Winner of ‘No Waste Challenge’ Leafylife Develops Fuel From Used Diapers
A Kenyan startup company, Leafylife won the What Design Can Do’s (WDCD) No Waste Challenge, with their thoughtfully developed way of recycling waste diapers to produce fuel and construction material. Leafyline uses a unique technology where warm organic chemicals turn dirty diapers into useful materials.
Diapers are usually allied with personal sanitation but are one of the reasons for releasing greenhouse gases such as methane that consequently contribute to climate change. However, through chemical processes diapers break down into individual constituents, which can be used to develop Leafylife products.
One of the three Kenyan founders of Leafylife, Peter Gachanja, said;
There is a lack of proper ways to deal with dirty diapers and, at the moment, they are mainly dumped. Thus, we noted a need to deal with them especially because in Kenya, they also end up in rivers causing waterborne diseases and generally pose a health risk for the experimental phase of producing products from diapers lasted roughly nine months.
Fewer apparatus availability and lack of space for a lab to conduct experiments hampered the company’s progress for a long time. Despite this, they managed to develop fuel that lowers carbon emissions by 76 percent as compared to kerosene and charcoal.
The process is also economically reasonable as it has suggestively less energy and water consumption than other chemical processes.
According to Gachanja, people have several misconceptions about recycling such as waste can’t be reused. While some waste products are very easy to recycle and some just take more input to set up a process, it’s quite easy after that. He also mentioned that recycling can be profitable, too.
We really need to redirect our holistic approach towards waste materials, which will eventually help us in reducing carbon emissions by developing more products like Leafylife.
Via: Design Indaba