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Abstract and Biography
Throughout Africa, more than 80% of urban families buy charcoal to cook their food, a commodity that is increasing in price as forests retreat, in a market now estimated to be worth more than $10 billion “deforestation dollars” per annum. In Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, charcoal prices have doubled over the last 3 years. According to the World Health Organization, inhaling charcoal smoke has the health impact of smoking two packs of cigarettes per day, and the organization estimates that indoor air pollution from solid fuel use, including charcoal, causes almost 2 million deaths annually. In a country with an average annual income of $500 and over 50% poverty, CleanStar Ventures, Novozymes and Industrialization Fund for Developing Countries (ICM) teamed to tackle poverty, health and deforestation.
In early 2012, industrial components shipped from the US by ICM were integrated into a 0.5 MMGY 190 proof fuel ethanol facility in Sofala Province, Mozambique. In October 2012, the facility entered startup with support from ICM startup specialists and a few volunteers from the US ethanol industry. Arriving on November 18th, 2012, Amanda Huber was the first volunteer and, over the course of her stay until December 3rd, the facility was run in halves, the process destroyed about ½ the pumps in the facility, and a trip was needed to South Africa to obtain simple parts such as 1” elbows and ball valves as the local hardware store supplied not much beyond Teflon tape in this unindustrialized nation.
Amanda has been the Process Manager at Front Range Energy (FRE), a fuel ethanol production facility in Windsor, since early 2006. Her role includes management of the lab and biological processes to convert a mostly corn feedstock to fuel ethanol and animal feed as well as new and advanced technology investigation and implementation. Prior to FRE, she started her career with Cargill Dow, now NatureWorks, working in both the pilot scale facility in Minnesota and the first corn plastic commercial facility in Nebraska. She holds a B.S. in Chemistry from The University of North Dakota.