While unemployment in Botswana is a grim reality, a local entrepreneur and inventor have spotted an opportunity into turning Aloe Vera briquettes into money.
Aloe Vera Briquettes is a product of Reuben and Reuben Energy, a startup owned by Motswana entrepreneur Reuben Kerobale. The energy saving briquette is made from a combination of bees wax (Motu), aloe vera (Mokgwapha) and cow dung (Boloko). Depending on availability and affordability, the briquette can also be made from tallow (Mafura a diphologolo).
The multi fuel briquette accommodates fuels like gel, paraffin or any bio fuel, Kerobale tells Sunday Standard in an interview.
“Well I always see the invisible, I just thought of making a product that could be portable to carry, cook and warm yourself anytime and anywhere. While addressing the obvious challenge of rains and strong winds,” Kerobale said.
Kerobale says the product was tested by the University of Botswana’s Chemistry and Faculty of Engineering Technology.
Botswana Innovation Hub is also said to have given the product a thumps up.
“These tests on your provided samples (varying composition of main ingredients) yielded good results, of which report was shared with you. The results revealed acceptable levels of smoke, high energy content (very competitive to existing briquettes) and low yields of ashes,” stated a report from Botswana Innovation Hub.
Kerobale says he want to be recorded in the Guinness world book of records as the founder of “The largest longest burning water proof briquette in the world,” as he won 1st prize national Bio-tech Botswana innovation hub 2014.
The briquettes are said to be water proofed, has caloric value that is it has more heat than Morupule coal, wood, charcoal and can also burn both sides. The product is sold at Moshupa Coop and varies in sizes for cooking.
However when asked about how the people received the project he said, “Beside some people being skeptical and wanting to use it as sort of amusement to their friends, the reception has been good. It is a new product in the country so with a lot of aggressive marketing it will do well as it does not pollute the environment.”