Rsif PhD scholar explores groundbreaking solution for climate change mitigation.
Rsif PhD student, Mr. Ishaq Kaarim, is exploring a groundbreaking solution that uses agricultural residues to mitigate climate change. In a paper recently published in the Journal of Bioresource Technology of Impact Factor of 11.4, Ishaq describes a method of producing biocrude, an essential feedstock in ethanol production, from orange peels. The paper explores the synergetic effects of sub/supercritical conditions of ethanol and acetone to achieve a higher heating value (HHV) of biocrude efficiently. While previous studies have focused on the temperature and residence time effects, the comprehensive exploration of the organic solvents’ influence on biocrude properties remains a novel endeavor.
Ishaq is pursuing a PhD in Material Science and Engineering at the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) in Arusha, Tanzania. NM-AIST is one of the 15 Rsif African Host Universities.
In Muheza district, Tanga region of Tanzania, orange cultivation stands out as a significant contributor to both household income and revenue for the district. However, processing of oranges into fruit juice generates a substantial byproduct – orange peels. These peels, rich in cellulose, lignin, and hemicellulose, emerge as an untapped resource for biofuel production. Beyond the economic value of citrus fruits, the need to convert orange peels into viable products becomes imperative to curb indiscriminate burning of solid waste and presents a new avenue for economic growth, while mitigating climate change. Biocrude production from orange peels promotes sustainable agricultural practices, turning agricultural residues into a source of renewable energy.
Ishaq’s study opens new frontiers and future research on the feasibility of biofuel production from agricultural residues. It widens opportunities for developing alternative sources of energy apart from fossil fuels, which account for large carbon emissions globally. It potentially also provides solutions for reducing environmental pollution from solid waste, which are often damped in landfills.
Ishaq’s work underscores the pivotal role played by Rsif in fostering a culture of innovation and scientific inquiry. Rsif scholars like Ishaq benefit from science paper writing courses delivered by icipe, which enables them to publish important work in high impact scientific journals. To date, 191 scientific articles are on record by Rsif PhD students published in highly reputable journals and available through the Digital Repository on the Rsif website.
The Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (Rsif) is a flagship initiative of the Partnership for skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET) that bridges the skills gap needed for a science, technology and innovation-led growth and sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Current funders include nine African governments contributing between USD 1-6 million each (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Senegal); World Bank, Government of Korea, Samsung Dream Foundation, Government of France, the ACP Innovation Fund financed by the European Union through the Organisation for African, Caribbean
and Pacific States (OACPS) and the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Rsif is open to new partners across industry, government and academia.
Why Rsif matters:
- High quality PhD training: Combining intra-Africa academic exchange and international partnerships for world-class doctoral training.
- Wider academic and research network: Research placement at an advanced institution for exposure to cutting-edge technologies and connecting with global research networks.
- Regional integration within Africa: Strengthening centers of excellence and innovation ecosystems for benefit of the whole region.
- Better economies of scale: A pan-African partnership, and a jointly pooled science fund professionally managed by the Rsif Regional Coordination Unit at icipe.