Prosopis growing in the arid Lake Turkana district in Kenya. Photo © MASH Biotech

Low-cost bio-oil from Prosopis

The noxious weed Prosopis is an invasive species that plagues large parts of arid and semi-arid Africa. The plant grows rapidly, destroys other types of vegetation, forms impenetrable thickets, reduces precious underground water resources and displaces valuable pasture species.
Furthermore, thorns on the plant can do serious damage to animals and humans and is strong enough to puncture car tires.

The Danish company MASH Biotech ApS has developed a method that will potentially turn the pest into an asset.
Based on the company’s experience in building bio-oil reactors fuelled by different types of biological waste in India, MASH Biotech will develop a demonstrator Prosopis Pyrolis Reactor that will turn the plant into bio-oil and fertilizer as well as enough bio-gas to fuel the reactor itself.

Both bio-oil and fertilizer will help solve the pressing need for energy and food. At the same time the reactor will create jobs and value in the local community.

The reactor will be developed and tested at the refugee camp in Kakuma in Kenya’s Turkana region. The solution will be designed to fit in a container, making it easily scalable and applicable in many other places.

Partners: MASH Biotech ApS, Kenya Red Cross Society

Where: Kenya


This project is supported by the Danish Industry Foundation under the “Deciphering the Relief Aid Market” project. Read more…

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