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Source: Eco Fuels Kenya

Kenya's Croton Nuts Could Be The Future Of Biofuels

By Tessa Love

A prevalent shrub that grows almost everywhere across Kenya could be the key to a sustainable source of biofuel, set to replace diesel and potentially feed Africa’s growing demand for cheap, low-carbon energy. 

Called the croton tree, this plant is widely used for firewood and shade, but its less used component—its oilseed nuts—are a powerful source for biofuels. And while the croton industry is still fledgling, this macadamia-sized nut could help Africa meet its sustainable development goals of clean energy, climate action and poverty reduction.

As of now, Kenya imports all of its oil. In rural communities, diesel use is widespread for everything from trucks to water pumps, but is barely affordable for the poverty-stricken farmers that rely on it. Meanwhile, in urban areas, car exhaust is causing dangerous levels of air pollution. Croton oil, on the other hand, generates 78 percent less carbon dioxide emissions than diesel.