HOPEFUL—The fuel could propel airplanes

There is hope that Malawi will start producing jet fuel by 2020 if Tuesday announcement made by a company called DDN Energy Solutions is anything to go by.

The company’s director, Robert Mhango, has told the local media that DDN Solutions will produce the fuel from a cross breed of tobacco varieties that do not contain nicotine called Solaris.
He said this follows completion of agronomy studies on performance of the crop by the research organization, Agriculture Research and Extension Trust (ARET).

“We intend to start on a high note in 2019/2020 farming season and our target is 10 thousand hectares of the recommended breeds to start with,” a local paper, The Daily Times, quoted Mhango in its Wednesday edition.

“By 2020 we want to have the first products sold and we are targeting the aviation industry,” added Mhango.

He said in the first years the company will grow the crop on its own and that they will later engage some farmers when the company gets stable.

ARET Chairperson Rueben Maigwa told the paper that his organization has been researching since 2015 and that the results indicated that the crop can grow in any district where tobacco is grown in the country.

According to Maigwa, the crop can yield 2,500 kg to 3,000 kg of seed per hectare.

“The extracted oil can be processed into biodiesel and jet fuel while the leaves can be turned into livestock feed and the stems into briquettes for fuel wood,” Maigwa told the paper.

Controller of Agriculture services in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Alexander Bulirani has since hailed the development saying it will be much easier for farmers to adopt Solaris, according to the paper. Enditem


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