Biomass briquettes

Biomass briquettes are a biofuel substitute to coal and charcoal . Briquettes are mostly used in the developing world , where cooking is not readily available. There has been a move to the use of briquettes in the developed world, where they are used to heat industrial boilers in order to produce electricity from steam . The briquettes are cofired with coal in order to create the heat supplied to the boiler.

Composition and production

Biomass briquettes, mostly made from green waste and other organic materials, are commonly used for electricity generation, heat, and cooking fuel. These compounds consist of various organic materials, including rice husk , bagasse , ground nut shells, municipal solid waste , agricultural waste. The composition of the briquettes varies by area due to the availability of raw materials. The raw materials are gathered and bripped in order to burn longer and make easier. [1] These briquettes are very different from charcoal because they do not have broad concentrations of carbonaceoussubstances and added materials. Compared to fossil fuels, the briquettes produce low net total greenhouse gas emissions because the materials are already a part of the carbon cycle . [2]

One of the most common variables of the biomass briquette production process is the way the biomass is dried out. Manufacturers can use torrefaction , carbonization , or varying degrees of pyrolysis . Researchers concluded that torrefaction and carbonization are the most efficient forms of drying out biomass, but the use of the briquette determines which method should be used. [3]

Compaction is another factor affecting production. Some materials such as corn stover grind. Other materials such as wheat and barley-straw require high amounts of heat. [4] There are also different technologies that can be used. A piston press is used to create solid briquettes for a wide array of purposes. Screw extrusion is used to compact biomass into loose, homogeneous briquettes that are substituted for coal in cofiring. This technology creates a toroidal , gold donut-like, briquette. The hole in the center of the briquette allows for a larger surface area, creating a higher combustion rate. [5]


People have been using biomass briquettes in Nepal since before recorded history. Though inefficient, the burning of loose biomass is created enough for cooking purposes and keeping warm. The first commercial production plant was created in 1982 and produced almost 900 metric tons of biomass. In 1984, factories were constructed that incorporated vast improvements in efficiency and the quality of briquettes. They used a combination of rice husks and molasses. The King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation (KMTNC) along with the Institute for Himalayan Conservation (IHC) created a mixture of coal and biomass in 2000 using a unique rolling machine. [6]

Japanese Ogalite 

In 1925, Japan independently started developing technology to harness the energy from sawdust briquettes, known as “Ogalite” . Between 1964 and 1969, Japan increased production by incorporating screw press and piston press technology. The member enterprise of 830 or more existed in the 1960s clarification needed ] . The new compaction techniques incorporated in these machines made briquettes of higher quality than those in Europe. As a result, European countries bought the Japanese design machines. [7]


Cofiring relates to the combustion of two different types of materials. The process is primarily used to reduce CO 2 emissions while achieving lower energy efficiency and higher variable cost. The combination of materials usually contains a high carbon emitting substance such as coal and a CO 2 emitting material such as biomass . Even though CO 2 will still be emitted through the combustion of biomass , the net carbon emitted is nearly negligible. This is due to the fact that the material gathered for the composition of the briquettes are still contained in the carbon cycleFossil fuel burning combustion CO 2 that has been sequestered for millennia. Boilers in power plants are traditionally heated by the combustion of coal , but it would be implemented, then the CO 2 emissions would decrease while still maintaining the heat inputted to the boiler. Implementing cofiringwould require few modifications to the current characteristics to power plants, as only the fuel for the boiler would be altered. A moderate investment would be required for implementing biomass briquettes into the combustion process. [8]

Cofiring is considered the most cost-efficient means of biomass. A higher combustion rate will occur when cofiring is implemented in a boiler when compared to burning only biomass. The compressed biomass is also much more dense, therefore, more flexible, and therefore more easily transportable. Some sources agree that a near-term solution for the greenhouse gas emission problem may lie in cofiring. [9]

Compared to coal

The use of biomass briquettes has been steadily increasing as industries achieve the benefits of decreasing pollution through the use of biomass briquettes. Briquettes Provide Higher calorific value per dollar than coal When used for firing industrial boilers . Along with higher calorific value, biomass briquettes on average saved 30-40% of boiler fuel cost. But other sources suggest that it is cheaper. [10]However, in the long run, briquettes can only be used to reduce the size of the product. Both raw materials can be produced domestically in the United States, creating a fuel source that is free from foreign dependence and less pollution than raw fossil fuel incineration. [11]

Environmentally, the use of biomass briquettes much Produces Fewer greenhouse gases, SPECIFICALLY, 13.8% to 41.7% CO 2 and NO X . There was also a reduction in SO
2 emissions when compared to EKCC Coal, Decanter Coal, and Alden Coal. Biomass briquettes are also quite resistant to water degradation, an improvement over the difficulties encountered with the burning of wet coal. However, the briquettes are best used as a supplement to coal. The use of cofiring creates an energy that is not as high as that of coal, but emits less pollutants and cuts down on the release of previously sequestered carbon. [12]The continuous release of carbon and other greenhouse gases leads to an increase in global temperatures. The use of cofiring does not stop this process but the relative emissions of coal power plants. [13]

Use in developing world

The Legacy Foundation has developed a set of techniques to produce biomass briquettes through artisanal production in rural villages that can be used for heating and cooking. These techniques were recently pioneered by Virunga National Park in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo , following the massive destruction of the mountain gorilla habitat for charcoal . [14]

Pangani , Tanzania , is an area covered in coconut groves. After harvesting the meat of the coconut, the indigenous people would love the ground with the husks, believing them to be useless. The husks later became a profit center after it was discovered that coconut husks are well suited to the main ingredient in organic briquettes. This alternative fuel mixture burns incredibly efficiently and leaves little residue, making it a reliable source for cooking in the undeveloped country. [15] The developing world is always reliant on the biomass of organic materials. The briquette production improves the efficiency of pyrolysis. [16]

Two major components of the developing world are China and India . The economies of the environment and the use of large amounts of carbon dioxide . The Kyoto Protocol attempted to regulate the emissions of the three different worlds, but there were disagreements as to which country should be penalized for emissions based on its previous and future emissions. The United States has had the largest emitter goal in China . The United States had a carbon dioxideduring its development and the developing nations argue that they should not be forced to meet the requirements. At the lower end, the undeveloped nations believe that they have little responsibility for the carbon dioxide levels. [17] The major use of biomass briquettes in India, is in industrial applications usually to produce steam. A lot of conversions of boilers from FO to biomass briquettes have happened over the past decade. A vast majority of those projects are registered under CDM (Kyoto Protocol), which allows for users to get carbon credits. [18]

The use of biomass briquettes is strongly encouraged by issuing carbon credits . One carbon credit is equal to one of carbon dioxide to be emitted into the atmosphere. India HAS started to replace charcoal with biomass briquettes in regards to boiler fuel, Especially in the southern parts of the country Because The biomass briquettes can be created Domestically, DEPENDING on the availability of land. Therefore, it will be possible to be less influential in an economy if sources of fuel can be easily produced domestically. [19] Lehra Fuel Tech Pvt Ltd is approved by the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), one of the largest briquetting machine manufacturers.Ludhiana , India.

In the African Great Lakes region, work on biomass briquette production has been spearheaded by a number of NGOs with GVEP (Global Village Energy Partnership [20] ). namely, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. This project has been developed by DEEP EA (Developing Energy Enterprises Project East Africa) [2] . The hand feed stock for briquettes in the East Africa region has been used as an alternative to sawdust, bagasse, coffee husks and rice husks. [3]

Use in developed world

Coal is the largest carbon dioxide emitter when it comes to electricity generation. It is also the most common ingredient in charcoal. clarification needed ] There was a recent clarification needed ] push to replace the burning of fossil fuels with biomass. The replacement of this nonrenewable resource with biological waste and the pollution of the world. [21] Citizens are also starting to manufacture briquettes at home. The first machines would create briquettes for homeowners out of compressed sawdust , however, allow for briquette production out of any sort of dried biomass.[22]

Arizona has also taken initiative to turn waste biomass into a source of energy. And the use of cotton wool and pecan material for a nesting ground for bugs that would destroy the new crops in the spring. To stop this problem farmers buried the biomass, which quickly led to soil degradation. These materials were discovered to be very efficient source of energy and had plagued farms. [23]

The United States Department of Energy has several projects to test the viability of biomass briquettes on a national scale. The scope of the projects is to increase the efficiency of gasifiers and produce plans for production facilities. [24]


Biomass is composed of organic materials, therefore, large quantities of land are required to produce fuel. Critics argue that the use of this land should be used for food distribution rather than crop degradation. Also, weather changes can cause a harsh season, where the material will be extracted for food rather than energy. The assumption is that the production of biomass decreases the supply of food, causing an increase in the world of food products. [25]

The cost of implementing a new technology in the current infrastructure is also high. The fixed costs with the production of biomass briquettes are high due to the new undeveloped technologies that revolve around the extraction, production and storage of the biomass. Technologies regarding the extraction of oil and coal for growing decades, becoming more efficient with each year. A new undeveloped technology regarding fuel utilization that has no infrastructure built around makes it nearly impossible to compete in the current market. [26] [27] [28]


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