Czech scientists create energy from mango pellets in Cambodia

21. 11. 2023

Experts from the Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology at MENDELU are helping to make use of waste from fruit processing while reducing the consumption of firewood in Cambodia. They use the mango pellets to produce fuel briquettes, which are then used as fuel for households and processing plants. This has a positive impact on both reducing landfill and protecting local forests that suffer from excessive logging.

Mangoes are one of the most important agricultural products in Cambodia. “Previously, much of it was exported fresh abroad, but large quantities also spoiled during seasonal overproduction. Now more and more processors are producing dried mangoes that do not spoil and can be sold out of season. However, this has created a new problem where waste, mainly mango pits, is accumulating in larger quantities during fruit processing,” said Petr Němec from the Institute of Forest Botany, Dendrology and Geobiocenology at the LDF MENDELU.

In cooperation with the Biofuels Laboratory of the Faculty of Tropical Agriculture in Prague, the Brno scientists produced fuel briquettes from mango pits, which they further analysed. The material proved to hav

We are working with Kirirom Food Production, a company that produces dried mangoes. In peak season, they process 200 tonnes of mangoes a day, of which about 60 tonnes of pips go to the dump every day. Here, the pits rot and pollute the groundwater, or are slowly and imperfectly incinerated, which heavily pollutes the surrounding air. Paradoxically, Kirirom uses firewood to heat its drying plants, and the surrounding forests suffer as a result. According to our calculations, the company can produce about 12 tonnes of quality fuel per day from its kilns, replacing more than 40% of its wood consumption. In addition, the kernels separated from the stone can be monetised as a source of mango butter for use in food and cosmetics. The kernel pomace, once the oil has been separated, can be used as an ingredient in livestock feed mixtures,” said the German.

Experts from the Czech Republic also helped the locals with the selection of machinery for processing the pits. The partner company Holistic Solutions introduced both Czech and foreign-made machinery to the local enterprises. “We were pleased that the local partners took the results of the project as an opportunity not only to save money, but also to move towards more sustainable farming methods and thus protect the local environment,” added Nemec.

The project was funded by the Partnership for Sustainable Development Goals programme between the Czech Republic and the United Nations Development Programme. Its aim was to reduce waste production and at the same time use an alternative source of energy, thus contributing to reducing deforestation, which the country suffers greatly from. Cambodia is one of the largest mango producers in the world, producing up to 4 million tonnes of mangoes a year. Thus, mangoes that have not yet been exploited represent a significant potential for energy, valuable tobacco and fodder production.

Contact for further information: Petr Němec, Ph.D., Department of Forest Botany, Dendrology and Geobiocenology, LDF MENDELU,, +420 545 134 064

In the photo: Waste dump with hundreds of tons of mango pits

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