Eco-wood: a response to deforestation. Eco-firewood: a response to deforestation.

Mixtec students’ fuel is ecologically friendly

Eco-firewood, a mixture of recycled sawdust and paper, wins award

Three indigenous students from a rural school in Oaxaca have been rewarded for a project that creates an ecologically friendly fuel from recycled sawdust and paper.


The three Mixtec youngsters, Verónica Quiroz, Misael Bautista and Oralia Bautista, have created their eco-firewood product in response to deforestation by excessive and illegal logging in the region in which they live.

The three are enrolled in the Oaxaca State College of Scientific and Technological Studies where an advisor helped them develop the project, which they are now introducing to their fellow citizens in San Esteban Atatlahuca.

Oralia Bautista is confident the project will expand beyond the community’s 3,900 residents to include the entire Mixteca region. “We want to generate a different culture among our fellow citizens and we are going to work towards that,” she said.

She explained that solid waste products such as sawdust and paper are combined to produce a wood-based product for use in cooking, replacing wood and charcoal.

The students entered their project in the senior secondary category of Expo Emprendedores Tecnológicos 2015, a technological entrepreneurs exposition sponsored by the Secretariat of Public Education, and won first prize.

The event was organized by the Technological Institute of Tlaxiaco to promote the development of entrepreneurial skills and a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation through sustainable development technologies. Projects are supposed to offer solutions to national problems and create economic, social and ecological benefits.


The winning students won economic support for further developing their eco-firewood and will be able to present the idea and seek financing for it this week at Expo PyME, a state-sponsored event intended to promote economic development in the Mixteca being held in Huajuapan de León.

Mexico News Daily

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  • John Leahy

    I use a woodburner at home and the ashes front the fire used directly on the garden as they contain essential minerals, e.g. Potassium. Could I please ask a technical question, if this ecologic fuel contains recycled wood & paper, is there a risk that some of this could be contaminated with chemicals (e.g. penta chloro phenol from woodworm treatment) and even though the fuel is obviously burnt at a high temperature, is there any risk that the chemical contaminants could still pass into the fire ashes? Unfortunately we now live in a very toxic world with hundreds & hundreds of ‘modern’ chemicals. I would welcome any response to this.

    That aside, I commend the students for all the work they have done. Full marks to then all.