Nigerian startup Green Energy, which has established a zero-pollution process for converting non-biodegradable plastic waste into premium quality green petrol, is looking for US$400,000 in order to scale up production to meet growing demand.
Disrupt Africa reported last week Green Energy was named “Most Innovative” at the global Seedstars World competition in Geneva, Switzerland, and founder Choji Bare told Disrupt Africa after the event the startup was looking for US$400,000 to increase its supply capacity from 1,400 litres per day to 55,000 per day.
Green Energy is based in Jos in the north of Nigeria, and its production of converted green petroleum products like green petrol, green diesel, kerosene, cooking gas and other petrochemicals seeks to bring down the price of diesel for Nigerians, who live in a country that, though it produces oil, has a diesel price of US$1.02 per litre.
“Green gasoline is cheaper and better than what is in the market,” said Bare. “So the target market here is in transport, domestic and industrial heating, and electricity generation.”
The process for Green Energy starts with collection of waste, followed by cleaning, pulverising, cracking, reforming and blending. The resultant product has a rich resident oxygen content of 20 to 30 per cent, which makes the product very combustible in the presence of limited air.
“This is done without affecting the product quality, making the product better than the conventional gasoline or diesel due to its complete combustion,” said Bare.
Process aside, the opportunity for Green Energy lies in the amount of plastic waste generated in Nigeria, which stands at over 120,000 metric tonnes per day. Bare said while the quantity of waste processed so far by the startup is insignificant, yields are still positive.
“We intend to increase our capacity to 55,000 litres per day, which will process 50 tonnes of plastic waste of all sorts per day. We still intend to increase the capacity to 1,000 metric tonnes per day, which will yield 1.5 million litres of green premium motor spirit per day.”
Bare said the major challenge faced by the startup has been funding, with most of its revenues so far being ploughed back into the company. But he says there are significant opportunities for growth, particularly with the fact Green Energy’s green petrol is cheaper than the petrol sold at government-subsidised prices.
The founder is thinking big. “We intend to establish such waste-to-petroleum plants in every country in West Africa and eventually Africa. Due to our growth projections, we hope that in the next 20 years, we would have covered the whole of Africa,” Bare said.
“As we grow, we will be diversifying into other spheres of waste management, like the sequestration of carbon dioxide and methane, which are key culprits in global warming, to very saleable useful products, and also into agriculture by producing balanced organic fertilisers.”
He also sees a promising future in tackling climate change.
“Our mission is to mitigate climate change by converting environmental impedes to wealth through zero-pollution innovative technologies,” Bare said.
The startup has already met a number of regulatory requirements, with the product tested in the relevant laboratories and certified standard quality. Bare also has a persuasive call to action.
“Green Energy is the place to invest because you will not only help tackle climate change, but the return on investment is over 80 per cent.”