As an organic chocolate company based in the bay area, TCHO Chocolate is commonly known for their high quality, ethically sourced chocolate that can be found in Salt & Straw Ice Cream. TCHO’s current sustainability focus is in Ghana, through the Cacao Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG). Here, farmers grow and harvest the cacao pods, extract the beans, and ferment them before sending the product off to companies such as TCHO. In this process, cacao husks are discarded once the beans have been extracted. This results in a large waste of biomaterials that are usually discarded. Working with TCHO and CRIG, this team will repurpose cacao husks to produce biochar, an organic substance that can act as activated carbon in water filters. This project would involve testing the effectiveness of the husks as biochar water filters, as well as developing a mechanical system to produce the biochar and then filter the water through. As part of this the team will also explore how the water from the filter can be used. Ideally this solution will be implemented across Ghana to bring cleaner water to cacao producing areas.
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