Production Of Briquette From Waste Materials Using Locally Fabricated Equipment

Project and Seminar Material for Chemical Engineering

Production Of Briquette From Waste Materials Using Locally Fabricated Equipment


The decreasing availability of fuelwood coupled with the ever-rising prices of kerosene and cooking gas in Nigeria draws attention to consider alternative sources of energy for domestic and cottage level industrial use in the country. This research work was conducted to produce briquette from waste materials for rural and urban communities in Nigeria. Selected agricultural residues (ie rice husk, groundnut shell, shea butter husk). It was observed that the briquette charcoal produced has high calorific value (heating value) of 7,150 to 7300kcal/kg. with this heating value, food can be cooked within a short period of time. Therefore, briquette charcoal saves time and energy in monitoring the cooking material.

Chapter One


Approximately 2000 million people worldwide; most rural people and many urban as well, all depend on wood fuels as their main or sole source of energy to cook their foodand keep warm. Nine-tenths of all the wood harvested annually is used for energy; “itaccounts for over two-thirds of total energy consumption in 24 tropical countries of which16 are least-developed countries” (Rodas, 1981).

The demand for fuel wood is expected to have risen to about 213.4×103 metrictonnes, while the supply would have decreased to about 28.4×103 metric tons by the year2030 (Adegbulugbe, 1994).

In Nigeria, the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) recently (2005) reported that Nigeria’s fossil led economy is under severe pressure and gave data of potential renewable energy for utilization including crop residue as shown in table 1.1 below.




Hydropower, large scale 10,000mw
Hydropower, small scale 734mw
Fuel wood 13,071,464 hectares (forest land)
Animal waste 61 million tones/yr
Crop residue 83 million tones/yr
Solar radiation 3.5-7.0kw/m2/day
wind 2-4 m/s (annual average)

Source: ECN (2005)

Briquetting involves the compression of a material into a solid fuel product of any convenient shape that can be utilized as fuel just like the use of wood or charcoal. The conversion of combustible materials found in the waste stream has been found to be a better way of turning waste into wealth (Adegoke, 2002). Hence, these materials which were of low density prior to being converted into briquettes is compressed to form a product of higher bulk density, lower moisture content and uniform size and shape making these materials easier to package and store, cheaper to transport, more convenient to use, and their combustible characteristics are better than those of the original waste material.

A briquette is a block of flammable matter used as fuel to start and maintain a fire. Briquettes are produced through a process known as briquetting. This process involves the densification of loose biomass residues, such as sawdust, straw, rice husk etc, into high density solid blocks that can be used as a fuel. Common types of briquettes are charcoal and biomass briquettes. Biomass briquettes (including pellets, which are very small briquettes) replace fossil fuels or wood for cooking and industrial processes. They are cleaner and easier to handle, and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

1.1 Statement of Problem

As wood fuel supplies diminish, the people who depend on wood fuels are suffering increase in physical or economic burdens in maintaining even a minimal daily fuel supply. The use of firewood and misuse of the existing energy resources (agricultural residues) is creating human and environmental crisis in developing countries which is resulting in deforestation. Traditionally, wood in form of fuel wood, twigs and charcoal has been the major source of renewable in Nigeria, accounting for about 51% of the total annual energy consumption; the other sources of energy include natural gas (5.2%),hydroelectricity (3.1%), and petroleum products (41.3%) (Akinbami, 2001).
In many developed and developing countries, the forest covers at least 25% of the total land area, the minimum level required by international standard. The first indicative forest inventory project completed in Nigeria in 1977 put reserved forest at approximately 10% of the total land area. Between 1976 and 1990, deforestation proceeded at an average rate of 400,000 ha. per annum, in 1981-1985 at 3.48% while in 1986-1990 it was 3.57%including some forest reserves. The FAO concluded that if this rate was maintained, the remaining forest in Nigeria would disappear by the year 2020. The degradation and depletion of the forest reserve base has major effects on other sectors of the economy. The disappearance of forest cover leads to erosion, soil degradation and unfavorable hydrological changes (Government of Nigeria, 1997).

The decreasing availability of fuel wood, coupled with the ever rising prices of kerosene and cooking gas in Nigeria, draw attention to the need to consider alternative sources of energy for domestic and cottage level industrial use in the country (Olorunnisola, 2007). Such energy sources should be renewable and should be accessible to the poor. As rightly noted by Stout and Best (2001), a transition to a sustainable energy system is urgently needed in the developing countries such as Nigeria. This should, of necessity, be characterized by a departure from the present subsistence energy level usage which is based on decreasing firewood resources, to a situation where human and farming activities would be based on sustainable and diversified energy forms.

The lack of capital among most households in the rural communities makes it difficult to move from either firewood or charcoal, to a more advanced energy sources where small initial capital investment can be used. Hence, the substitute of these fuels requires a minimal capital investment, be as cheap and accessible as charcoal and firewood. At the same time be environmentally sustainable

Chapter Five

5.0 Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Conclusion

To date agro waste(grass, rice husk, groundnut husk, Shea husk, sugarcane trash and coffee husk etc.) which are produced in huge quantities had been put to little use. This research involves conversion of agricultural waste to char by an environment friendly, continuous batch process, briquetting of the char into a solid fuel fuel form. And used of an efficient clean charcoal brazier ideally suited for the briquette as fuel. The manufacturing technologies involved in each step are easily to implement in rural areas and therefore it also provides new income generating opportunities in rural areas.

The capital cost of producing briquette charcoal from agricultural waste is low, these implies that it is not difficult to start up within a short period of time. In addition to that, it is also not difficult to scale up the project in such manner to spread the technology to every society.

5.2 Recommendation

The technology has a great potential for converting waste biomass into a superior fuel for house hold use, in affordable, efficient and environment friendly manner. The above mentioned advantages is greater as compared to the open fire techniques which is used for various purposes, like drying of seeds, removal of insects from the hut, etc. in rural part of Nigeria.

University and Polytechnic should work hard towards disseminating this technology to society. Much more effort must be made to establish the use of this biomass resources and level of government (Federal, State and Local government) and national research institutions (e.g. National Cereal Research Institute, Badegi, Niger State) should work hard in promoting and improving this briquetting technology.

Rural dwellers should also strictly adhere to this new technology thereby accepting the information disseminated to the use of briquette charcoal and if possible embarking on the production

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