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Agricultural Residues and Household Waste Fly to the Rescue of Cameroon's Energy Needs
The agricultural activity in Cameroon generates a great amount of wastes which are often abandoned in the nature with heavy consequences on the environment.
By Jiokap Nono Yvette
Dec. 19, 2015

The total amount of agricultural residues and household waste generated in each division of the northern part of Cameroonhas been recently evaluated by SAMOMSSA et al.and is of the order of 555 000dry-bone tons per annum.

Harnessing the physico-chemical properties of these wastes, through standard methods of proximate analysis,SAMOMSSA et al.indicatea biomass-energy potential of more than 11.5 TJ per year in the northern part of Cameroon against 27.9 TJ for the national total waste. The northern part of Cameroon occupies 34.5% of the total area of Cameroon and is composed of three regions and fifteen divisions, as shown in the figure below from SAMOMSSA et al. paper.

Location map of the study area (from SAMOMSSA et al. paper)

As said elsewhere in 2013 by the President of the Republic of Cameroon: “Energy is the queen of the battle for development and progress. Together, we will win this battle”, the implementation of this bio-energy potential is one of the answers,not only to Cameroon's energy needs but also, in the fight against environmental pollution by waste in Cameroon.

The food crop products investigated in the paper represent more than 90% of the said regions total production. The waste generated are corn cobs and stalks, millet/sorghum stalks, rice hulls, cassava peelings, groundnut hulls, sweet potato peelings, Irish potato peelings and cotton hulls.Compared to Cameroon total waste-derived production, the share due to the northern part is 41%, dry basis. More than 85% of these are equitably distributed between the North and the Far North regions. The remaining part is found in the Adamawa region.

“In the northern parts of Cameroon, millet/sorghum is the most produced (982 025.39 tons), followed by corn. Banana/plantain is the less produced (16 542. 05 tons) and this could be due to climatic conditions which are not well adapted to this crop. For the selected agricultural crop products, the annual total production is around 2 188 213.87 tons for the northern parts of Cameroon corresponding to 17.88 % of the national production” SAMOMSSA et al.said. They also reported that in this part of Cameroon, corn waste (corn cobs and corn stalks), groundnut hulls and millet/sorghum stalks present,in terms of dry mass,larger waste proportion of about 87% of the total waste.Theseare also the major waste contributing to the total potential energy with a rate of about 88% of the northern part of Cameroontotal energy potential.

The authors conclude that the conversion of these wastes into energy will provide a major contribution to the Cameroon energy deficit.

Samomssa Inna, JiokapNono Yvette andKamga Richard of the University of Ngaoundere, Cameroon.
The main author’saddress is as follows:

A paper about the study appeared recently in International Journal of Energy and Power Engineering, with the financial support of the Ministry of Higher Education of Cameroon, through the Special Fund Account for the modernization of research in state Universities and the support of the AgenceUniversitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) under the grant “Soutien aux Equipes de Recherche” (BACGL-2014-53).

Paper link:

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