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Gelled Ethanol Fuel
Indoor air pollution leads to ethanol production in Ghana.
Indoor air pollution poses a serious problem for many people in underdeveloped countries. In these areas of the world, people have been using fuel substances that are inadequate and produce a harmful smoke in their everyday cooking applications. The World Health Organization found that items such as wood and coal are often used. However, sometimes people will use agricultural residues and dung as fuel for their fires.1 When people use these types of fuel sources in a confined area that has poor ventilation, living conditions become hazardous. Airborne particles, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and carcinogens are posing the largest problems.1
A organization called GlobalResolve is actively involved in an effort to improve indoor air pollution problems that exist in developing countries. The effort is run through Arizona State University with the aid of students and international partners.2 One of existing projects is taking place in the West African country of Ghana. The vast majority of Ghanaians who live in small villages have turned to solid fuel sources as a means to heat and cook in their homes. What GlobalResolve has been working on in recent years is a corn-based, fermented, gelled ethanol that would replace the solid forms of fuel that are currently in use.2 The new fuel will be a safe, clean burning alternative to what is currently available. Along with the new gelled ethanol, a new smokeless stove is in the works that will accompany the fuel.
As of September of 2008, the village of Domeabra in Ghana has been producing the ethanol fuel made from the local resources of corn and at the hands of local workers.3 According to the GlobalResolve team, they are currently working on the economic viability and sustainability of the business to ensure it stays around. They will be working with the chief of Domeabra to establish a means to distribute the fuel to all cities and villages who need to switch from the hazardous solid forms of fuel they currently use.3
- 1,1.2World Health Organization. “Indoor Air Thematic Briefing 2.”
- 2,2.2Leech, Eric. “GlobalResolve: Reducing Pollution in Ghana Using Smart Business.” 5, March 2009.