• Fuelling change

    Fuelling change

    Once used exclusively to make paper in ancient Egypt, papyrus may soon be harvested as a source of biofuel.

    Papyrus is found on many of the wetlands along the Nile basin, which stretches from the White Nile in Lake Victoria through Uganda, South Sudan and into Egypt. The vegetation, already shown to have high growth rates, can be harvested easily and regrows quickly.

    However, as the plant first needs to be converted into a combustible form before it can be used as a biofuel, trials took place in Rwanda whereby papyrus was compressed into briquettes, according to a Conversation Africa report.

    Studies have also been conducted near Lake Naivasha in Kenya and Lake Victoria on the border of Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya, findings of which included 27 subsets of benefits derived from papyrus wetlands.

    28 March 2017
    Image: Gallo/Getty Images