Thesis Aims and Objectives

Aim 1
To investigate the potential for energy recovery from waste and wood using commercial agriculture in Thyolo and Mlange, Malawi and the island community of the Isle of Arran as case studies.


1.     To determine what waste and wood products are available, in both cases, to recover energy from.
2.     To determine the quantity of each product available and the typical calorific value of each.
3.     Identify which products are in high enough, and constant enough, supply make energy recovery viable.
4.     To select the most appropriate, efficient and economically sensible technology, or technologies, to deal with the products available.
5.     To calculate the potential amount of energy that could be recovered using the technology, or technologies, employed in a given time period in each case.
6.     To establish basic relationships between crop area/size and farming venture and the waste and/or by-products produced.
7.     To establish basic relationships between the quantity of waste or by-products available and the potential energy recovery.  This is with a view for application to other case studies.

Aim 2

To establish and comment on any potential financial and non-financial benefits of energy recovery in both cases.


1.     To compare the potential energy recovery to the total energy usage (on a farm by farm basis in the case of Malawi).
2.     To comment on the potential financial benefits of the energy recovery in each case.
3.     To comment on any non-financial benefits of the energy recovery (e.g. self sufficiency and independence) and the opportunity cost, if any, in each case.

Aim 3

To investigate the associated environmental effects of energy recovery from waste and wood in these cases.


1.     Comment on any positive environmental impacts of findings.
2.     Comment on any negative environmental impacts of findings.

Aim 4
To make recommendations, to both the North-Ayrshire and Arran Council and the Commercial Agriculture Industry in Thyolo, Malawi based on the findings of the study.


1.     To summarise and present the findings of the study to the relevant bodies.
2.     To highlight any costs and benefits to the relevant bodies.
3.     To comment on the implications to the environment of employing the recommendations made and whether this would be a positive or negative overall impact.

Aim 5
To produce an interim report on the 19th January 2010.

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