Saving the Environment...with Cocoa Pods?
Posted by Jeff Stern on July 11, 2017
We are regularly and delightfully amazed and surprised by the clients we have. From being used as a visual tool for education about chocolate and cocoa in the classroom or museum display, to a decorative item for a chocolate trade show, to a dessert display piece, almost every other week we are astonished by the number of uses people find for cocoa pods.
And this latest one is one of the most interesting ones yet. At the Rochester Institute of Technology they have a Ph.D. program in sustainability. Ph.D. candidate Stephen Barber is advising an undergraduate on his project. They are looking for ways to use cocoa pods in Africa to develop water filtration systems for use in rural areas. Read below from him to hear more:
"We cut up the pods, ground the shells (and nibs separately) into a fine powder and will pyrolyse (make charcoal out of) next week once our machine gets fixed. We settled on filtering high COD (chemical oxygen demand) brewery waste which we just picked up today and are analyzing. The problem with this kind of liquid is that it kills fish by robbing oxygen out of the water as it decomposes. We picked brewery waste because beer is popular in Cote d'ivoire and cocoa shells plentiful. I think that "loaded" charcoal will be excellent as a soil amendment and fertilizer to grow more crops.
Stay tuned to learn more about this fascinating project using cocoa pods to help save the environment!