Kaffakocher – Cooking Energy from Coffee Waste

Soon, people in Ethiopia will be able to cook with coffee production waste instead of wood from the rainforest. That's the idea behind the Kaffakocher project, which myclimate supports with expert advice.

More than merely waste: The Kaffakocher uses the otherwise wasted coffee husks as fuel.

The Ethiopian rainforest is at risk. Whereas at the end of the 1960s 40 percent of the land was still covered by forest, this proportion has since shrunken to 2.7 percent, according to geo.de. One of the last intact forests of Ethiopia is the Kaffa mountain rainforest in the southwest of the country. Although UNESCO declared the region a biosphere reserve in 2010, the pressure on the forests remains high – also due to the local demand for firewood. Indeed, many families prepare their food over open fires. That is extremely inefficient and also hazardous to health because of the heavy smoke that develops.

The <link www.kaffakocher.ch - external-link "Öffnet externen Link im aktuellen Fenster">Kaffakoche</link>r project initiated by Nadine Guthapfel of <link www.bonnepomme.ch/index.php - external-link "Öffnet externen Link im aktuellen Fenster">bonnepomme GmbH</link> and Stephan Gutzwiller of <link www.kaskad-e.ch - external-link "Öffnet externen Link im aktuellen Fenster">Kaskad-E GmbH</link> together with Maria Müller of <link www.originalfood.ch - external-link "Öffnet externen Link im aktuellen Fenster">Original Food</link> looks into the problem of the Kaffa region's need for fuel: Ethiopia has the largest coffee harvest in Africa. That is why in future, the coffee husks generated as waste products during coffee production will be used for cooking. The challenge is that the husks burn very poorly. For this reason, low-tech pyrolysis cookers are being built as part of the Kaffakocher project.

They save 65 percent to 70 percent of energy. Gasification technology allows the coffee husks to be used as fuel. myclimate is one of the partners in the Kaffakocher project. Our experience in developing cooker projects allowed us to offer expert support. But myclimate also helps by calculating the CO₂ emissions saved and by monitoring the project. The total cost of the pilot project is about 174,000 francs.

The Swiss federal government supports the project through the <link www.repic.ch/repic-de/ - external-link "Öffnet externen Link im aktuellen Fenster">REPIC platform</link> and assumes 50 percent of costs. The Geo organisation protects the rainforest, and other partners supply another portion of the funding. The final 30,000 francs are to be collected through crowdfunding on <link www.kaffakocher.ch - external-link "Öffnet externen Link im aktuellen Fenster">the project website</link>.

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