- Thabang Mabapa is a PR graduate-turned-scientist
- He discovered how to produce biofuel from castor oil
- Commercial farmers use this biofuel as an environmentally friendlier option
A social entrepreneur from Soweto, Gauteng, is making it possible for commercial farmers to reduce costs through biofuel.
City Press reports that Thabang Mabapa discovered how to produce biofuel from castor oil, which he extracts from castor trees.
This biofuel is cheaper and much friendlier to the environment compared to normal fuel, Briefly.co.za gathered.
Thabang, 25, does this through his company, Selokong Sa Dimelana (SSD). In an interview, he said it all began in 2013 when a friend handed him castor tree spikes.
His curiosity and research led him to a point where he could extract castor oil from castor trees. A local chief in Limpopo gave him two hectares of land to grow castor seeds.
Despite graduating with a degree in Public Relations, his interest in scientific research grew. His spent a lot of time at laboratories at Wits University.
Thabang was soon able to produce biofuel from castor seed oil and started selling it to farmers. SSD now employs four engineers and 25 farmworkers.
The ambitious entrepreneur was also named Spark International’s (South Africa) 2016 Changemaker of the Year. SSD was featured among the top 10 Total Startups of 2016.
Thabang outlined some of his future plans:
When we sell our biodiesel and castor oil, some of the revenue is dedicated to research to make sure the bio-jet fuel and bio-gasoline will also be sold commercially at some point.
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