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Durban, South Africa

The drying of tobacco leaves with inefficient drying methods leads to excessive and rapid deforestation. Maggie and Erin traveled to work in Durban, South Africa to assist with the development and testing of a state-of-the-art tobacco barn.

project highlight: stoves

Deforestation and climate change are challenging nearly every industry globally, including the tobacco industry in the developing world which use significant biomass resources to dry tobacco leaves. The drying of tobacco leaves with inefficient drying methods leads to excessive and rapid deforestation. For this reason, tobacco companies have focused their attention towards the development of more sustainable drying/curing barns. Two ETHOS students were sent to work for the company Rocket Works located in Durban, South Africa to assist with the development and testing of a state-of-the-art tobacco barn. Here we report testing of a novel curing barn via monitoring various temperatures and wood consumption rates.  Through two burn trials, it was determined that the average gasifier output was 44.4kW. In addition, the temperatures obtained inside the gasifier and ducting were helpful in establishing a better feed system emphasizing smaller batch fed loads to minimize temperature variance. 

See Project Poster: Tobacco Barn Testing in Durban, South Africa

student experience

“Going beyond my comfort level to a country I knew little about has opened my eyes to the beauties and the struggles of the world around me. Durban, South Africa quickly became a second home to me through the welcoming people, the heartwarming culture, and the incredible experiences offered. I am so blessed to have had this opportunity to make an impact on the world, while also enhancing my engineering skills. This ETHOS experience has allowed me to grow in ways I didn't think possible and will stay with me forever.” – Maggie Daniels, 2016 ETHOS Participant

“I am so thankful to ETHOS for giving me the opportunity to travel abroad and use my engineering skills to promote positive change. This life changing experience was a great example of how powerful engineering can be in promoting intercultural engagement in order to accomplish a common goal. I hope to use the lessons I learned from ETHOS to pursue an engineering career that focuses on the same ideals that the program holds.” - Erin Peiffer, 2016 ETHOS Participant 

Contact Us

The ETHOS Center, Dr. Malcolm Daniels, Director

Kettering Lab 201 
300 College Park 
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 0222

937-229-2306 

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