Green Chemistry for Making Non-Synthetic Pesticide

Grants and Contracts Details


Objective • Main Objective: Develop a sustainable, low-cost method for producing a non-synthetic pesticide, wood vinegar, from already existing biochar production techniques present in rural regions of West Cameroon, and Tamil Nadu, India. This added incentive reduces the release of harmful chemicals and tars into the atmosphere, which is the case when making biochar using current practices. As a result, this research focuses on minimizing atmospheric pollution by collecting and condensing the released chemicals into a useful and inexpensive, non-synthetic pesticide, herbicide, and fungicide known as wood vinegar. To achieve this objective, three task are proposed: o Design and optimize the current biochar production method for generating wood vinegar by pyrolysis of locally available biomass. o Determine the composition of the wood vinegar and its variance as different biomasses are pyrolysized. o Conduct field studies for the use of wood vinegar as a pesticide, herbicide, and fungicide to enhance its effectiveness. o Mechanical design and fabrication plans for making wood vinegar using locally sourced construction materials (implement this research at ACREST and ODAM?) • This project has been conceived through a partnership with the African Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology (ACREST) located in Bangang, Cameroon, and the Organization for Development and Maintenance (ODAM) in Tamil Nadu, India. • The description of the student team project will be: to design and construct the wood vinegar processor and analyze the material for a green chemistry use as a non-synthetic pesticide. o List simple materials needed to build the processor, keeping the cost less than $100 o Make a video demonstrating how to make the wood vinegar. Approach • The collection of emitted gases from the pyrolysis of biomass is rarely performed in rural regions of Cameroon and India, because it is not familiar, and difficult as complicated cooling systems are required. • Therefore, the research transforms the emitted waste into an extremely beneficial organic material that also acts as an incentive to the existing production of biochar. • The design includes no moving parts, electricity, or imported good, making it affordable for underdeveloped regions. • Nonetheless, the overall efficiency of the process is jeopardized due to non-standard construction materials present in these regions. However, additional research is conducted to optimize the energy efficiency of the process during various uncertainties. • In addition, the use of these renewable feedstock leads to generation of safer chemicals, which minimizes toxicity to human health and environment, and can be easily degraded. Results The results of this P3 project will be the design and construction of a prototype multifunction processor to generate wood vinegar, and clean biochar from locally available resources and feedstocks. The design will be simple to build and operate, low cost and portable, thus providing opportunities for overall improvement in farming techniques in rural villages in such areas. Contribution to Pollution Prevention This project will contribute to pollution prevention in several ways: • Provide a non-synthetic, organic pesticide to offset the harmful effects of using expensive, harsh chemicals • Provide a source of bio char, a soil amendment that can be used to improve moisture and nutrient retention in cropland?? • Provide a use for reclaimed or recycled material such as discarded oil drum and junkyard automobile parts.
Effective start/end date11/1/1510/31/16


  • National Center for Environmental Research & Quality: $14,994.00


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