Ethanol

Harry Stokes, IIEA and Project Gaia

The International Institute for Ecological Agriculture (IIEA) and Project Gaia
invite you to attend

Seminar Announcement (in pdf)


The Appropriate-scale Alcohol Fuel Production Seminar:

Global Solutions for Cooking, Refrigeration, Electricity and Transport

(see pdf for detail).

Monday, November 29 - Thursday, December 2, 2010

Embassy Suites, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Una reciente evaluación realizada por los refugiados de la Mujer de la Comisión en Haití constató que el precio del carbón ha aumentado en un 40% (CMR y el PMA 2010). Cómo ayudar a las poblaciones sujetas a desarrollar la capacidad de producción de biocombustibles líquidos puede ofrecer una importante solución a la pobreza energética en las comunidades desplazadas de Haití y contribuir a su desarrollo a largo plazo de la autosuficiencia energética.

Proyecto Gaia ha estado trabajando en Haití para promover el etanol y la Estufa CleanCook - una estufa a base de alcohol - como alternativa a las estufas que queman biomasa sólida (es decir, madera, carbón vegetal y briquetas.) El etanol es tan limpia como gas licuado de petróleo, más barata que el carbón, más seguro que el queroseno y tiene más potencial que las briquetas de basura. En África, el Proyecto Gaia ha acumulado más de 2 millones de días de cocinar con la estufa CleanCook sin un solo accidente de cierta importancia.

La pregunta más común que aparezcan durante nuestras conversaciones con los responsables políticos y los empresarios sociales es: ** "¿El suministro de etanol, sea sostenible? Y ¿dónde estaría la oferta provienen de donaciones después tocaban a su fin? "**

Esta es la pregunta clave de la sostenibilidad y la razón de por qué estamos tan interesados en Haití. No sólo fue Haití una vez al líder productor de azúcar y una destilería de etanol de bebidas para la exportación, así como el mercado local, pero también Haití existe en las rutas comerciales durante el cual miles de millones de litros de etanol cada año el flujo de camino a un mercado de combustibles en el los Estados Unidos. Este etanol, sobre todo de Brasil, generalmente el precio más competitivo en el mercado de materias primas, proporcionará una fuente de combustible para Haití-más barato que el petróleo-como Haití acumula su propia producción local (Etiopía Petróleo de datos empresariales). De hecho, el Gobierno brasileño se ha comprometido a donar más de 100.000 litros y un litros otros 400.000 en los próximos dos años.

Patrick Bringardner, Project Gaia, August, 2010

A recent assessment conducted by the Women’s Refugee Commission in Haiti found that the price of charcoal has risen by 40% (WRC and WFP 2010). Helping subject populations to develop the capacity to produce liquid biofuels may offer one important solution to energy poverty in Haiti’s displaced communities and contribute to its long term development of energy self-sufficiency.

Clean Cook StoveClean Cook Stove

Project Gaia has been working in Haiti to promote ethanol and the CleanCook Stove - an alcohol based stove - as an alternative to stoves that burn solid biomass (i.e. wood, charcoal, and briquettes.) Ethanol is as clean as LPG, cheaper than charcoal, safer than kerosene and has greater potential than trash briquettes. In Africa, Project Gaia has accumulated over 2 million days of cooking with the CleanCook Stove without a single accident of any significance.

The most common question which arises during our discussions with policy makers and social entrepreneurs is:** “Would the supply of ethanol be sustainable? And where would the supply come from after donations were at an end?” **

This is the key sustainability question and the reason why we are so interested in Haiti. Not only was Haiti once a leading sugar producer and a distiller of beverage ethanol for export as well as the local market, but also Haiti exists on trade routes over which billions of liters of ethanol flow each year on their way to a fuel market in the United States. This ethanol, mostly from Brazil, generally the most competitively priced in the commodity market, will provide a source of fuel for Haiti—cheaper than kerosene—as Haiti builds up its own local production (Ethiopian Petroleum Enterprise Data). In fact, the Brazilian Government has pledged to donate over 100,000 liters and an additional 400,000 liters over the next two years.

Haiti was once a powerful agricultural economy, producing for its own needs. In 1983 Haiti harvested 70,000 hectares of sugarcane. Today it harvests less than 17,000 hectares (Figure 1: Decline in Sugar Cane Production (UN Data World Statistics Pocketbook)). Haiti’s dependence on export markets has increased its vulnerability through its reliance on basic sustenance items it once produced locally. Today it supplements most of its own food staples with imports – a precarious equilibrium. Other than charcoal, most other fuels are imported.

In regards to domestic ethanol production, Haitians are no strangers to the distillation of alcohol. Thousands of small mills and distilleries make beverage-grade ethanol in Haiti. In Léogâne alone, over 200 small distilleries were in operation before the earthquake (ESMAP 2007). Many of the existing distilleries in Haiti, those shut down or still in operation, could be repaired and refurbished to produce fuel grade ethanol. Project Gaia has been in contact with an operating distillery in the vicinity of Léogâne that could upgrade to produce hydrous ethanol fuel and put this fuel into the market in a matter of months.

Many opportunities exist for small scale distilleries. In Haiti, some small ethanol enterprises are already active thus presenting the perfect opportunity for value chain development through the support of SMEs (small and medium enterprises). The number of sugarcane transformation workshops throughout the country is an estimated 5,612 (ESMAP 2007)

Haitians rightly believe that Haiti’s way back from dependency is through agriculture and a renewed attention to domestic needs and markets. Therefore, by developing ethanol as a household fuel, it will profoundly benefit Haiti because Haitians can produce biofuels from their own agricultural crops. Moreover, Haitian families will finally have access to cooking fuel that is safe, clean, affordable and sustainable. A way back to economic - and human - health for Haiti is to produce ethanol for its domestic energy market.

“Tapping the Potential of Proalcool for the Household Energy Sector” Shell Foundation Project # 21316 Results of Project Gaia’s 100 CleanCook Stove Pilot Study Minas Gerais State, Brazil
Regina Couto, Director Project Gaia Brazil, for Banco do Povo 17 January 2007

Project Gaia/Brazil Trip Report: Assessment of the CleanCook Stove Supported by Microdistillery Ethanol in Minas Gerais, Brazil, 9-25 June 2006
James Murren The Stokes Consulting Group 2 July 2006

Gaia Brazil 02Gaia Brazil 02

Black stone pots are quarried and crafted in Minas Gerais. They
are preferred especially for cooking beans and soups, as they keep
the contents hot long after being removed from the stove.

Narratives of House Visits in the Three Communities of Salinas, Dom Orione, and Ponte Nova in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil 12-20 June 2006

Ethanol Stove:Development of Stove running on low ethanol concentration, June 2005 Anil Rajvanshi Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute, Phaltan, Maharashtra, India

Only 17.5 % of all Indian homes use LPG as their primary cooking fuel, with 90 % of rural households dependent on some form of biomass. To improve the quality of life of such a large number of people, it is imperative that clean and renewable alternatives are provided for cooking. This paper presents one such. An ethanol stove running on 50 % ethanol-water mixture has been developed at Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute (NARI). The stove allows easy flame regu-lation and gives an output similar to the conventionally-used LPG and kerosene stoves. Field tests conducted on the stove show that it is safe to use and very suitable for a typical rural household. In addition, the cost of using the ethanol stove is comparable to those of the conventional liquid fuel alternatives. However, for this stove to be a viable alternative certain policy issues have to be tackled. These have been suggested at the end of this paper.

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