Energy poverty has left more than one billion people without access to electricity, according to research by the International Energy Agency.
Clean energy company PyroGenesys’ CEO Simon Ighofose explains how his UK-based start-up is working to deliver the renewable supplies of the vital commodity to communities in Nigeria.
Clean energy company PyroGenesys is aiming to use environmentally-friendly methods to transform the way off-grid communities in Nigeria receive electricity.
The UK-based start-up was founded in May 2017 by Simon Ighofose, Joseph Eke and Muhammad Saghir, who all met while studying a master’s degree in chemical engineering at Aston University.
The trio worked on projects for the Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI) at the university, which conducts research into bioenergy — including energy-from-waste and the development of new bioproducts and services.
Proving its credentials, the company recently won the Sustainable Futures Award in the 2019 Minority Supplier Development UK Innovation Challenge.
CEO Simon Ighofose says: “Providing these off-grid communities with access to consistent, reliable, affordable electricity will enable them to develop essential services that promote health, education and economic growth, and prosperity.”
The idea for PyroGenesys came to fruition in 2011, when Nigerian-born Ighofose was in the west African country looking to launch a cassava starch mill – but soon realised most had either mothballed or gone out of business.
While he was in Nigeria, Ighofose experienced issues with electricity first-hand. He then found an open-source paper published by two Aston University academics showing how a technology being developed could convert agricultural waste into diesel and jet fuel, and other renewable chemicals.