Musaida Mercy MANYUCHI, PhD in Chemical Engineering (Zimbabwe)

Musaida Mercy Manyuchi is a Doctor of Technology in Chemical Engineering who is currently researching options for using charcoal material as a sustainable power source in African communities.


Research focus: production of bio-coal for larger domestic purposes using an integrated process

With the use of firewood causing issues like deforestation, there is a need for alternative sources of energy. Aiming at creating sustainable power supply for communities in Sub-Saharan Africa, Dr Manyuchi is currently working on the production of bio-coal from charcoal ashes. A specific process is being developed to find out whether the bio-coal produced by briquetting from charcoal fines could act as a solid fuel for cooking purposes. The charcoal fine particles could also be used as a bio-adsorbent during wastewater treatment, and the charcoal ash from cooking could be applied as a bio-fertilizer.

Dr Manyuchi, a PhD holder from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in South Africa, studies sustainability focusing on the water-energy-food nexus. For that reason, she is introducing a process that gives value to all the products derived from the bio-coal production. This is made possible through the management of organic waste. Dr Manyuchi’s past work experiences have contributed to her current research. Such experience includes her role as founder of SustainableTech, a green technology company. She also worked as a researcher, lecturer and head of department at the Harare Institute of Technology where she has focused on harnessing energy from waste biomass.

Dr Manyuchi has published several books and course materials. Around 30 of her academic papers have been included in international journals like the Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology and Current Biotechnology. She has participated in over 20 international conferences, and she has registered patents, utility models and trademarks. In the future, she is looking forward to creating working networks with likeminded scientists interested in promoting sustainability, especially converting waste to energy technologies.

The jury was impressed by Dr Manyuchi’s compromise with creating sustainable energy sources and by the scope of her work, which aims at effectively using all the products derived from the production of bio-coal as well as biogas from sewage sludge.