Project Local-Care (2018)

Low-Carbon Livelihoods - Cassava residues for performance materials

Project management

© Dr. Kolawole Adisa Olonade

Dr. Kolawole Adisa Olonade,
University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
in cooperation with

© Dr. Dipl.‐Ing. Wolfram Schmidt

Dr. Dipl.‐Ing. Wolfram Schmidt,
Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)

Project description

The cassava (manioc) plant is one of the most important sources of starch in sub-Saharan Africa. 20% of the world's cassava is produced in Nigeria.

Cassava © Julia Päpke | BAM

This produces large quantities of peels as a waste product, most of which are dumped in environmentally damaging landfills without any further value chain. However, two valuable materials can be obtained from cassava residues, which can be used to produce more sustainable concrete. Their ashes are suitable as a cement substitute and the starches are suitable as a plasticiser, which helps to use less cement in concrete. This technology conceals potential for creating local value-added and material cycles.

The German-Nigerian cooperation project Local-Care evaluated the potential of cassava residues in terms of socioeconomic and environmental aspects, and and assassed their sustainability level from a structural engineering perspective. As a result, the project provides comprehensive concepts for the use of cassava waste as well as strategies for a fast implementation in local value chains.

Creating cassava concrete © Julia Päpke | BAM

In several workshops in Lagos, information on sustainable construction techniques was imparted and students were enabled to independently produce high-performance concrete with cassava husk ash under supervision as well as to pass on this knowledge.

Approximately 200 Nigerian farmers were interviewed about their livelihoods and potentials through possible utilisation of cassava ash. Knowledge on the utilisation of cassava waste was imparted to farmers in the form of courses. A pilot building made of cassava ash with professional accompanying video and documentation of the production of materials and construction was built on the campus of the University of Lagos.


Dr. Kolawole Adisa Olonade
University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria

Dr. Dipl.‐Ing. Wolfram Schmidt
Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing

Project 'Local-Care' in the Media

Video "Grüner Beton aus Afrika" | Bioö | YouTube

Video "From the lab to sustainable concrete: researching climate-neutral building materials" | BAM | YouTube

Video "Klimakiller Beton: Auf der Suche nach neuen Rezepten" | W wie Wissen | ARD Mediathek