Businessafrica.net Newsletter ISSN 1563-4108
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AFRICABIZ VOL 1- ISSUE : 33
JANUARY 15 - FEBRUARY 14, 2002
Previous Issue
Editor: Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum
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A WORD FROM THE EDITOR

Dear visitor and international investor,


We warmly welcome you, if this is your first visit to Africabiz Online - The ultimate newsletter on trading and investing in 49 sub-Saharan African countries. If you are a regular and faithful reader, welcome back.

If you are a regular and faithful reader, welcome back.

HAPPY AND SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS YEAR 2002

We at AFRICABIZ ONLINE wish you and your loves ones a happy and prosperous business year 2002.

BusinessAfrica™ AND AFRICABIZ® ONLINE NEW DESIGNS AND THE BROWSERS' WAR

If this is your first visit to AFRICABIZ ONLINE you will not notice that the design have changed. If you are a faithful visitor to businessafrica.net, africabiz. org and to countries' briefs you will instantly notice the changes.

However, one way or another, what you do view will highly depend on which browser you are using. At the bottom of all pages the following mention had been added: WEBSITE OPTIMIZED FOR INTERNET EXPLORER FROM VERSION 4.5 AND ABOVE.

Putting that mention, we are not taking side in the browsers' war and promoting Microsoft IE against other browsers and particularly Netscape. We deeply apologize to the users / fans of Netscape and Opera browsers in particular.

We feel obliged to do so because Microsoft IE is truly the only and single browser which displays integrally and faithfully BusinessAfrica™ websites layout, settings and configurations.

And we invite you to judge by yourself.

For the test let's consider the latest editions of the three most used browsers: Microsoft IE Version 6, Netscape Version 6.2.1 and Opera Version 6.0.

Please kindly do use alternatively one of these three browsers to visit the following links: 1- businessafrica.net; 2- africabiz.org and 3- Benin. You will notice the following:

a) - In Netscape 6.2.1 and Opera 6.0, in comparison to Internet Explorer 6.0, the dating clock at the top right side of businessafrica.net does not show up. At the left bottom side an important logo WebsiteQuickT is also missing from Netscape and Opera. Opera did show a white black-bordered image; with the mention Website instead of WebsiteQuickT. Netscape shows nothing; but when you hover your mouse in Netscape at the left bottom place you have a link mentioned in your browser status field.

When you hover your mouse on a image or logo, the ALT / description of what that image stands for is displayed in Internet Explorer 6. This important "action" of the mouse is not performed on pages viewed with Opera 6.0 and Netscape 6.2.1. Please notice that this shortcoming is not peculiar to BusinessAfrica™ websites but is identical for any web page viewed in Opera 6.0 and Netscape 6.2.1

Some images which appear perfectly centered in Internet Explorer 6 - as intended by the website designer - are simply push to left by Opera 6.0 and Netscape 6.2.1

b) - An important logo: AFRICABIZ ONLINE with a scanning bright bar is visible in Internet Explorer 6 and missing in Opera 6.0 and Netscape 6.2.1 when viewing africabiz.org. The same for Benin.

When viewing Benin in Internet Explorer 6.0 and scrolling to "Investor Contacts" for instance or to "Accommodation" one can see that tables had border-filling in light green. That light green border-filling is completely missing when one uses Opera 6.0 or Netscape 6.0 to view the page.

Things are even worse with the Copyright page where a big chunk of the main text and relevant images are simply nonexistent when viewed with Netscape 6.2.1. Opera performs better. Only three images are missing.

In conclusion we rightly felt obliged to clearly mention to our visitors that the website is optimized for Microsoft Internet Explorer.

New versions above Opera 6.0 and Netscape 6.2.1 may in the future correct the shortcomings we have above listed; but for the time being on this January 15, 2002, Microsoft Internet Explorer - all versions alike - is the only browser which faithfully displays BusinessAfrica™ websites layout settings and configurations; in accordance with the php organization / regulation body's recommendations: "DOCTYPE php PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD php 4.0 Strict file://EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-php40/loose.dtd" which appears on top of the source codes of all BusinessAfrica™ web pages.

- All that said, Internet Explorer 6 also has some annoying shortcoming such as stopping to load or inadvertently interrupting an important surfing session. Click here to review "Control Your Desktop" which deals with the problem.

Click here to review Contributor's Guidelines. Your contribution / economic articles / technology breakthroughs on "How Africa could bridge the developing gap" are welcome.


Many thanks for dropping by and see you here on February 15, 2002.

Dr. B.M. Quenum
Editor of AFRICABIZ
Contact Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES IN AFRICA


SORGHUM: AN INCOME BUILDING POWER FOR AN AFRICAN COMMUNITY.

PART IV: THE ENERGY BALANCE PROBLEM OF PRODUCING ETHANOL/ALCOHOL AS BIO-FUEL

- Several business opportunities - component parts of the Integrated Developing Scheme described in Africans, Stop Being Poor! are listed in following table.

a- SHEA BUTTER (Issues 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13)
b- BLUE GOLD (Issues 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19)
c- FREEZE-DRIED PAPAIN (Issues 20, 21, 22 and here)
d- KENAF (Issues 23, 24)
e- VEGETABLE OIL (Issues 25, 26, 27 and 28)
f- CEREALS (Issues 30, 31, 32)

In issue N° 32 an introduction to ethanol as bio-fuel and alternative to fossil based energy was made.

Table N° 1 available below lists some feedstocks - which could be used to producing ethanol.

TABLE 1
ETHANOL FEEDSTOCKS AND PRODUCTION COSTS US$

 BIOMASS MATERIAL

 $ / liter for feedstock cost alone (high end of range)

 $ / liter for feedstock cost alone (low end of range)

 $ / liter processing cost (high end of range)

 $ / liter processing cost (low end of range)

 Total $ per liter(high end of range)

 Total $ per liter(low end of range)

 Bagasse

 0.22

 0.11

 0.44

 0.25

 0.66

 0.36

 Molasses

 0.13

 0.13

 0.27

 0.14

 0.39

 0.27

 Prepared cane

 ....0.29

 0.16

 0.44

 0.25

 0.73

 0.40

 Leafy tops and cane trash

 0.14

 0.17

 0.44

 0.25

 0.37

 0.32

 Unburned sugarcane

 0.27

 0.14

 0.44

 0.25

 0.70

 0.39

 Sugarcane varieties

 0.25

 0.13

 0.44

 0.25

 0.68

 0.38

 Napier Grass

 0.38

 0.20

 0.44

 0.25

 0.82

 0.46

 Sweet Sorghum

 0.22

 0.11

 0.44

 0.25

 0.66

 0.37

 Eucalyptus

 0.36

 0.20

 0.44

 0.25

 0.80

 0.44

 Leucaena

 0.53

 0.28

 0.44

 0.25

 0.96

 0.54

Recycled  Newspaper

 0.04

 0.01

 0.44

 0.25

 0.47

 0.27

 Municipal Solid Waste

 0.10

 0.00

 0.44

 0.25

 0.55

 0.25

- WHICH IS THE BEST FEEDSTOCK?

Asking that boils down to asking two main closely linked questions:

a)- Which feedstock acquisition / production / purchasing price is the lowest for the ethanol plant

b)- Which feedstock provides the best Energy Balance. In other words which feedstock produces ethanol which energy content (plus the energy content of byproducts) had a positive balance versus the energy content to producing the feedstock.

Table 1 above gives answer to question a). However the least costly produced feedstock does not have necessarily the best Energy Balance.

- ENERGY BALANCE ESTIMATION

Three areas need to be considered when determining the energy balance of ethanol:

1- Energy input to grow the raw material

The amount of energy needed to grow primary raw material / feedstocks depends largely on the farming practices and conditions. Crop irrigation, fuel to powering production material, fertilizer, and pesticide / disease control products represent most of the time - in tropical countries - the largest energy input.

Thus it is compulsory to have a perfect control on the usage of all these conditions in order to lowering the energy control of the primary raw material / feedstock.

2- Energy input to producing ethanol

There are basically two methods / techniques to manufacturing Ethanol a)- Dry milling and b)- Wet milling. Energy input in dry milling is about equivalent to that of wet milling; and production efficiency has greatly improved over the last decade and is improving month after month.

So it is important to establish a production plant based on the most efficient and current available technology in order to producing ethanol with the best Energy Balance.

3- Energy input to producing byproducts of ethanol

One way of improving the Energy Balance is to manufacture together with ethanol several byproducts. In other words, choose the technology which permits the production of byproducts with the minimum of energy input.

Table below gives the Energy Balance of ethanol produced from corn as feedstock (Source According to the 1995 study produced by the Institute for Local Self-reliance, Canada) using state-of-the-art farming and ethanol production techniques:

INPUTS BTU per liter of ethanol
FEEDSTOCK
Fertilizer 1,022
Pesticides 107
Fuel 349
Irrigation 1.597
Other 825
Total Feedstock Production 3,901
PROCESSING TO ETHANOL
Process Steam 6,917
Electricity 1,360
Bulk Transport 211
Other 277
Total 8,766
Total Energy Input 12,667
ETHANOL OUTPUTS
Energy in Ethanol 22,217
Co-products contribution 9,579
Total Energy 31,796
Net Energy Gain 19,130
Percentage of Energy Gain versus Energy Input 51%

- CHOOSE THE RIGHT TECHNOLOGY FROM THE START

The purpose of current delivery is to highlight the paramount importance of selecting the right technology from the start to produce Ethanol bio-fuel / alternative to fossil fuel as here extensively exposed.

Feasibility Study and Business Plan should be implemented thoroughly to covering extensively all the aspects linked to the Energy Balance problem.

- In order to obtain the best ethanol plant African decision makers should be careful not to acquire outdated or obsolete technology. Not to purchase a second hand plant to save pennies!

Technology to efficiently producing Ethanol is evolving day-by-day. According to an interesting article by Kathryn Barry Stelljes producing fuel ethanol from grains at low temperatures may be more feasible - and then using less energy input and therefore improving the resulting Energy Balance of the Ethanol - thanks to improved enzymes developed in ARS' Western Regional Research Center in Albany, California, USA. (In case article had been archived, you may search ARS site with the following string of criteria: Author: Kathlyn Barry Stelljes. Date: April 4, 2001. Title: More Efficient Ethanol Production Closer to Reality) Click here for more

Next delivery Issue 34 - February 15 - March 14, 2002 considers economics for a small to medium scale plant to producing Ethanol.

Locations of visitors to this page

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