SteamBioAfrica Project Overview
We will create a commercially viable technology solution that will stimulate the harvesting of invasive woody biomass. We will achieve this by upscaling, adapting, and proving our original SteamBio technology, to confirm that it creates a net economic, social, and environmental benefit.
In SteamBioAfrica, we will be operating continuously at a commercially relevant scale (250kg/hour throughput) for one year, resulting in over 500 tonnes of clean burning solid biofuel, to be used to validate markets. This will also contribute towards the restoration of over 80 ha of degraded land. The system will also recover over 250,000 litres of water and biochemical by-products with additional market potential.
We are building on the results from the previous Horizon 2020 project, SteamBio (Grant agreement 636865). SteamBio demonstrated a novel continuous superheated steam processing system using agro-forestry biomass residues to create clean burning solid biofuel.
We will validate consumer market acceptance of our clean burning solid biofuel in domestic consumer trials within Namibian, Batswana, and South African communities. We will support the development of inclusive value chains across the region to enable women and youth led enterprises to drive this new market opportunity.
We will validate industrial user acceptance and engagement of our solid biofuel as a secure and sustainable alternative to fossil coal. We will verify that our project and its impacts create a net positive benefit economically, environmentally and socially, including being gender inclusive.
To achieve better, more timely and more lasting impacts of SteamBioAfrica, the project will be socially sustainable and avoid doing any harm or contribute to inequitable social relations. For SteamBioAfrica to become successful and socially sustainable, there is a need to understand the local context and pay attention to social relations including gender. Therefore, enhancing gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) is a project ambition.
We will work with the following six pathways for achieving social and equitable change:
enhancing women’s and youth’s empowerment;
questioning norms including gendered divisions of labor;
expanding particularly women’s and youth‘s employment opportunities and ensuring decent working conditions for all (harvesting of bush, SHS plant operation, biofuel entrepreneurs selling the solid biofuel on the domestic consumer market, etc.);
reducing respiratory illness and other diseases amongst women and children who cook over open fires or use inefficient traditional wood burning stoves by reducing exposure to hazardous fumes;
reducing time poverty and drudgery associated with firewood collection;
reducing the threat of sexual harassment and violence to women and children by replacing the need to collect firewood.
The project aims to validate
The design and manufacturing pathways, in order to offer a commercially viable and industrially scaled system (up to 10 tonnes/hour throughput). This will drive post-project commercialisation, amplifying the reach and benefit of the SteamBioAfrica project. Widespread rollout will realise significant sustainable green economic growth, rural employment, and ecosystem restoration.
Social exclusion and marginalization
Clean & Secure
Sustainable & Affordable
EU H2020 Clustering
SteamBioAfrica is one of the projects funded by the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme that are seeking to bring clean, secure, and affordable energy to Africa. Through clustering activities we seek to ensure exchange of best practice, reach and impact.