Our Impact

Solar dryer integrated with natural rocks as energy storage for drying fruits and vegetables in Mozambique

Thematic Area: Energy including renewables

University: Zambeze University

Project Leader: Luís Cristóvão

Collaborating Partners: Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST), Arusha Tanzania

Duration: 2 years

Project Overview


In Mozambique, more than 80% of the total population lives in rural areas and depend on agriculture, livestock and silviculture – activities often affected by climate change. People often suffer from food shortages: some caused by natural disasters, others by excessive post-harvest losses due poor storage facilities. Post-harvest loss has been identified as a crucial challenge to achieving food and nutrition security and leading to financial losses to farmers. Thus, practical ways of cheaply and sanitarily preserving foods are needed.

The technology

Drying is an important post-harvest handling process. Despite the development of solar drying technologies in sub-Saharan Africa, most of these have some limitations that require further research. Many solar dryers are only useful in the presence of solar radiation and useless at night or during cloudy days. To enable off-sun drying, heat storage must be integrated. Thus, the main objective of this project is to develop inexpensive, effective, and reliable solar dryer integrated with thermal energy-storage system made of locally abundant and affordable materials with favorable thermal and mechanical properties. Also, the project aims to produce low-cost hand sanitizers from dried banana peels and waste, via cost-effective and eco-friendly techniques.

Expected Impact 

The proposed drying technology uses solar energy, which decreases deforestation and climate change impacts resulting from using fuelwood for drying purposes. The technology will contribute to reduced post-harvest loss and increased high-quality dried products which are market-competitive and hence improve farmers’ livelihood and national income at large. Also, in this project, ethanol for hand sanitizing will be produced from dried banana peels and banana waste, with the purpose of combating the spread of Covid-19. Therefore, the use of banana peels and waste as raw material for ethanol production will contribute to the reduction of solid waste and, consequently, to the improvement of environmental sanitation.


For more information, please contact the Project Leader.