National Third prize winner


Production of bio-ethanol cooking fuel from water hyacinth weed


Water hyacinth is among the fastest growing plants in the world, capable of doubling its reserves in as little as 12 days. It is a menace for water bodies in many countries especially Lake Victoria in East Africa where it has crippled all aquatic economic activities notably fishing, water transport, hydroelectric power generation and domestic uses. Above that, it has led to the chocking of aquatic life by depriving it of nutrients and oxygen. Aquaethanol uses this weed as the substrate to produce bio-ethanol by employing specific microorganisms as hydrolysis and fermenting tools, before product distillation. This product is suited for rural and peri-urban households of low income, which we sell to them at an affordable price of 0.65 euros/liter. Our product aims to replace paraffin as the prime source of fuel in our beachhead market in Kenya, which is used by 66% of households by providing a cheaper and a cleaner cooking alternative while sustainably combating the water hyacinth menace.

Quick facts

  • 2018 Participant
    Year of participation
  • Sustainable Production Systems
  • Kenya

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  • Eric Gathirwa Kariuki - Founder, Industrial Biotechnologist, Kelvin Wanjohi - Customer Relations And Sales Executive Dr. Joel Bargul - Technical Advisor

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