Improving charcoal manufacture from coconuts in Samoa: an exemplary project-based learning adventure
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Citation:Mellalieu, P. J. (2014). Improving charcoal manufacture from coconuts in Samoa: an exemplary project-based learning adventure. Paper presented at 2014 Unitec Pacific Research Forum, Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/3006
Improving charcoal manufacture from coconuts in Samoa: an exemplary project-based learning adventure. Coconuts abound in the beautiful Pacific country of Samoa. Charcoal, manufactured from coconut shells, is a biofuel with several uses. In addition to domestic cooking, charcoal is used for providing the heat source for charcoal-powered smoothing irons. Charcoal manufacture is a labour-intensive and smoke-intensive process conducted using the basic technology of a used 40-gallon steel container. The process appears inefficient in terms of wasted fuel, and environmentally unsatisfactory in terms of the smelly and visually-unattractive smoke generated. Your mission: Surely there must be a simple cost-effective modification to the basic process that can be made to: Improve the efficiency of converting the input coconuts to output charcoal Reduce the volume and/or toxicity and/or visual colour of the smoke produced Use the smoke produced as a biogas suitable for some heat-generating purpose. The advanced student will also: Identify more valuable uses for the coconut shells Identify alternative resources available in Samoa for producing the services (cooking, ironing) currently provided by the coconut charcoal that are more economically and environmentally sustainable