What's New in July and August?
PGI Joins Research Study to Establish Relationship between Biomass Pollutants and Pregnancy Health Outcomes
The clean alcohol stoves and fuel approach promoted by Project Gaia will be applied in a global public health research effort led by a medical research team at the Global Health Initiative, University of Chicago. The study, funded by the Global Alliance for Cookstoves (GACC), will investigate the mechanisms by which exposure to biomass smoke may cause adverse pregnancy outcomes such as low birth weight and preterm delivery.
The study will be carried out in Ibadan, Nigeria, a GACC active and target country. The study aims to establish an exposure response relationship for measured pollutants (carbon dioxide, particulate matter 2.5, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and health outcomes for a sample of pregnant women using clean liquid bioethanol cookstoves and fuel. The hypothesis that short-term use of clean-burning alcohol stoves will reduce exposures to PM2.5, PAH and CO of pregnant women and thereby reduce adverse pregnancy outcomes, will be tested with rigorous research methods. Project Gaia will provide the study with ethanol CleanCook stoves and technical expertise on stove and fuel use.
Above: Dr. Sola Olopade of the UC Global Health Initiative speaks of the causes and implications of IAP in Nigeria. Click to watch the video.
Partners assisting the UC Global Health Initiative study include Healthy Life for All Foundation, Centre for Population and Reproductive Health (Ibadan) and University of California Berkeley. The research team partners will apply to the study scientific skills in epidemiology, statistics, maternal and child health and considerable experience of research with the study population.
Progressive Research on Ethanol Production from Vegetable Waste
A Nigerian doctoral research study concluded in July and demonstrated the immense potential of creating cooking fuel sustainably from the non-food portion of the cassava tuber. Henrietta Obueh, doctoral candidate in the Department of Microbiology of University of Benin, replicated the micro-scale ethanol production process in a laboratory setting using a "tabletop distillery" model.
Two varieties of cassava peels (sweet and bitter) were fermented and distilled to obtain hydrous ethanol in the laboratory. Grated and chopped samples were fermented individually to determine the effect of surface area on the fermentation efficiency and difference on final yield.
The research results support the “fuel from waste” approach pursued by Project Gaia, CleanStar Mozambique and others which creates a new market for farmers by utilizing the non-food portions of crops.
Details of the research results will be made available later this year.
Above: Joe Obueh, Director of Project Gaia - Nigeria, lights the CleanCook stove with ethanol made from cassava peels.
Harry Stokes Discusses Microdistillery Approach with Green Social Bioethanol
In an interview by Brazilian socially-oriented distillery company Green Social Bioethanol, Harry Stokes of Project Gaia discusses the potential for small-scale ethanol production to meet urgent clean energy demand and improve living standards in the developing world.
Green Social Bioethanol (GREEN) is a Brazilian company working to create access to clean renewable fuels, promoting human development and energy independence. GREEN integrates sustainable agriculture by linking the appropriate feedstocks and technology to communities and their energy demands. GREEN has provided an efficient microdistillery unit to the community cassava and cashew apple ethanol project led by Nigerian National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA).