Charcoal Briquette cones
There are simple techniques of making charcoal from organic waste. For example, Green Heat, a social enterprise run by women of Our Lady of Charity Mulago III in Kampala, work with local communities from whom they buy charcoal produced from banana leaves and peelings using drum kilns. The PHCS use an automated machine to grind the charcoal into a fine dust which is later mixed with boiled cassava-porridge as a binder manually. The mixture is finally transferred to an automated machine that compacts it into charcoal briquettes-cones.
As a cooking and heating fuel, briquettes are used in similar stoves as firewood and charcoal. There are other uses of briquettes such as keeping chickens warm in chicken hatchery farms and drying tea by small-scale farmers in tea factories.
The following benefits can be identified.
- Cheaper energy for cooking and heating. Briquettes are a cheaper form of energy, hence their popularity among low-income populations, particularly in informal urban settlements. For example, cooking a traditional meal of Income and reduced expenditure on energy for cooking.Households that produce briquettes for own use and those that purchase them save about 70% and 30% respectively of income spent on cooking energy. Briquette producers generate income, which is hard to do in the informal settlements.
- Reduced health risks associated with indoor air pollution.
Charcoal briquettes made of 80% charcoal dust and 20% soil reduce concentrations of carbon monoxide (CO) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in the kitchen by 66% and 90% respectively compared to cooking with charcoal. This quality characteristic is influenced by raw material, binder and the production process.
• Improved water use and hygiene in the kitchen. Cooking saucepan used when cooking with briquettes accumulate no soot and hence require less cleaning, improving hygiene and water use at the household level.
- Reduced cost of production. Using briquettes saves money that would otherwise be spent on electricity bills in order to keep chicks warm or drying tea for example. This increases income of farmers by reducing expenditure.
- Resource recovery and reuse. The technology is largely based on use of organic by-products in the form of crop or tree residues that otherwise pollute urban areas, especially informal settlements that lack waste management services. Recycling waste reduces expenses incurred by municipalities in transportation and management of landfills.
- Environmental management. Using briquettes reduces the pressure on trees otherwise cut down for charcoal or firewood. Recycling charcoal dust reduces the global warming potential from the charcoal life-cycle, which includes carbonizing trees into charcoal, transportation and cooking.