Biomass Briquette and Their Applications

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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 regions across the world where Biomass waste is not used to make briquettes, the only way to dispose it is to burn it – which causes widespread air pollution.

The use of Briquettes has tremendous potential for checking greenhouse gas emissions, and may be easily manufactured wherever crop waste is readily available. They may be used to fuel larger stoves meant for mass cooking, although there are some innovative stoves being developed in India which may be used to replace LPG-powered burners in homes.


Advantages of Using Biomass Briquettes over LPG for Cooking

Unlike conventional fossil fuels like LPG and Coal, the use Biomass Briquettes in stoves has three 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 Briquettes are Made

  • There are many technologies available like screw briquetting, Ram Briquetting and Pelleting Machine
  • There are also Manual Operated Briquetting presses like Nishant and Legacy.
  • A manually operated machine producing 6-10 kilo per hrs is a viable option for generating self employment for a village women. One kilo of briquette would contain heat value around 4000 Kilo Calories.

The Status of Briquetting Technology Across the World

Briquetting technology is yet to get a strong foothold in many developing countries because of the technical constraints involved and the lack of knowledge to adapt the technology to suit local conditions. Overcoming the many operational problems associated with this technology and ensuring the quality of the raw material used are crucial factors in determining its commercial success. In addition to this commercial aspect, the importance of this technology lies in conserving wood, a commodity extensively used in developing countries and leading to the widespread destruction of forests.

The Ashden Award Winning Sanjha Chulha


Sanjha Chulha (translated, it means a combined cook stove) has a simple, but effective design. It has a combustion chamber into which Biomass Briquettes are fed at a rate of about 15 kg an hour. Above it are hotplates, designed to provide uniform heat. Three small electric fans control the flow of gases through the stove, providing the primary air flow to get the briquettes burning, and the secondary air to burn the emanating volatile gases. A 400-litre water tank around the chimney absorbs heat from the exhaust gases, and provides hot water for cooking and making tea.

Other Applications of Biomass Briquettes

Nishant Bioenergy (India) has designed and manufactured a smaller version of biomass briquette cook stove, called the Earth Stove. This is an energy efficient replacement for LPG stoves that small restaurants currently use. Apart from the energy and emissions saved, the Earth Stove also leads to fifty to seventy per cent savings in fuel costs. More than 250 Earth Stoves are currently under installation. For more, see Nishant Bio Energy.

Since biomass briquettes in India are being made by village women, they also afford a good opportunity for creating sustainable self employment for them, as well as opportunities for carbon neutral local energy enterprises.


  • Video on Stove that Uses Biomass Briquettes
  • Energy for the Future
  • Nishant Bio Energy
  • Renewable Energy

I read somewhere that the palm oil industry generates large amount of palm biomass. How does it compare with other crop wastes such as mustard or pulse stalks, rice husks which you have mentioned? Read more inside