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» LIQUID SOAP FROM AGRICULTURE AND INDUSTRIAL WASTE
Description and Characteristics
Cocoa husk is an abundant agricultural waste in the country. Ash obtained from the husk is used to produce the traditional soap known as Alata soap. The IIR liquid soap has been produced under two brand name; Golden Pod Liquid Soap and Palbun Liquid soap. The soap comes in various colours including its natural yellowish brown colour. Varying shades of green and blue coloration can also be used. Citronella, lemon and lemon-lime essences are also used to perfume the soap at one time or the other.  Total fatty matter in the IIR liquid soap varied between 20% and 30% matter insoluble in alcohol from 1.8 to 2.4% free caustic alkali from 0.03 to 0.05 and an average specific gravity of 1.08. The main raw materials use for the production of the soap is ash, waste lime and vegetable oil.
   
How the Technology works
The main process consists of leaching, causticisation and saponification. Well dried cocoa pods are ashed in an efficiently designed kiln also developed by IIR. The ash is leached with water and leachate is causticised with slaked lime to produce caustic potash. The latter is then reacted with palm kernel oil under controlled conditions to produce liquid soap. The liquid soap is now coloured and perfumed. Other wastes that can be used to produce this soap include cocoa shells and palm bunch stalks. The processing units involve are ashing kiln, the causticiser and the saponification unit.

Market Potential
The advantages and the unique selling point of the IIR liquid soaps include improvement of the quality of ash obtained as compare to traditional production of the ash, the introduction of an additional process to change the ash to a caustic liquor which make the soap making easier than the potash used by traditional soap makers and the production of a clear liquid soap which has a wider range of uses than the usual traditional soaps eg. Alata soap. The soap making processes comes with IIR designed processing units like ashing kiln, the causticiser and the saponification unit thus making the process easier. 
 
Challenges and Opportunities
The major challenge is the investment capital for the construction of the soap processing units and required equipment. Local soap makers and entrepreneurs have shown keen interest in the technology. 

Collaboration and funding

The technology development was done by CSIR-IIR. On the basis of this technology, a pilot plant was established and transferred to a group of traditional soap makers in the Central Region in collaboration with National Council on women and Development (NCWD), Central Region and Central Regional Development Commission (CEDCOM).

Dissemination strategies and Diffusion
The diffusion of the technology has been done through training for local/traditional soap makers and NGO’s working with traditional soap makers and the Central Regional Development Commission (CEDCOM).

Users of the Technology
  • Traditional soap makers
  • Entrepreneurs who are interested in soap making
  • Government Institutions and NGO’s
  • Soap Producers
  • Co-operative societies