Jatropha Fuel Briquette Design as Value-added Product for Smallholder Farmers in Guatemala profile

Jatropha Fuel Briquette Design as Value-added Product for Smallholder Farmers in Guatemala

University of Colorado at Boulder

Roughly half the population of Guatemala lives on less than two dollars a day, with the majority of rural households making a living through subsistence agriculture. At the same time, the country depends entirely on unsustainable energy sources to power the economy, importing all of its fossil fuel while most rural households use firewood as their primary cooking fuel.

To address the dual issues of poverty and environmental degradation, this team is developing briquettes made from the locally available Jatropha plant to meet rural families’ cooking fuel needs. Fuel briquettes are an environmentally friendly substitute for expensive or unsustainable fuel sources and can be produced at low cost using manual technology and free raw materials—in this case, Jatropha seedstock waste left over from the production of biodiesel. The team is partnering with TechnoServe, a Guatemalan NGO that has been creating biodiesel from Jatropha since 2006.

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