Co&Coal is a project initiated under ENACTUS Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), which aspires to improve the standard of living and quality of life of the coconut milk sellers in northern region of Malaysia by using entrepreneurial action. This project aims to reduce pollution caused by improper ways of disposing coconut shell waste. Coconut is the main ingredient in this project and it has high utilization value, however most coconut shell waste are thrown away due the lack of awareness and knowledge of disposal.
As the discarded coconut shells are left to waste away, we saw an opportunity through this problem. In this project, Enactus UUM has successfully recycled these coconut shells by turning this waste into a useful product, which is the coconut charcoal. As the project utilizes the discarded coconut shells, we are able to tackle various environmental issues while fostering entrepreneurs with this sustainable "Go-green" concept. Currently, we have two target audiences who are coconut milk sellers, and we are empowering them with the necessary skill and knowledge on how to transform the coconut shells into high quality charcoal
Coconut is the fourth most important industrial crop after oil palm, rubber and paddy in Malaysia. With 100,000 hectares of coconut plantations, the amount of coconut waste generated per year goes as high as 3,960 metric ton. In Kedah, it is one of the major revenue sources and an integral part of the population & livelihood. However, coconut users, especially coconut milk sellers, have it rough. Their job does not generate much income and they have families to care for. The current economic situation also adds to their frustration, leaving them hopeless and directionless. Also, their coconut waste gives them a big headache as they lack the knowledge and awareness to dispose of them properly. All these waste ends up rotting and creating much environmental pollution!
We, Enactus Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) saw this opportunity and decided to act! Using entrepreneurial methods, we saw the opportunity to add value into the coconut shell waste by turning it into the coconut charcoal!. Made from 100% sustainable natural resources, the coconut charcoal is cleaner, safer and healthier for the consumer compared to the conventional wood charcoal. Months of research and consultation from charcoal producers, soil scientists and numerous trials and experiments have led us to discover a unique way to generate additional income AND dispose these coconut shell waste properly.
The coconut charcoal is produced through a few stages
1. Heating Process
Using the 'double barrel method', the coconut shells are placed into the small barrel, sealed and then placed it in a bigger barrel. The space between the barrels is filled with wood scraps and then burnt. The small barrel is heated through thermal conduction. Through this method, the carbonization process is more efficient, burning the coconut shells thoroughly. As the Double Barrel Method burns cleanly and efficiently, NO SMOKE IS PRODUCED. Thus, giving it an environmentally clean and safe burn. Then, an air vent is attached on top of the barrel to channel the heat out.
2. Grinding Process
Once the heating process is completed, coconut shells are now in an irregular and fragile state. A grinding machine is used to crush the coconut shell into fine coal dust.
3. Shaping Process
To create the final product, the fine coal dust is mixed together with corn flour. The mixture is later transferred to a shaping cast, leaving it to solidify for the next 3 days. In the end, high quality charcoal is produced!
THE BENEFITS OF COCOCNUT CHARCOAL
1. Environmentally friendly
2. Lower volatile contents
3. Releases less smoke, sparks and ashes
4. Easier to burn
5. Less fragile
6. A longer burning time, up to 7 HOURS!! (I know right! Wow!)
As this project aims to target the poor needy coconut milk sellers, we are inspired to expand our project further in the region of Kedah. The proceeds from all these coconut charcoal sales go directly to the coconut milk sellers themselves. Hence, enriching their lives. Currently, we are working with the villagers of Lembah Bujang, Much work needs to be done as the people there are poor, earning only so little to get by at the end of the month. Their living conditions are bad, having poor infrastructure and lack the financial capabilities to renovate. Visiting earlier this month, we felt the plight of the people and are eager to work with them to improve their living conditions. We are training two villagers to utilize their coconut waste, enabling them to generate additional income for their family. As we wish to expand further, we need the funds to buy more grinding machines as they are costly. Thus, we need help! Please support our project and together, let's make this world a better place!
Enactus UUM! We Discover! We Develop! We Inspire!
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