After winning first prize in Lebanon in the local component of the Entrepreneurship World Cup competition that took place at the USEK Asher Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship on September 6, the C Green team is preparing to launch its start-up during the international edition of this year. competition is scheduled to take place in Saudi Arabia in March 2023. The winner will win a one million dollar investment fund.
Based in Taanayel no Bekaa, start-up C Green was founded by four USEK researchers, Dany Romanos, Georges Jalkh, Rosabelle Chedid and Claude Abou Kheir. Its objective is to treat sewage sludge – the main waste produced by sewage treatment plants – to rid it of all pathogens, bacteria and pesticides and transform it into natural fertilizers. “It is dangerous to dump this sludge at random because it causes environmental problems”, explains Rosabelle Chedid before specifying: “In Lebanon, sewage sludge is dumped randomly. In Batroun, for example, it is dumped directly into the sea, we have the same problem in Litani. »
The quartet addressed this issue as part of their research studies. “In 2019, we attended a seminar called Scientist for Entrepreneurs, where participants had to choose a research project and turn it into an entrepreneurial project”, says Rosabelle Chedid. The team then reviews the research Dany Romanos was conducting on sewage sludge, a global environmental problem.
From a research project, C Green became a start-up producer of a natural organic fertilizer that meets international quality standards recognized by the International Standards Organization (ISO) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. (FAO). “There are 12 wastewater treatment plants in Lebanon. After being filtered, the water can be reused in agriculture, for example. The sewage sludge that remains after filtration, on the other hand, is very harmful. It contaminates the soil and therefore the fruits and vegetables we eat. This mud needs to be treated, and that’s what we do at C Green, explains Rosabelle Chedid. Studies show that the natural fertilizer market has an annual growth rate of 10%. This growth is very significant and occurred in a small period of time. That’s why C Green is an interesting solution. »
A social and environmental impact
Recalling that the sewage sludge problem is global, Rosabelle Chedid specifies: “The other countries are still in the research phase. They try to find solutions. Currently, some resort to incineration, but it is counterproductive because heavy metals are expelled into the air we breathe. Others resort to burial; that’s what they’re doing in Europe now. But no one has yet found a solution like ours, which is to transform this mud into natural fertilizer. »
The C Green team thus puts the research at the service of a useful project for the local population, to solve a major problem in Lebanon. “We produce natural fertilizers made in Lebanon, because these products are currently imported and purchased with foreign currencies, and the war in Ukraine has driven prices up even further. It also takes about two months to access products from abroad. C Green will allow farmers to use local, affordable and quality natural fertilizers as they meet international standards. And to conclude: “Our product is also odorless, which differentiates it from foreign products”, concludes Rosabelle Chedid.
After winning first prize in Lebanon in the local component of the Entrepreneurship World Cup competition that took place at the USEK Asher Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship on September 6, the C Green team is preparing to launch its start-up during the international edition of this year. competition scheduled for Saudi Arabia in March 2023. The winner will win a fund…