The Powerful New Use For Cocoa

The Powerful New Use For Cocoa

The world's largest producer of cocoa, the Ivory Coast, has found an inventive use for the cocoa plant that could power millions of homes.

Andrew H. Sweet
  • More than 40% of all cocoa beans originate in the West African country. With more than six million people working in cocoa in the country, it is Ivory Coast's largest export by far.
  • The bean shells, pod husks, and cocoa sweatings (a pale yellowish liquid that drains away during fermentation) are usually thrown away. Worldwide, the volume of cocoa waste is steadily growing.
  • This waste is now set to become a significant part of the Ivory Coast's transition to renewable energy.
  • The Ivory Coast has begun work on a biomass plant which will run on cocoa waste. The facility will be located in Divo, a town that produces a large share of the country's cocoa.
  • The biomass plant will burn cocoa plant matter left over after cocoa production to turn a turbine and generate electricity, much like a conventional fossil-fuel power plant.
  • "This plant alone will be able to meet the electricity needs of 1.7 million people," said the managing director of the Ivorian company Société des Energies Nouvelles (Soden), which is involved in building the plant.

Read the original story here.

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