By Staff Reporter
Zimbabwe has the potential to produce mega litres of biodiesel from castor bean seeds- Oil Castor Zimbabwe revealed.
Young innovators in the country has taken the techno- entrepreneurial skills to help mitigate fuel shortages in the country.
Speaking to Spotlight Online News Takudzwa Chifamba Head of Chemistry and Engineering Oil Castor Zimbabwe said the his organization came up with the biodiesel as a solution to the current challenges faced in the country.
“After having having witnessed and experienced the fuel situation in our country currently characterized by high prices we came up with a solution and it was biodiesel production. As an organization we have developed the fomula to produce B100 biodiesel from the castor bean seed.”
” The castor bean at Oil Castor is a hybrid seed with an oil content of between 65%-89% and this implies that from 1000 kilograms of castor bean we can easily produce 800 litres of castor oil and from that 800 litres of the fomula we can produce 680 litres of bio diesel.”
The concept now requires collaboration with farmers to scale-up the initiative on a wider perspective through capacity building.
“This now requires famers to come on board so that we scale-up and produce as much biodiesel inoder to help eliminate the fuel crisis we are facing as a nation , with just 1.7 kg bag of castor seed (500 seeds) will produce approximately 42 tonnes of castor bean in its lifetime and that converts to 28000 litres of biodiesel.”
Apart from this hybrid castor seed is a climate resilient crop with the potential to grow under harsh conditions and is expected to mitigate fuel shortages, price hikes with the potential to rake in foreign currency.