biorefinery in Mutare -- Zimbabwe's fourth-largest city -- that Chitiyo says will produce 803 tons of natural gas, three megawatts of electricity and 2,409 tons of carbon char to be used as a substitute for firewood, charcoal and coal per year.

"A biorefinery is a waste-to-energy plant similar to the oil refinery. The difference is that our products are made from sewage sludge, which is renewable, not crude oil. Our vision and mission is to be driving force for social, environmental and economic benefits by producing gaseous and liquid climate-neutral energy carriers," he told Zimbabwe's Herald newspaper.

He already has the buy-in of the City of Mutare, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority, electricity supplier ZETDC and Rodan Engineering Company, a German engineering firm who are to supply the equipment.

But he still needs to find the funding to make his dream of a clean-energy Zimbabwe a reality.

"We are currently in the process of looking for seed capital. We have approached the ministry of finance and economic development to facilitate the granting of a sovereign guarantee from government, which would assist us to secure funding without collateral."

Check out a similar project –– taking place in Kenya –– in the video below.


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