Biomass Briquette – an Alternative Renewable Energy

Biomass briquette is another alternative energy or biofuel which could be used as substitute for coal, charcoal and wood Biomass briquettes are made from crop waste left over from harvested crops, such as mustard or pulse stalks, rice husks, or even sawdust.

In many places around the world where biomass waste is not used to make briquettes, people dispose it incorrectly either by landfilling which they waste the potential raw material to make energy. Further, the landfill areas also nowadays are problematic where not many locations available for it. The second solution that people always do is to burn it in which it will causes widespread of air pollution and again they waste the potential energy what biomass waste can make.

Since we are the eco and green people, who care about environment and our lovely earth we have to know that the biomass utilization could reduce heavy pollutions. Not just that, it is also creating another source of renewable energy for us.

The production of biomass briquettes has tremendous potential reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and it could be easily manufactured wherever crop waste is readily available. They may be used to fuel larger stoves meant for mass cooking and there are some innovative stoves being developed which may be used to replace LPG-powered burners at homes.

Benefits of using biomass briquettes over fossil gas (LPG) for cooking or heating

Unlike conventional fossil fuel such as LPG and coal, the use of biomass briquettes for stoves has five important advantages ;

  • They cut carbon dioxide emissions since the crop waste is a renewable source of energy.
  • They cut fuel bills since they are made of crop waste, they are relatively cheaper than coal and LPG.
  • They provide a new source of income to the farmers, who can sell the crop waste to the briquette makers.
  • They emit less smoke than Coal
  • They are an Eco-Friendly alternative to wood fuels

How the biomass briquettes are made?

Biomass briquetting is the densification of loose biomass material to produce compact solid composites of different sizes with the application of pressure. Briquetting of residues takes place with the application of pressure, heat and binding agent on the loose materials to produce the briquettes.

Biomass briquettes could be made either manually or using automation or machineries.  There are many technologies available like screw briquetting, ram briquetting and pelleting machine. There are also manual operated briquetting presses machineries available in the market which able to produce 6 to10 kilogram per hour biomass briquette. One kilo of briquette would contain heat value around 4000 kilo calories.

Raw materials for biomass briquettes

Basically the raw materials for biomass briquettes are huge in list and it could be almost any organic waste which has high content of energy. Some examples are as follows;

  • Agricultural residues such as husks, cob, stalks, leaves, stems, shells and sticks from rice, corn or wheat.
  • Invasive plants such as banmara, lantana camera, euphorbia royalena and congress grass
  • Waste from bio-product industries like sawmills plywood industries and furniture factories.
  • Any hardwood waste such as beech, birch, hickory, oak, rubber tree and hard maple or softwood such as pine, longleaf pine, douglas fir, and yew.
  • Waste paper also could be used as the raw material.

Biomass briquettes a promising fuel

Biomass briquettes produced from briquetting of biomass are fairly good substitute for coal, lignite, firewood and offer numerous benefits:

• Briquettes are cheaper than coal, oil or lignite once used cannot be replaced.
• There is no sulfur in briquettes.
• There is no fly ash when burning briquettes.
• Briquettes have a consistent quality, have high burning efficiency, and are ideally sized for complete combustion.
• Combustion is more uniform compared to coal.
• Unlike coal, lignite or oil, briquettes are produced from renewable source of energy, biomass.
• Loading/unloading and transportation costs are much less and storage requirement is drastically reduced.
• Briquettes are clean to handle and can be packed in bags for ease of handling and storage.
• Briquettes are usually produced near the consumption centers and supplies do not depend on erratic transport from long distances.
• The technology is pollution free and Eco-friendly.
• The briquette is easy to ignite.
• Continuous burning and long burning duration.
• Biomass briquette is one of the alternative methods to save the consumption and dependency on fuel wood.
• Densities fuels are easy to handle, transport and store.
• They are uniform in size and quality.
• The process helps to solve the residual disposal problem.
• The process assists the reduction of fuel wood and deforestation.
• Indoor air pollution is minimized.

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