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19 October 2022
Silicon is used in construction, microchips and more – ‘green’ methods could help extract it from sugarcane waste
In some parts of South Africa’s Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal provinces, sugarcane fields stretch as far as the eye can see. The crop is more than just a treat for those with a sweet tooth: in 2017 the country’s sugar industry had an estimated value of more than R12 billion; of this, sugarcane production alone was worth R5.1 billion.

But the sugar industry is shrinking, at least partly because many people are eating less sugar, for health reasons. How, then, might sugarcane production continue to extract value? We believe the answer lies with the crop’s waste material.

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Academic rigour, journalistic flair
Published: October 18, 2022 5.29pm SAST