Energy Circular Economy Forests & Biodiversity

A clean successor to fossil fuels

Project Facts

Ethiopia, Kenya
Addis Ababa, Kisumu

Applied Financing Solutions
Private Equity

Project Dates
Start: 2016

The Story

To tackle the climate crisis, there is an urgent need for an alternative to fossil fuels that is clean, cheap, quickly scalable and infinite. NextFuel has developed a technology that can play a key role in the energy transition by converting large quantities of abundant biomass, such as straw, or agro-industrial residues, such as bagasse, into sustainable coal briquettes. Following numerous tests at its industrial-size pilot plant in Frohnleiten, Austria, the company now aims to replicate and scale-up its patented solution mainly in Africa and South America, where the fuel can be produced at low cost and in high volumes by using carbon-rich plants such as elephant grass.

Together with local partners, the start-up is currently implementing the first phase of several commercial projects for companies within the utility-, steel- and cement industry. In its first East-African project, for example, the target is to replace 250,000 tonnes of coal with the CO2-negative NextFuel briquette, thereby cutting the client's energy cost in half in one of their cement factories.

Apart from replacing fossil fuels, pollution reduction is another advantage of this innovative technology, because NextFuel burns nearly smokeless and can therefore reduce smog problems in cities with air pollution. It is also suited to replace traditional cooking fuels in developing countries thereby saving both forests and lives.

Success Factor | Hero Moment

A real Hero Moment for the advance of the project was its participation in the 2018 AUSTRIAN WORLD SUMMIT in Vienna. The presentation of NextFuel as a best practice solution at this event was the final step in convincing Swedish investors to take a stake in the company and provide substantial support for its further development work.

NextFuel AB, Sweden

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Biomass, Start-up, Innovation