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Clariant Cellulosic Ethanol Donation Lets 1,000 Malagasy Families Cook Safer and Cleaner

Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals and one of the leading providers globally of cellulosic ethanol production technology, and Project Gaia, a non-profit promoting the use of alcohol fuels (ethanol and methanol) for household energy, announced a new collaboration today. The collaboration will facilitate a donation of approximately 24m3 of cellulosic ethanol from Clariant’s pre-commercial sunliquid® plant in Straubing, Germany to a commercial ethanol cooking program in Madagascar, run by Project Gaia’s partner, Clean Cooking Madagascar (CCM). The donation will provide a month’s worth of cooking fuel for 1,000 Malagasy families. The Clariant cellulosic ethanol is made from agricultural residues, resulting in greenhouse gas savings of about 95% without competing with food and feed production or for arable land.

Madagascar is one of the most bio diverse countries in the world; however, it also has high rates of deforestation. Land clearance, slash and burn agriculture, wildfires, and over-harvesting of wood for charcoal and fuelwood are all to blame. While forest reserves are on the decline, the demand for fuelwood and charcoal is rising dramatically. Madagascar’s population has tripled since 1950, and fuel alternatives are scarce. Low and middle income households rely on firewood, while urban households almost exclusively use charcoal for cooking. Nearly 12,000 deaths per year in Madagascar are attributed to diseases caused by kitchen smoke. Of these deaths, 10,000 are children under 5 years of age.

Ethanol cooking stoves offer a clean and sustainable alternative for household cooking. In response to this, a Norwegian carbon finance company, Green Development AS, through its local implementing entity CCM, developed the Madagascar Ethanol Stove Program to promote ethanol cooking in Madagascar, aiming to deliver 100,000 ethanol stoves in five years’ time. The program also encourages the development of local ethanol supply chains through the establishment of small or micro distilleries.

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