Student Profile

Victorine KOALA

Program: MSc Environmental Engineering Management

Graduation Year: 2021

Nationality: Burkina Faso

Why did you choose RCEES/UENR?

I chose to study at RCEES/UENR because of the quality of the course modules offered and also the quality of the teaching staff.

What has been the experience so far?

Studying at UENR has been a great experience for me as I have learned a lot. It was an opportunity for me to discover a new educational system, acquire new knowledge, study in a multicultural environment, and make connections beyond my country and all over Africa.

Talk briefly about your research

I conducted research on the greenhouse gas emission reduction potential of household biodigesters installed in four selected regions of Burkina Faso. Biodigester technology, besides providing energy and manure, offers an excellent opportunity to mitigate GHG emissions and reduce global warming by replacing firewood for cooking, kerosene for lighting, and chemical fertilizers. This research involved a literature review, interviews with organizations, collection and analysis of data from organizations, and collection and analysis of biogas samples.

For approximately 11,088 functioning biodigesters, we estimated annual production of 6,680,029.25 m3 and 627,269 tons of biogas and organic fertilizer respectively. This amount of biogas generated from the biodigesters could save 24, 248 tons of wood likely to be cut down from trees annually for fuel purposes and 2,538 m3 of Kerosene to be used. This could result in the reduction of 94.569 tons of methane emissions; the reductions of 44,374.762 tons of CO2 emission from wood replacement, 12,231.700 tons of CO2 emission from nitrogen fertilizer replacement, 1,380 tons of CO2 emission from phosphorus fertilizer replacement, and 1,254.600 tons of CO2 emissions from potassium fertilizer replacement; the reduction of 658,630 ton of NO2 emission due to the non-application of fertilizers such as nitrogen. The global warming potential was estimated for two scenarios: either 251,374.25 tons of CO2 eq or 211,131.108 tons of CO2 eq if 100% of the biogas produced was used for cooking or lighting respectively. This results in carbon credits of $2,513,742 and $2,111,311.08 respectively if the carbon credit is taken at $10 per ton of CO2eq.

Although the study area was Burkina Faso, the work is equally important for other countries since climate change is a global concern.

Where do you see yourself five years after graduation

I see myself as an environmental expert in a company or an international organization working to solve environmental problems and contribute to the development of Africa.

Any advice for prospective students?

Although the content of the modules taught is very rich, I would like future students to be placed in companies during the research year to enable them to acquire, in addition to theoretical knowledge, sufficient practical training.