Warmth out of waste: Alternative fuel created from olive pomace in Gaza Strip

Necessity is the mother of invention. That is what led graduates from Gaza strip to find a solution to shortages of heating supplies in the strip, through creating fuel pellets out of olive pomace waste which is regarded by innovators as sustainable, environmentally-friendly, and affordable for residents and helps alleviate chronic energy shortages, as seen in footage's on Monday. Tamer Abo... Еще Moltaq was «thinking out of the box to find an alternative source of income and create a private business.» Civil engineering graduate, Tamer Abo Motlaq, along with two other graduates Usama Qudaih and Khaled Abo Motlaq, founded «Olive Jift Project» to convert olive pomace «Jift» into a sustainable affordable energy alternative. «Our idea is to get rid of olive pomace which was accumulated in dumpsters east of Gaza. And to transform it into an environmentally-friendly source of power (...) Olive pomace used to exist in Gaza in big amounts, about 50.000 tons annually. These amounts used to produce environmentally-unfriendly methane caused by anaerobic bacteria,» he added. Treated olive pomace is compressed by machine. Then, it is left to dry under the sun before being ready for use. «This machine produces about eight tons per day, and provides work to 15 workers,» said Abo Moltaq. Founders of the project had to combine their engineering knowledge to create the machine «we thought about importing it from Turkey or Italy, but the price was around $ 11,000 at the source. Adding to that, Gaza suffers under economic blockade which makes the economy's situation difficult. Therefore, we figured out the machine will not enter Gaza Strip.» he added. Conversion of «Jift» into fuel pellets costs about $150 (€135) per ton, which is about half the local price of firewood. «We provided new product with higher heat efficiency and cheaper price in comparison to ordinary firewood,» explained Abo Moltaq. After resolving the environmental issue, innovators will turn to find solutions to drink water issues as «By 2025, there will be no drinking water in Gaza Strip. So, after resolving the environmental issue, we will try to find a solution to water one,» said Abo Moltaq. «Olive Jift Project» was funded by the Danish organization (DSA) and implemented by (MAAN Development Center) and (Asala Association). It has «won prize of (IBDA' Youth Program) of Dalia Association. Furthermore, it has qualified to represent the State of Palestine at international (Hult Prize) competition in the USA.» says Abo Moltaq who talks with passion about their aspiration «to become international business not only local as it is now.»

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