Wolfram Schmidt (left) and Kolawole Olonade (2nd from left) in BAM’s concrete laboratory (together with Nsesheye Msinjili (2nd from right) and Stefan Schacht (right)).

Wolfram Schmidt (left) and Kolawole Olonade (2nd from left) in BAM’s concrete laboratory (together with Nsesheye Msinjili (2nd from right) and Stefan Schacht (right)).

Source: BAM, Division Technology of Construction Materials

Cassava or manioc is one of the most important foods in Africa grown in increasingly larger quantities. Nigeria is by far the largest producer worldwide and the resulting amount of waste can become valuable for industry. In a cooperation project of BAM and Dr. Kolawole Adisa Olonade (Obafemi Awolowo University) it is planned to threefoldly re-use these residues, which currently have no use and are even cause environmental problems. Firstly, residual starch can be recovered and used as a rheology modifier for concrete and building materials. Secondly, residual peels can be used as fuel, for example for firing bricks. Eventually, the ash from the combustion process can be used as a sustainable supplementary cementitious material.

In cooperation with BAM, Dr. Kolawole Olonade from Obafemi Awolowo University received the "German African Innovation Incentive Award" for this project research idea. The prize was announced and awarded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in 2017 for the first time. From a high number of applications, four projects were awarded a research incentive funding of a total of 150,000 euros each.

The project "Low-Carbon Livelihoods – Cassava Residues for Performance Materials (Local-Care)" started on January 1 and will run until April 2020. Dr. Kolawole Adisa Olonade was already a visiting scientist at BAM in 2016 in Dr. Wolfram Schmidt’s team at the Technology of Construction Materials Division. The cooperation initiated is continuing: the aim of the joint project is to technically evaluate the substances obtained – in particular, how much CO2 can be saved, which new value chains can be created through the valorisation of agricultural residues, and which framework conditions are required to ensure safe construction and a quality infrastructure. Most importantly, awareness needs to be raised that agricultural residues are as much suitable for high-performance building materials as established residual materials from metallurgy or coal combustion are. Thus, a lecture series will be held in Algeria, Cameroon, Kenya and South Africa to disseminate the results. In the final stage, a real building made from "cassava bio concrete" will be installed in Nigeria.

About the German African Innovation Incentive Award

The German African Innovation Incentive Award (GAIIA) honours outstanding achievements of African researchers and recognises the central role of research and innovation in the development of modern knowledge-based societies. It also supports German research and innovation stakeholders in further developing their cooperation with African partners. The prize is awarded to African researchers linked to an institution in Africa. It is used in joint follow-up projects where the partners develop their research results for future use. Main topics are environmental science, health research, bioeconomy, social development and process innovation, resource management and information and communication technologies.