[Stoves] Charcoal in Gambia

Paul Olivier paul.olivier at esrla.com
Wed Aug 10 11:56:31 PDT 2011

Undensified agricultural waste might be the best option here.
Densification or pellitization is too expensive in many instances.

Paul Olivier

On Wed, Aug 10, 2011 at 10:31 PM, <rongretlarson at comcast.net> wrote:

> Crispin, cc list:
>    Can you ask Cecil to get a few more price numbers - including loose rice
> husks, peanut shells, wood sticks and chips, pellets.  Anything that can be
> readily pyrolyzed and is relatively low cost.
>    The Gambian prices of about 15 to 20 c/kg  ($150-$200/ tonne) are
> certainly pretty low.   However, I hope we can all agree that is not the
> only thing we should be discussing.  What is the social cost of that char?
> My guess is that it is at least double or maybe triple that number - even
> before you start looking at the climate implications.   Was the input wood
> for the char grown by the char maker?  Not usually in these cases.
>  I found (by googling) dozens of news items on the illegal production of
> charcoal outlawed in Gambia.  (Don't google for 'legal" and "charcoal")  The
> same is true in Kenya - which we have also been discussing.  Does anyone
> know of any African country where char production is considered a plus for
> the economy?  Living in Sudan has convinced me that charcoal making is the
> number one reason for that country's disappointing history.
> I found this at this Gambian planning site  <
> http://www.npc.gov.gm/sectors/energy  >
>     "One of the key determinants of socio-economic development is the
> availability of reliable supply of
> affordable sources of energy that impacts directly on poverty. Past
> experiences suggest a close
> relationship between energy use and poverty reduction through sustainable
> economic growth. A
> review of the Gambia’s energy sector reveals that the energy resource base
> of the country is limited
> and the energy supply unreliable and unsustainable. The major source of
> energy for the whole
> country, according to the Energy Data (1990 – 2004), is fuel wood, which is
> extracted from the
> country’s forest resources, followed by petroleum products, electricity and
> renewable energy. Total
> energy consumed in 2004 was 467 thousand Ton Oil Equivalent (TOE).
> Fuel wood consumption account for 374.89 thousand TOE, representing about
> 82% of all energy
> consumed in the country. The over-reliance of the city and major urban
> centres on fuel wood
> (firewood and charcoal) is destroying the country’s forest resources and
> natural vegetation cover at
> an alarming rate, causing general environmental degradation. While these
> forest resources are
> fetched from the rural areas, the participation of the rural people in the
> business of fuel wood are
> limited (according to Lahmeyer International Reports) and therefore
> impacting negatively on the
> poor. In addition, the use of fuel wood has serious negative health
> implication on women. The
> depletion of the forest cover leading to desertification, would impact
> negatively on food production,
> which could lead to increased hunger and poverty"
>    If the peanut log is 6  Dalasi, your comment below doesn't make sense to
> me in terms of balancing from the perspective of the user.  Your suggested
> markup by 50% is sort of like saying that the right purchase price of
> ethanol (with lower fuel content per gallon) is one that is higher per
> gallon than the price of petrol - doesn't work that way in Colorado.  I
> would be surprised to hear that many of these logs are being sold.  I'd like
> to hear from Richard Stanley or other ag residue briquette makers on how his
> briquettes are priced in comparison with char..
>    I'll bet the user of a charcoal-making stove can get the cost of cooking
> a meal down to zero by selling the produced char (of course for putting in
> the ground) for enough to pay for the (presumed to be very low) cost of
> input biomass.  Of course the economics in favor of a char-making stove is a
> no-brainer if the input fuel is free, nearby and already being burned as a
> waste.  It also works if soil productivity is raised sufficiently - which
> seems to be the word coming out of Africa  (a doubling?)
> Ron
> ------------------------------
> *From: *"Crispin Pemberton-Pigott" <crispinpigott at gmail.com>
> *To: *"Stoves" <stoves at lists.bioenergylists.org>
> *Sent: *Tuesday, August 9, 2011 10:15:54 PM
> *Subject: *[Stoves] Charcoal in Gambia
> Dear Charcoal Price Observers
> Cecil Cook in the Gambia reports that charcoal is 4 to 5 Dalasi per kg in
> Banjul (about 27 MJ.kg)
> Peanut shell extruded logs are 6 Dalasi per kg retail to do better than
> break even (about 19 MJ/kg).
> There are 27 Dalasi per US$.
> Regards
> Crispin
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