Biofuel from Cattails - A Trip Report from Mauritania

The Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI), a research collaborator of CSR, has been studying the ability of converting invasive biomass species into torrefied biomass, or "biocoal." Working with the non-profit  Agency to Facilitate the Growth of Rural Organizations (AFGRO), NRRI has investigated the ability of turning Typha Australis, an invasive relative of the North American cattail that is choking the Senegal River in Mauritania and Senegal, Africa, into a usable, clean cooking, heating and electricity fuel source.

In late June 2013, CSR Board Member and Director for the Center for Applied Research and Technological Development (CARTD) at NRRI, Dr. Don Fosnacht, and Peter P. Strzok of AFGRO traveled to Mauritania to meet with officials and share information about the torrefaction technologies NRRI champions.  Prior to their visit, Mr. Ismaila Kane of the Mauritainian Ministry of Rural Development shipped roughly 100 kilograms of dried Typha stalks to Duluth for torrefaction and conversion.

This White Paper, "Visit to Mauritania to Explore NRRI-Developed Option for Conversion of Typha australis to Biocoal," provides a detailed summary of the trip taken by CSR's research partners and includes, following the main report, a copy of the presentation given by Dr. Fosnacht before multiple bodies in Mauritania.