Producing Electricity from Prosopis Juliflora in Kenya

The refugee camp in Kakuma is the second largest in Africa, housing between 150.000 and 200.000 refugees from South Sudan, Somalia and other conflict-torn regions. Being situated in the middle of a desert, Kakuma is relying on heavy international subsidies and shipments to sustain the lives of the camp inhabitants. In a collaboration with the Kenyan Red Cross and the Danish Church Aid, MASH Biotech has identified an abundant biomass resource in the area in the form of Prosopis Juliflora. MASH has shown that Prosopis can be converted to cheap electricity for e.g. pumping water and biogas for cooking by using the company’s cost-effective gasifier systems. In addition to providing energy stability, the introduction of the gasifiers would create an estimated 14.000 to 19.000 jobs for the currently mostly unemployed refugees.

Activity Overview

LAB SCALE

  1. Desktop study of properties in Prosopis Juliflora and validation of results with samples sourced in Rajasthan and Kenya.
  2. Determination of appropriate process for prosopis: Gasification – A proces robust to high oxygen to carbon ratio feedstocks.
  3. Testing of prosopis samples in medium scale Gasifier with R&D partner.
  4. Validation of sales price (feed in tariff) for electricity produced from gasifier – in both India and Kenya. Interaction with relevant authorities.

SCALE UP

  1. Testing of prosopis in full scale machine, but in smaller batches. Validation of machine efficiency and viability.
  2. On the ground engagement with Prosopis providers in rural parts of India and Kenya. Bypassing official distributors yields a drastic reduction in price.
  3. Clarification on legal prerequisites for feeding in electricity.
  4. Dialogue with Kenyan Red Cross in identifying appropriate site for first gasifier installations as well as appropriate locations for feeding in electricity to the grid.

PILOT SCALE

  1. Delivery of initial supply of prosopis from supplier.
  2. Large batch run of commercial-level gasifier to determine longer-term effects of operating on Prosopis.