A team of three undergraduate students of Bayero University, Kano (BUK) has invented a solar-powered device that allows for crop waste to be utilized for job creation in rural communities, through the production of charcoal briquettes.
The team has been included among those shortlisted for the $1 million Hult Prize, the world’s largest student competition. The competition is about creating market ready solutions to the pressing needs of humanity, while maintaining balance between profit and social impact. Its goals are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.
Currently, the BUK team is running a pilot project in Kura Local Government Area of Kano State where they recycle the enormous crop waste from the massive agriculture in the area and then produce charcoal from it.
Speaking with newsmen, the team’s captain, Sulaiman, said their innovation has the potential of creating about 10,000 jobs in the country in five years. He said the team, named Brycoal Nigeria, is utilizing crop waste to produce charcoal briquettes for cooking and household use to improve livelihood.
“Nigeria is plagued with poor waste management systems. That is what drew our attention to our project. With the increase in tree-felling/deforestation in the country for charcoal purposes, we used our background in engineering to find the solution to the problem by using crop waste to produce charcoal.
“Sugarcane waste pollution, for instance is a problem many Nigerians know too well. But we have successfully closed three sugarcane waste dumpsites in Kano by processing the waste and converting it into charcoal briquettes. The charcoal briquettes we produce are exactly what this country needs.
“Our product would tremendously decrease the dependency on wood charcoal. Our product also last longer than firewood and wood charcoal and it is also healthier to use because of its smokeless property,” the team captain said.