Atmospheric CO2 levels are the highest they have been in the last 800,000 years! We are already experiencing the early effects of increased concentrations of green-house gases; higher temperatures, rising sea-levels and more frequent and intense natural disasters. This change in global climate poses a serious threat to the future supply of food and water. Now combine this with the challenge of poverty alleviation. Access to electricity and clean and safe cooking fuel and electricity underpins our health, education and livelihood. Yet, over two billion people do not have access to clean cooking fuel and over one billion people do not have access to electricity. These problems will only intensify as the global population is expected to swell to almost nine billion by 2050. How can we tackle both poverty and climate change?
At Efesto, we design a plug-and-play device that produces heat and useful energy from sustainable biomass for domestic use. The main by-product of our device is extremely valuable biochar, which vigorously stimulates crop diversity and yield, and is also used for water treatment. The first device is aimed at underdeveloped communities to improve their standard of living through access to energy. Thus, the first generation of the device is to be constructed affordably with the simplest materials. We maintain a circular economy philosophy so that communities gain from one another with little-to-zero resource waste. For example, a farmer supplies agricultural waste (biomass) to the owner of our product, he then recovers and uses the energy from this waste and then returns the biochar to the farmer, who uses it to fertilise his fields.