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1 - Bio-Ethanol Gel

Ethanol can be used as a renewable cooking energy source. In Kenya it is made from a sugar-cane by-product (molasses), however it can also be produced from other crops such as sweet sorghum, sugar beet, maize, wheat, potatoes among other crops. The technical alcohol is sourced from Mumias Sugar factory. The ethanol is denatured at the factory rendering it unfit for human consumption hence preventing it from being used as an alcoholic beverage, it is then further processed into a thick gel using thickening agents and other additives. The bio-ethanol Gel is completely composed of biological products resulting in a neutral ecological balance. The combustion of Bio-Ethanol Gel results in completely environmentally clean emissions: Heat, Steam and Carbon Dioxide. The carbon dioxide emitted is absorbed into plants and processed via photosynthesis to help plants grow. This infinite cycle of creation and combustion of energy makes bio-ethanol gel a carbon neutral fuel source. 

2 - Bio-Ethanol Stove

The bio-ethanol gel is used in a specially made stove called Moto Safi™ ( trade marked by KIPI), which comes in single and double burner stoves. These are high performing stoves, which will provide significant health benefit to families otherwise dependant of dung, crop waste, wood, charcoal and kerosene, by eliminating dangerous smoke which are a major cause of IAP (indoor air pollution). The stove is also user friendly, durable and extremely safe to use. The fuel tank is not pressurized and thus cannot explode. The stove is adjusted and extinguished by a simple regulator. The stove is also light in weight and is easy to carry (portable). 

Bio-Ethanol Stove The bio-ethanol gel is used in a specially made stove called Moto Safi™ ( trade marked by KIPI), which comes in single and double burner stoves. These are high performing stoves, which will provide significant health benefit to families otherwise dependant of dung, crop waste, wood, charcoal and kerosene, by eliminating dangerous smoke which are a major cause of IAP (indoor air pollution). The stove is also user friendly, durable and extremely safe to use. The fuel tank is not pressurized and thus cannot explode. 

Brief Overview of Entry into the Kenyan Market.
In October 2010, Consumer’s Choice Limited (CCL) was appointed the distributor of Moto Poa Ethanol Gel and Stoves in Kenya by Moto Poa Limited of Arusha, Tanzania. Moto Poa ethanol gel is made from low grade denatured ethanol called Technical Alcohol (T.A). This T.A is made from fermenting and distilling molasses (a by-product of sugar production). The T.A used to process the ethanol gel by Moto Poa Limited is sourced from Mumias Sugar Company Limited in Kenya. Moto Poa gel and stoves have proved to be very popular in Tanzania especially in the low income urban areas as an alternative to kerosene fuel.
CCL has replicated the success story of Moto Poa Ltd in Tanzania here in Kenya. Furthermore, the basic raw material which is ethanol is sourced from Kenya and exported to Tanzania. The bio-ethanol gel is an economical, clean and renewable source of cooking energy with a potential of having a multiple benefit effect on the Kenyan economy. The ethanol gel can easily be an alternative cooking fuel in the low income urban areas in all the 47 Counties in the country, instead of kerosene and charcoal.
Since January 2011 when CCL officially entered the Kenyan market with the Moto Poa stove and gel, the market response has been over-whelming. Our strategy was to penetrate the market through the lower-income  urban areas in all the 47 Counties in the country, instead of kerosene and charcoal. 

Since January 2011 when CCL officially entered the Kenyan market with the Moto Poa stove and gel, the market response has been over-whelming. Our strategy was to penetrate the market through the lower-income supermarkets of Naivas (29 branches), Ukwala (11 branches), Woolmatt (4 branches) and numerous other smaller supermarkets within Nairobi City and environs, with a population of slightly over 3 million. We carried out numerous demonstrations outside the supermarkets to educate/demonstrate to potential consumers the use and advantages of using the ethanol fuelled stove. Since 2011 to date we have managed to sell over 13,000 stoves and over 142,000litres of gel, and this only from the mentioned supermarkets, exhibitions and A.S.K Shows, office sale and through independent sales persons.

We were also fortunate from Aug-Oct 2011 to have partnered with UNHCR and GIZ in a pilot project to introduce 200 ethanol gel fuelled stoves to Kakuma refugee camp in Northern Kenya. The main purpose of the pilot was to find an alternate cooking fuel other than fire wood, which has since destroyed the eco-system around the vast refugee camp. The results from this pilot were very encouraging and the beneficiaries of the pilot preferred to use the ethanol gel stove than kerosene, charcoal and firewood stoves (see attached report). Unfortunately the project was not implemented because of the cost of the ethanol gel, which was retailing at Kshs. 130.00 per litre.

We attended the Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu A.S.K Shows in 2011, 2012 and 2013 to further test the Kenyan market, with encouraging results. At the Kisumu Show we won awards for renewable energy usage in 2011, 2012 and 2013 consecutively, and June 27th 2014 at the Machakos Show.
Since late 2010, we have been importing the ethanol stoves and gel branded Moto Poa from Arusha Tanzania. The company processing the ethanol gel in Tanzania, Moto Poa Limited, has been exempted from paying import and excise duties in the manufacture of the gel and importation of the ethanol stoves, thus making the ethanol gel and stove cheap and affordable to Tanzanian’s – equivalent of Kshs. 80.00 per litre of gel and Kshs. 950.00 per single burner stove ex-factory price.

Following this encouraging response from Kenyan’s in adopting the ethanol gel and stove, our company sent representatives to China to design and manufacture our own ethanol gel fuelled single and double burner stoves, branded Moto Safi™. To date, KEBS has passed the single burner stoves, and we have imported our first 40ft. container consignment of 9,240 single burner stoves, of which all stoves have been sold out. Our Moto Safi™ stove has also been tested by KIRDI through the Climate Innovation Centre – Kenya for efficiency and emission test according to Global Alliance For Clean Cookstoves standards and has passed all the tests WBT and IWA at level tier III (see attached report from KIRDI).

Our wish is to have the Kenyan Government exempt our company Consumer’s Choice Limited from paying import duty when importing the Moto Safi™ stoves and excise duty when buying the Technical Alcohol from Mumias Sugar Co. Limited. This will enable our company to economically manufacture the ethanol gel locally and import of the Moto Safi™ stoves, thus making the ethanol gel and stove cheap and affordable to the urban and periurban consumer’s countrywide

This initiative has the support of:
 Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources.

 National Environment Management Authority - NEMA

 Ministry of Industrialization

 Ministry of Energy

 Ministry of Agriculture

 Energy Regulatory Commission - ERC

 Kenya Bureau of Standards - KEBS

 Kenya Industrial Research & Development Institute - KIRDI

 Kenya Forestry Services - KFS

 Climate Innovation Center – Kenya – KCIC

 Global Alliance For Clean Cook Stoves - GACC

 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change


 Info/Dev

 Growth Africa sted and extinguished by a simple regulator. The stove is also light in weight and is easy to carry (portable).

Introduction of Bio-Ethanol Fuel Gel and Stoves to the Urban and Peri-Urban Poor as an Alternative to Kerosene and Charcoal.

The main raw material used to make ethanol gel is low quality ethanol otherwise known as Technical Alcohol (T.A), with an alcohol content percentage of 94%. This T.A is a by-product of making human grade ethanol (E.N.A & N.A) and other industrial alcohols, such as methylated spirits, pharmaceutial spirits and cosmetic spirits. Before there was no other use for T.A and it could not be poured into the ground or rivers because of strict NEMA regulations, thus huge tanks to store this waste had to be built. Now a new market for this T.A has been established, by making Ethanol Gel.
In order to avoid consumption of the T.A as an alcoholic beverage, it is denatured, a process of mixing it with an unpalatable chemical at the distillers. It is further processed into a thick gel, by mixing the T.A with thickening agents, water, colouring and scents to create a combustible ethanol gel that is safe, non-toxic, non-explosive, nonspillable and easily portable. Once the denatured technical alcohol is in a gel format, it is impossible to reverse the process to derive ethanol, thus cannot be used as an alcoholic beverage.

We feel that there is a burdening problem for majority of poor urban and peri-urban Kenyans to shift from the use of charcoal and kerosene to LPG as their cooking fuel, because of the high initial cost of burners and LPG cylinders, as well as frequent shortages and an inefficient distribution system. From using kerosene fuel, bio ethanol gel is an ideal transition fuel to graduate to LPG/electricity for various reasons:

- Ethanol gel does not produced harmful emissions like charcoal and kerosene fuel, thus keeps families heather.

- It contributes positively to issues of deforestation.

- It does not spill, splash and is non-explosive.

- It does not emit any soot, so pot and pans are easy to clean.

- 1litre burns continuously for 5.5 hour.

- Ignites and extinguishes very easily.

- The ethanol is denatured and thickened to avoid any possibility for human consumption.

- Lemongrass is added to the gel and acts as a mosquito repellant.

- Gel is environmentally friendly and pollution free.

- Bio ethanol gel is nontoxic, even if consumed by mistake.

- Bio ethanol gel stove is twice as efficient as kerosene wick stove.

- Bio ethanol is a sustainable and renewable cooking fuel.

- KIRDI has tested and passed both the stove and gel as being well within the I.W.A emissions safe limits.

- The gel is available in small quantities of upto 0.5 litres (Kshs. 50.00) depending on the customers’ budget, thus making it affordable. Unlike LPG which has high refill costs of Kshs. 1,200.00 and more depending on the cylinder capacity.

By comparison, we highlight the properties of kerosene fuel:

- It is a fossil fuel and is a non-renewable and unsustainable energy source.

- Kerosene emits dangerous fumes which irritates the eyes and causes lung ailments.

- Kerosene fumes sticks to clothes and beddings and also blackens cooking pot bases (soot).

- Many children have been known to drink kerosene as it is commonly filled in soda bottles, with tragic consequences.

- Many of the fires in urban slums are caused by kerosene stoves and lamps.

- Kerosene stoves and lamps pollute the environment.

- Kerosene is sold in highly hazardous conditions in low income areas.

- Until Kenya begins to extract its own oil, we will continue to import it at high cost.

The biggest challenge will to ensure that the both the stove and gel are readily available at local retail outlets, within 1km of the consumer’s residence. With this in mind, the marketing and distribution strategy will initially be concentrated in all urban areas in the 47 counties. There is a potential market of about 2,228,000 urban households who currently use a mix of charcoal and kerosene.
In conjunction with the Kenya Climate Innovation Centre business advisory division, most of 2013 was spent designing and perfecting a 5 year+ Business Plan to re-launch our stove and gel in a sustainable manner all aspects of financial, administrative, human resource, marketing, information technology, procurement & supplies, manufacturing & processing and sourcing of funds. We have also partnered with GVEP who are advising us on market growth strategy. In the next 5 years, we estimate to capture 15% of the urban low income market to use the ethanol gel and stove. We have an ambitious 330,000 stoves to be sold by 2019 – an estimate of 66,000 stoves per year. We have visited Mumias Sugar Co. Limited, and they have agreed to supply 100,000 litres per month of denatured technical ethanol, in event that there is a waiver of excise duty on denatured technical alcohol is awarded. We will transport the denatured technical ethanol from Mumias Sugar Co Ltd to our Nairobi plant via specialized tankers.
A very effective, well thought out product awareness/education campaign will be carried out in the first two years to make consumers aware of the advantages of the stove and gel. At the same time an elaborate distribution network in every county of distributors has been established and to create employment 300 youths who will become selling agents in various urban centers and towns countrywide, selling the stoves and gel directly to the consumer and earn commissions for every stove they sell.

Currently, Kenya is producing 4,200,000 Litres of low quality ethanol (Technical Alcohol) which can be used to make ethanol gel cooking fuel. That means if the entire stock was used to be processed into ethanol gel technically more than 350,000 liters of ethanol gel will be available per month.
In Moshi Tanzania, Kilimanjaro Biochem Ltd produces 900,000litres of Technical Alcohol per year and Lugazi Sugar in Lugazi District, central Uganda also produces 900,000litres of Technical Alcohol per year. This brings the total production of T.A in East Africa to 6,000,000 litres.
In the future we intend to use other innovative methods of obtaining ethanol by partnering with investors and other stakeholders to financially and technically supporting farmers in semi-arid areas to grow sweet sorghum, which has a very high potential in these vast regions of Kenya. In the process we will create an industry for millet as food, ethanol as fuel and feed for livestock.
Currently no other company apart from Consumer’s Choice Ltd in Kenya has designed, tested and manufactured with official approvals and certifications from the Kenya Government’s Kenya Bureau of Standards (ISM mark) SGS (Certificate of Conformity), stove & gel efficiency and emissions tested and passed by Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute, a partner of the Global Alliance of Clean Cookstoves and trademarked Moto Safi™ with Kenya Industrial Property Institute (TM No. 74471). We are also the national distributor of denatured technical alcohol gel in Kenya branded Moto Poa processed in Arusha, Tanzania by Moto Poa Limited. There are a couple of companies locally processing and selling gel fuel but the alcohol ingredient is methanol not ethanol (which can be very dangerous if consumed by mistake). Another advantage of the ethanol being in a gel format is that it cannot be consumed as an alcoholic beverage because of its viscous nature, or be diverted to be used as other substances.

 Reduce by 60-70% In-Door Air Pollution which is a major cause of upper respiratory ailments in the population, especially mothers and children upto the age of 5 years. There are over 14 million Kenyan directly exposed to IAP which contribute to 15,000 deaths per year and a 2.9% burden of all diseases in Kenya.

 Reduce deforestation mainly caused by felling of tree cover for fire wood and charcoal production.

 In terms of climate change mitigation the use of ethanol gel fueled stoves will reduce harmful CO₂ emissions into the atmosphere, directly mitigating Global Warming and Climate Change.

 Reduce substantially the Government foreign exchange spending on importation of kerosene fuel. Target is to reduce by 50% kerosene used in household saving the Government Kshs.12 billion per year.

 Create awareness about the dangers of Household Air Pollution (HAP) and bring a behavioral, social and cultural change into using cleaner, safer, economical cooking fuels and habits.

 Within households there will be zero carbon monoxide emissions, no soot and smell emissions, and other dangers such as fires caused by wood, charcoal and kerosene fuel and the injuries/fatalities inflicted.

 Reduce Government expenditure on free medicines bought to treat diseases related to HAP.

 Creation of jobs to the youth and women groups as selling agents of stove and gel. A minimum of 300 direct jobs will be created from a network of 10 distributors countrywide.

 Avail to Kenyans an alternative affordable stove and cheaper fuel that will contribute to their savings.  Improve the moral and self-confidence of users of ethanol gel stoves.


Moto Safi™ stove and gel will compete with the traditional fuels of kerosene and charcoal available in urban and peri-urban Kenya. Our products have an added advantage over these products through:
1. Household Air Pollution –The typical urban cook stoves are the kerosene stove and the charcoal stove called a jiko. Both are highly pollutant and emit unhealthy emissions. An upgrade to Moto Safi™ Stove and gel is healthier and does not produce harmful emissions associated with HAP.
2. Safety – Most of the fires experienced in the low income urban areas are usually caused by two main reasons. a) Illegal electricity connections and b) Kerosene fuel. Either kerosene stove tips over when it is alight and the fire spreads or it explodes causing a fire. The advantage of the ethanol gel is that it does not spill or splash because it is viscous liquid. Second the reservoir where the gel is put is not pressurized so it is non-explosive. In Brazil where ethanol consumption is high, studies done by Bizzo et al [10] showed that bottled denatured ethanol remains an attractive fuel for cooking, but the low viscosity of ethanol easily result to burns from accidental ethanol spillage. Owing to the very high number of domestic burn accidents caused from misuse of denatured ethanol, a law was enacted to enforce its substitution with ethanol gel.
3. Price – The price of the Moto Safi™ stove is currently costing Kshs. 1,500.00 with a warranty of 3 years will be competitive compared to the charcoal stove (Kshs. 900.00) and the kerosene stove (Kshs. 900.00). Prices will reduce to Kshs. 1,000.00 with import duty tax exemption which the Kenya Government have assured. The Moto Safi™ gel will retail at Kshs. 85.00 per litre (with tax exemption) compared to kerosene at Kshs. 100.00 per litre at the vendor in low income urban residential areas countrywide.
4. Economy – Electricity and LPG are the most desired forms of cooking energy, but remains that, a desire to majority, because the high upfront and service costs are very prohibitive to the low income community. Moto Safi™ stove and gel have similar characteristic’s as LPG has no soot or smell and it has been tested that 1 litre of gel burns continuously for 5.5 hours on high output (1.5kW) and can be used for 2 days for a family of 5 persons. There will also be a 0.5 litre Moto Safi™ gel sachet for those who are really financially pressed.
5. Convenience – Households will realize further cost savings owing to the Moto Safi™ stove which is extremely fuel efficient, a quick cooker that will attain maximum and optimum operating temperature in less than 1 minute after ignition. It will finish cooking breakfast for five before a charcoal jiko is prepared and reaches optimum temperature. It will also extinguish instantly with a turn of the flame regulator.
The following is list of comparable cooker and stove retail prices in the Kenyan market taken in May 2014:
 Basic single coil heating element (1500W) electric cooker Kshs 3,750.00

 6 kg LPG Meko Single burner cum cylinder Kshs. 6,000.00

 13kg LPG filled cylinder and regulator Kshs. 7,000.00

 13kg LPG cylinder refill Kshs. 2,700.00

 Basic LPG table top double burner cooker Kshs. 4,500.00

 Clean-Cook denatured ethanol single burner stove Kshs. 4,000.00

 Moto Safi ethanol gel stove single burner Kshs. 2,200.00

 Ceramic lined charcoal single burner stove medium sized “Jiko” Kshs. 900.00

 Basic single burner kerosene stove Kshs. 900.00

 Gasifier wood stove Kshs. 2,500.00 Proposed Moto Safi ethanol gel stove with import duty exemption Kshs. 1,500.00

Comparative actual cooking costs for a five person household using commercially available cooking fuels, stoves and cookers in the urban and peri-urban target market segment in Kenya.
1. LPG One 13kg gas refill will cook three meals per day for 1 month. Price: Kshs. 2,700.00 Fuel cost per meal Kshs. 30.00.
2. Electricity Average monthly bill of Kshs. 4,500.00 is the cost of cooking 3 meals per day for a month. Fuel cost per meal Kshs 50.00.
3. Charcoal Price Kshs. 45.00/per kg ( 4 litre paint container “goro goro” measure) this cooks 1 meal Fuel cost per meal Kshs. 45.00
4. Kerosene Price Kshs. 100.00 per litre. This cooks three meals. Fuel cost per meal Kshs 33.00
5. Ethanol Gel Price Kshs. 165.00 per litre. This will cook 3 meals per day. Fuel cost per meal Kshs. 55.00
6. Firewood Price Kshs. 40.00/kg batch. This cooks 1 meal. Fuel cost per meal Kshs 40.00
7. Proposed Tax Exempt Ethanol Gel Price Kshs 85.00 per litre. This will cook 3 meals. Fuel cost per meal Kshs. 28.30
Conclusion: LPG is the cheapest fuel at Kshs. 30.00 per meal, but the biggest challenge to the low income households is that they cannot afford to buy a 13kg cylinder at one go costing Kshs. 2,700.00 when they need to refill. They can afford to buy their fuel in small quantities, which is why they prefer kerosene and charcoal which can be bought in small quantities. The proposed ethanol gel price is Kshs. 28.30 per meal, which will be cheaper than LPG, making it the cheapest fuel, and will also be sold in 0.5 litre sachets at Kshs. 43.00 ($0.49), which is affordable to the target customer. Furthermore it is cleaner, safer and healthier than the other “affordable fuels”.