Reusing Waste Charcoal as Biochar

Providing urban and rural households with biochar made from clay and charcoal waste.
2011 SEED Award Winner Waste Management St Louis, Senegal

The initiative provides urban and rural households with biochar briquettes made from clay and charcoal waste, a cheap combustible fuel. The initiative produces high-quality biochar using an innovative rotor press. The combustive properties of the biochar are close to those of charcoal but it is smokeless and odourless, thus reducing the negative health and environmental impact. The biochar is distributed via a network of sales outlets, mainly managed by women. The initiative produces and markets biochar briquettes, selling them to retail dealers and women’s associations who act as sales agents. Biochar is two to three times cheaper than charcoal, saving users substantial amounts of money. These savings enable them to buy better stoves that reduce their energy consumption and thus make further savings. Part of the revenue from the project is reinvested in reforestation projects, helping to reduce greenhouse gases. 

Eco-Inclusive Impacts

The initiative produces high-quality biochar that is smokeless and odourless, reducing the negative health and environmental impact. Women and young people benefit from the creation of new job opportunities in the value chain.
  • Helping to protect women’s health, as biochar is both smokeless and odourless.
  • Saving money on fuel, allowing users to improve the living conditions of their families.
  • Reducing deforestation by providing an alternative to collecting firewood.
  • Reinvesting profit into reforestation.
  • Raising environmental awareness in the community.
  • Creating new jobs for young people and women in production and sales.
  • Enabling further investments using the profits from the sale of biochar to create income sources for its beneficiaries.


This enterprise is supported through its partnerships with various stakeholders, ranging from national and international organisations, investors, research institutes, suppliers, governmental bodies, NGOs, other social and environmental enterprises and more.

PERACOD Program for the Promotion of Renewable Energies, Rural Electrification and Sustainable Supply in Domestic Fuel provides technical, financial and training support.

UNICEFS (National Union of Forestry Merchants of Senegal) enables exchange with forest management specialists and helps to organise the collection process. 

CFF Coopérative Forestière du Fleuve acts as intermediary in the collection process.

Bioterre is a commercial partner.

CMS (Crédit Mutuel du Sénégal) provides financial support, including micro-financing for women associations.

IREFS Inspection Régionale des Eaux et Forêt de Saint-Louis

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