SUNConferences, Southern African Institute of Industrial Engineering 2013

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Economic Model For Production Of Eco-friendly Products From Natural Fibre Material
Lilian Ganduri, A F van der Merwe, Stephen Matope, W N. J. van Niekerk

Last modified: 2013-06-25


Petroleum-based synthetic materials such as polypropylene are normally not environmentally friendly. There is renewed interest in natural fibre as replacement for these. Agave, a natural fibre material that is locally available in South Africa, can be tapped into as it has a variety of applications in the manufacturing of eco-friendly products. About 98% of the agave plant that was previously not deemed useful now has a potential economic value and can be used as a biomass feedstock, yielding renewable and carbon neutral energy. Car manufactures and green product designers are also currently interested in agave and this has given the agave industry new vigor. This paper gives results from interviews carried out with various people involved in the production and processing of agave. A description of the processing of the plant is included. The input and output parameters as well as their inter-relationships are determined. The paper finally presents an economic model highlighting the feasibility of investing in agave industry. The model would be useful for decision making purposes by potential investors.



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