Business Plan for Sustainable Ethanol Cooking Fuel in Developing World

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Zhou, Kerui
Shi, Wenjing


Von Windheim, Jesko

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Ethanol cooking fuel has great promise in developing countries, especially in South Asia and Africa, because it can yield significant economic, environmental and health benefits. This business plan aims to find a clean and ideal solution to promote ethanol cooking fuel and stoves cost-effectively for a representative developing country—Kenya. This plan compares the biological features of a couple of potential feedstock of ethanol and chooses sweet sorghum because of its great adaptability to semi-arid climate and short harvesting cycle. Next, by assessing the technical and economical feasibility of a local small-scale ethanol plant and bringing forward integrated solutions throughout the entire supply chain from the feedstock production to the retail of ethanol fuel products, this business plan indicates that ethanol cooking fuel and stoves can substitute prevalent fuel-wood and three-stone fire cost-effectively. The local production of ethanol can yield income benefits to local farmers by purchasing local feedstock, healthy benefits to local residents, especially women and children, and job-creating benefits to local communities by involving retailers, delivers and farmers into this business. Besides, if the investor further takes carbon credit generated from ethanol plant, byproducts of ethanol production and potential government subsidies or financial incentive policies into consideration, the profitability of this business could be improved additionally.





Zhou, Kerui, and Wenjing Shi (2014). Business Plan for Sustainable Ethanol Cooking Fuel in Developing World. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from

Dukes student scholarship is made available to the public using a Creative Commons Attribution / Non-commercial / No derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.