Divine Bamboo is an innovative forestry company that provides a clean cooking fuel in the form of high quality charcoal briquettes produced from local bamboo, grown specifically for energy purposes on our sustainable bamboo plantations in Uganda.
Technology features in the methods Divine Bamboo uses to carbonize feed stock and the briquetting techniques used to make the bamboo briquettes. We use brick walled carbonization retorts which are durable and are 30% more efficient than conventional earth mounds and traditional kilns. The bamboo charge in the retort is fired using an external heat source, the internal heat is conserved and emis...SEE ALL
Technology features in the methods Divine Bamboo uses to carbonize feed stock and the briquetting techniques used to make the bamboo briquettes. We use brick walled carbonization retorts which are durable and are 30% more efficient than conventional earth mounds and traditional kilns. The bamboo charge in the retort is fired using an external heat source, the internal heat is conserved and emissions from the process are recycled hence reduced. Retort technology also takes a shorter carbonization period than conventional technologies. The extrusion method of briquetting that we intend to use is also a point of technology application in our solution. It involves densification of bamboo char at higher pressure. Consequently, the briquettes produced have higher density and longer burn out time than charcoal and briquettes produced by ordinary methods.
Our bamboo briquettes are unique because we use bamboo, which is a highly sustainable plant, grows fast with first harvests after just 3 years and rapidly regenerates after harvest. This will help solve Uganda’s horrific deforestation problem that is threatening the existence of our natural forests.SEE LESS
Stage 4: Transition to Scale
We have tested our bamboo briquettes in the market and this year we are looking to plant over 100,000 bamboo seedlings to increase raw material supply in order to scale up our operations.
Energy, Environment, Economic Empowerment and 1 MoreSEE ALL
Energy, Environment, Economic Empowerment and Gender EquitySEE LESS
Funds Raised to Date
The problem we are solving is lack of access to affordable clean cooking fuels. Over 98% of Ugandans still fully depend on fuel wood in the form of charcoal and firewood for their daily cooking needs. Additional stressors are the country’s high population growth rate (6 children per woman) and high poverty levels. Energy poverty is extremely high with only 15% of the Ugandan population currently has access to electricity.
Our solution is bamboo briquettes which are 30% cheaper than traditional charcoal and burn cleaner with no smoke. They also cook for longer at 70minutes burning time compared with 45 minutes of charcoal and can be used in existing cookstoves.
In addition, Bamboo is a fast growing and sustainable plant with the first harvest at just 3 years, rapidly self regenerates ensuring energy security for the most vulnerable rural communities.
To achieve scale, we train rural women groups to plant bamboo, and provide them with seedlings and access to market so that they can produce bamboo briquettes which provides additional income while saving the environment.
Our market for bamboo charcoal briquettes is middle income urban households and a kilo of briquettes sells for $0.32.
Mission and Vision
Environmental impact is reduced deforestation due to production of bamboo charcoal briquettes. Every bag of bamboo briquettes
consumed directly translates into a tree saved from destruction because currently 100% of all charcoal consumed is produced illegally from natural forests. This contributes to the achievement of SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
Improved health for women are currently exposed to pollutants when using firewood and charcoal for cooking.
Currently the government under the Ministry of Energy is running a program “the Green charcoal project” where farmers are being supported to plant trees for fuel wood for example Terminalia and Albizia (IFR, 2010) which are all hard wood trees that will take over 10 years to maturity and do not regenerate after harvest.
Our major competitors are traditional charcoal producers who clear natural forests illegally and burn charcoal using inefficient carbonization technologies.(UNDP, 2015) They currently have a 99% market share of charcoal in Uganda. This model is completely unsustainable as Uganda’s forests are fast disappearing as a result. Our idea is innovative because we use local bamboo species which take only 3 years to harvest and regenerates every year. Moreover, our bamboo briquettes are more efficient than charcoal because they are 30% cheaper and cook for longer burn cleaner with no smoke or soot. This has never been done before in Uganda.
Planned Goals and Milestones
Bamboo briquettes have incredible potential to impact millions of lives by providing a clean cooking fuel and to prevent deforestation through establishment of sustainable bamboo plantations. To achieve scale and prevent monocultures, our goal is to recruit 100,000 farmers in the next 5 years to ensure a steady supply of raw material.
We are working to establish partnerships with the government and other organisations working in conservation and clean energy.
|Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted||20,000|
|New Implemented Countries||Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania|
|Recruit||Sales team - 4 people, Marketing manager - 1, Board - 2, Country Manager|
The Team Behind the Innovation
Our team has over 15 years accumulated experience in energy access, women economic empowerment and forest conservation. We are a woman led organisation with a female founder and CEO.
EXECUTIVE TEAM INCLUDES WOMEN