–Ubabio Biomass Energy Solutions
The first thing that came to my mind when I got to the factory of Ubabio Biomass Energy Solutions in Trans Ekulu Enugu was, “Oh no! “Not in this age, not soot and charcoal again, we can’t go back to the era of dealing with black smudges in our homes and our environment again”, but as I took time to tour the mini factory and listen to Ikenna Ubah talk about his product, my opinion and perspective changed completely. Really on a very serious note, this particular product is different. This is not charcoal; neither does it come with all the potential harm that firewood and charcoal pose. The Ubabio Biomass Briquette, a product of the UbabioBiomass Energy Solutions Company is a unique solution to deforestation, excessive carbon emissions and environmental waste. It offers a much better alternative to charcoal, firewood and Kerosene as Ikenna Ubah the founder of the company took time to explain to me.
Ikenna Ubah a 27 year old graduate of Chemical Engineering from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Awka in Anambra Statein Nigeria did not just stumble in to study Chemical Engineering by accident.Afterlosing his grandmother to respiratory health conditions due to constant exposure to carbon monoxide emissions through firewood and experiencing harsh conditions himself in the process of cutting down trees for firewood and even missing school constantly (2 days in a week) every week, Ikenna was determined to find an alternative and less hazardous method of cooking in the Rural areas. The use of Firewood posed various risks and threats to the well-being of those who practiced it. These threats include the problem of deforestation, the problem of children missing school and the problem of respiratory health challenges and conditions. This pushed Ikenna to study hard to make good grades that enabled him to qualify for a course such as Chemical engineering that gave him the background he needed to conduct researches in the field of Biofuel, Biomass and Biogas. He made interesting discoveries as he continued to conduct various researches in this sector, this influenced his choice of topic during his final year project.
The Ubabio Biomass Energy Solution
This is a product that comprises of two major components, the Biomass Efficiency Stove and the Biomass Briquette. Together these components present a good alternative to kerosene stove, charcoal and firewood which all emit carbon monoxide that are harmful to the environment and one’s health.
The Biomass Briquette is a blackish product that looks like charcoal but is quite different. It doesn’t emit smoke or carbon, it is made from natural and biological waste such as sawdust and agricultural waste (banana peels, coconut shells, palm kernel shells, pig dung e.tc). These wastes aregrinded,mixed with organic binders, andthen passed through a process that decarbonizes it furtherto give the end product which is known as briquettes.These briquettes are then dried in the sun. The materials used in the production process of these briquettes are 100% organic and natural. The Ubabio Biomass Briquettes are of two types, the Stick Briquette and the Honey Comb Briquette. The Honey Comb Briquette serves the industrial needs of hoteliers and restaurant owners,while the Stick Briquette issuited more for home use. These briquettes are the substances that fuel the efficiency stove which has been specifically designed as a device on which the briquettes burn. This also carries the various cooking pots. The control of the heat is regulated according to the size of food being cooked,and by increasing or reducing the quantity of the briquettes being used.
The Accelerates Labs Training
A major factor that led to the birthing of the Ubabio Biomass Energy Solution Company was Ikenna’s contact with Barr Ezeh -Ifedy Ralph of Maisematrix Consulting who in collaboration with The Future Project Nigeria conducted a 3 months business acceleration training program in Awka in Anambra State for the eastern part of Nigeria in September 2017. The Accelerate Labs project is an initiative of the Future Project Nigeria supported by Microsoft. I am glad to say that I was part of this project for the South East zone. Ikenna found this opportunity via an online advert. He made sacrifices and traveled from Enugu to Awka regularly in order to participate in the training. This is where Ikenna Ubah found the courage to launch his biomass idea into a business venture and project. Through the guidance and trainings he received, he conquered his fear of the unknown and the uncertainties of being an entrepreneur. Prior to this time he did not understand some basic business principles and procedures, the Accelerate Labs training drilled him on setting up a good business structure and exposed him to other opportunities for trainings and accessing grants. Ikenna pitched for the Diamond Bank BET competition and came out top 5. He has also experienced the FIIRO House Reality TV show for innovators. The Ubabio Biomass Energy solution is aunique product that stands out anywhere it is presented, because of its social impact elements and its ability to mitigate environmental hazards. It is very affordable and operates through a simple technology. With N3500 you can purchase the Efficiency stove and just refuel with N1500 biomass briquette, this cannot be compared to the cost for purchasing Liquefied Cooking Gas (N5000) , and using its equivalent in kerosene monthly. The product has been recognized by Leap Africa’s Social Innovators Program. The Nigeria Climate Launchpad Actionhas also recognized them and will be sponsoring Ikenna to the Climate Action Conference in Uk for March 2019.The product is being used currently in various parts of Enugu State, Abuja,Port Harcourt and various cities in Nigeria. It is also available for sale and distributorship. Its social impact potential is huge both for the rural communities and outer cities. We are proud to identify with this initiative and watch as a revolution to deforestation unfolds.
Ubabio Biomass Energy Solutions is now incorporated as Ubabio Eco Solutions Nig Ltd. They are diversifying to other eco-friendly products like bio – ethanol fuel, organic fertilizer in addition to biomass energy.
Written by IfeomaAjumobi (Ify Melody)
IfeomaAjumobi, popularly known as Ify Melody, the Sparkling woman on Radio, Is a Broadcast Journalist, a Voice OverArtiste, A Compere (Eventhost), A Radio and TV Content producer. She is an On Air Personality with a difference who goes the extra mile to get fresh and relevant content for her audience. She anchors the business show “Business Matters “on Solid 100.9fm Enugu, SouthEast Nigeria. Her other interest includes Visual Arts, Poetry, Movies, Travelling, Tourism, Music and all kinds of Creative events. It is always fun when you connect with her because she is passionate about feeding your soul and spirit with the right kind of information that keeps you on the path (your journey to success and greater heights).
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