Briquette

Nat Mulcahy, World Stoves, March, 2010

Clearly pellets are the single best fuel option for Haiti right now.

Background

Ethanol stills use coal or wood, coal is not sustainable, and wood is vanishing fast. As for coal it is now being imported because local production and availability of wood is not able to keep up with demand and because much of Haiti is deforested. All fuel options underwent a 50% price hike following the earthquake. In ascending order of use the most common fuels are propane, kerosene, wood and coal.

Common Fuel Options in Quake Affected Regions

Haitian fire startersHaitian fire starters

Port au Prince uses 80% of all the coal consumed by Haiti. Wood, prior to the earthquake, was used mostly in rural areas but in many of the camps that we are working in we’ve noted more and more people using wood in their charcoal stoves. Kerosene is very expensive and used not for meals but for quick things like eggs or reheating precooked food. Following the fuel cost hike, however, I have seen more and more of the kerosene stoves gutted and transformed into small charcoal stoves by removing the tank and burner, pounding holes in some sheet metal for form a sieve to hold the charcoal and placing either a pot on the coals or using the rack or radiator from a refrigerator as a grill. As for propane it is used but the families in top 3% of the economic ranking.

Haitian Kerosene StoveHaitian Kerosene StoveKerosene Stove Converted to CharcoalKerosene Stove Converted to Charcoal

Regarding cost it is important to note that the drop in earning options and the spike in fuel costs now means that most of the displaced families now must spend 40% to 60% of the daily family income just to purchase fuel to cook with. In many cases this has meant that families have gone from eating two or three times a day to once a day even in the areas where WFP/PAM is sending distributing food.

What Other Options do we Have?

We could use fuels directly in the stoves which is one of the reasons I like gasifying stoves (fuel too small to use in a standard stove can be used in gasifying stoves); unfortunately the ability of gasifying stoves to use almost any biomass often creates misconception that all biomasses are the same. Users become disappointed when rice husks are used up faster than oak chunks. To avoid this I see briquettes and pellets as the best options. They are more consistent, clean to handle, low-cost, and perceived as a more modern fuel. This last is particularly important because many people are well invested in the “fuel ladder” and if they have already made the perceived social economic move forward (from wood to coal) they will not like to switch again unless it is to move up another rung. Marketing will be key to show that pellets and briquettes are a newer more modern fuel, it is important that pellets and briquettes not be viewed as taking a step back since they are made with “poor” materials.

Clearly pellets are the single best fuel option for Haiti right now.

1. What is the fuel offset by using the pellets? Is it 50% savings compared with wood?

wood fires here are either three rock stoves or charcoal stoves now being used with wood because many can no longer afford charcoal. efficiency is between 7 and 12 %maybe 20 % with some practice. pellet stoves require some training but then run themselves well and may be as much as four times more efficient. if you consider that 1kgofcharcoal produces here is really 7kg of trees the savings both economically and environmentally could be staggering

2. How much imported charcoal does it offset?

right now just one NGO's food program requires the use of 600,000 kg of charcoal a day, that's 1,800,000kg of CO2 per day give or take, right?and that is only one NGO hot meal program, put all the AID groups together and the numbers get big mighty fast

3. What are the relative costs of imported charcoal compared with pellets?

for now, thanks to Green Circle BioEnergy in FL we are providing free pellets to the people using our stoves. in general charcoal costs between 40% and 60% of a family's daily income. Daily income is about $5 US.

4. What is the benefit in number of meals from donated pellets? How may families could cook more than one meal per day by using donated or subsidized pellets as a transition fuel?

Green Circle Bio Energy's generous donation of 60 tons will provide 145,000 to 148,000 family meals, or feed about 740,000 people each once.
I strongly encourage other pellets producers to follow Green Circle's lead and in the mean time am working with the UN to see about funding regular shipments either weekly or biweekly to Port au Prince for the foreseeable future.
As a happy plus we have teamed up with three local ag and aforestation groups who will use the biochar produced by the stoves to restore soil carbon and help areas at risk of becoming desertified.

What Feed Stock Options are there in Haiti?

Feed stocks vary widely through Haiti but in the interest of simplifying logistics and keeping transport costs to a minimum I recommend that local pellets/briquette production be made using local materials. Clearly this means each small pellet mill or briquette press will have a specific optimal mix. UNDP and the Clinton Foundation have done a fine job with this concept and their briquette plant is now in its third year of operation. The use the Work for Pay model developed by UNDP for the collection of paper and cardboard throughout the city.

PaperPaper cardboardcardboardUNDP PelletsUNDP Pellets

These are then soaked in large drums and pounded in enormous wooden mortars to archive a consistent slurry prior to pressing. I would recommend the additional purchase of a hammer mill or two to accelerate production. We have measured a wide difference in hardness of the briquettes which makes the use of them harder to learn. This could easily be fixed with a grading protocol prior to the sale of the briquettes or controlling the pressing and packing procedure of the press.

Pellets would have the advantages of ease of use, faster production rates, no drying period (during the dry season the briquettes require three days to dry but during the rainy season drying can take as much as a week) and a wider variety of feed stock options to provide a more energy intensive fuel.

Around the quake affected region the feedstocks we have tested over the past five weeks have included, bagass, rice hulls, coffee hulls, bamboo, sawdust (many mills are working overtime to provide wood for shelters), chadek rinds, coconut shells and husks, mango cores, palm fronds, sugar cane, sugar cane shavings, paper, cardboard (personal thought, much waste has been generated during food and aid distribution, it would be nice to be able to use all of it so as not to leave a littered city in our efforts to help). All larger wood was used following the quake either for building shelters or to cook with.

wood chipswood chipsstrawstrawpalm frondpalm frondMangoMangococonut shellcoconut shellcorn cobscorn cobschadek rindschadek rindsfood aid packagingfood aid packaging

My favorite has to be chadek rinds, which by themselves produce a spectacular blue flame in the Luica Stoves. Chadek are large pear-shaped citrus fruits. And the rinds are saved as fire-starters.
Bagass poses some challenges in that the gas it produces often has sugars in it that do not always burn. This was not the case with the denser sugar cane shavings or the full cane chunks. Which leads me to believe that bagass, once pelleted would also function well. This, if verified would be a fantastic feedstock in that it is by far the most abundant in this area with mountains of it just sitting throughout the region.

Out side the quake affected areas there are a great many other feedstocks and the energy balance must be carefully made to see if any of these would make sense. From what I have seen vetiver grasses are clearly the most promising feed stock option followed closely by banana plantain plantation and processing waste.

Where to go from here?

For the short term and immediate future the best solution would be to import pellets. While the thought of importing fuel may cause some reservation it must be noted that current aid programs are importing charcoal to cook the food that is being distributed. Current food distribution of rice alone requires a daily supply of 600,000 kg of charcoal. Larger camps are importing propane. If the aid effort is already importing fuel would it not make sense to import more environmentally compatible fuels which at the same time would help sensitize Haitian stove users about a new fuel which could be sustainably 100% Haitian produced? We have enough pellets for the school feeding programs and some camps for the near future but a steady donor supply would be key as we work with WFP to establish up to 30 local pellet mills throughout the Port au Prince area.
Other askes could be small mills for schools, shipping and logistics help with donor pellets (getting the first shipment was a nightmare)and experts or pellet producers willing to consider production in Haiti, the market here is ready and the need for jobs here is great.

Our Stoves,

As for our stoves we are currently producing three types of stoves:

  • Large institutional stoves for the school feeding programs, orphanages, and hot meals programs in the camps,
  • Precut Flat packed Lucia Stoves with incorporated pot stand (1000 fit in a four foot cube and only bending is required to assemble them)
  • and a 100% local version of the Falt Packed LuciaStove made from oil drums. (there was a great feeling of pride when the local one out performed the lazer cut version)

Photos of all three are attached (please note on the large version that the local artisans we are working with insisted on decorating it with trees and birds saying they had to because if people use these stoves the trees will come back to Haiti and then so too the birds.

Street CookingStreet CookingTwo Haitian Pellet StovesTwo Haitian Pellet Stoves
Two Stoves and One FanTwo Stoves and One Fan
Lucia in HaitiLucia in Haiti
Haitian Lucia Stove in Use, note no smoke.Haitian Lucia Stove in Use, note no smoke.

Nat of WorldStove

Green Circle BioEnergy http://www.greencirclebio.com/
2500 Green Circle Parkway
Cottondale, Florida 32431
who would like to thank the following for their help:

  • Port of Panama City
  • Shelton Trucking, Alpha, Florida
  • Arizona Chemical, Panama City. Florida
  • Aggregate Trucking, Panama City, Florida
  • E B Pipe Coating, Panama City, Florida

Fuel, Stoves and Water for Haiti
January 27, 2009

There are several projects to supply fuel, stoves and potable water to Haiti. Some have been been ongoing since before the quake and some. The organizations we know of are:

CHF International, Helps (Water Purifier)
To donate a $35 water purifying system, go to https://secure.helpsintl.org/store/haiti.php

Legacy Foundation (Fuel Briquettes)

Miombo, Project Haiti www.prohaiti.org
Peko Pe TLUD pellet fueled stoves to be distributed by Project Haiti. Pellets from Georgia.

Trees, Water, People TWP
Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team AMURT http://www.amurthaiti.org/ and
Recho Rocket stove made from mud formed in a bucket, the Haiti Rocket Stove
Stovetec Rocket Stoves in a metal bucket.

World Stove, International Lifeline Fund
Biucci, Everything Nice TLUD stoves fabricated in Haiti. Pellet fuel from Florida (Green Circle). Grass pellets to be made in Haiti.

Richard's Charcoal Supplemented Briquettes
Edit Blue cells only C C Pemberton-Pigott Jan 2010

Briquettes
Outside Diameter 100 mm
Height 70 mm
Central hole diameter 35 mm
Volume 0.48 litres

Density of the briquette 0.40 kg/litre
Mass, Dry 0.19 kg

Contents, density assumed to be equal Portion Energy
Leaf/Straw 75% 17.00 MJ/kg

GEO fuel briquettes

is a very low cost technology, and also for making briquettes with very less effort. This is screw based system, requires very less energy and space to operate. Briquettes can be made using human power, convenient for young or old in making briquettes from various types of waste material. Small pieces of waste papers, sawdust, leaves, wood shavings, rice husk, etc. can be used as raw material. Any sticky material available in abundant can also be added if required for producing compact and strong briquettes. The cost of each such device made up of iron is less than $8 (USD) or Rs. 400. Various types of stoves are available for using the briquettes, including some of these AVAN and MAGH series stoves can be used. Magh-1 stove with little adoption can also be used for briquettes as fuel. We can also make and use special stoves for the briquettes as fuel. For more details see: http://e-fuelbriquetts.blogspot.com/

Also see http://e-lowcostextruder.blogspot.com/ | http://www.e-geo.org | http://www.goodstove.com

Introducing Greenie©
For a Greenie-er Happier, Healthier Gambia
George Riegg, Paper Recycling Skills Project, Serekunda, The Gambia October 12, 2008
Greenie
Greenie

Every cause needs a champion and our environment deserves the best. Especially in a society where over 65 % of the population have to live below the official minimum income subsistence threshold “ Environmental protection “ can be a very complex and abstract issue but as soon as we introduce a personal and human element we create a focal point for all to understand.

“ Greenie© “ is a staunch environmentalist, loves all things natural and especially trees. She lives in The Gambia and likes planting things, nursing them and watching them grow – her biggest horror are litter and waste in the environment and she is always happy and eager to explore new ways of re-using and re-cycling them and share her experience.

Our plan is to join her in her adventures of helping to make The Gambia an even more beautiful place to live in and to visit. Her stories will be told in little 24 page pamphlets, showing her in real-life situation photographs accompanied by fun and educational copy-writing. The booklets will be published by PRSP in collaboration with her Artist creator, Caroczel, produced to a professional standard and will be a fun way to create environmental awareness for all age groups within the community.

Fuel efficient wood-burning domestic stoves & Compressed bio-mass briquettes
Fuel efficient wood-burning domestic stoves & Compressed bio-mass briquettes

This type of stove has been developed and refined over the last 30 years. It is designed to use wood and other alternative bio-fuels in briquette format. This particular method of construction allows the harmful gases – which on a normal fire are seen as smoke – to be trapped and heated sufficiently to burn and create a secondary combustion. For the same amount of fuel we generate at least twice as much heat for cooking. Add to that other design features in the stove – better air control, a “ skirt “ around the pot base – and we increase its efficiency by as much as 3 times. In effect we only need one third of the fuel in comparison to an open fire to achieve the same result.
Briquette
Briquette

The stove will be custom designed for The Gambia’s conditions taking into account the maximum size of a standard domestic cooking pot and dietary requirements. It only comprises of 4 simple parts, its use is easy to learn and safe and it can be manufactured with tooling available on an industrial and local level from new or used steel and parts.
Briquette in Stove
Briquette in Stove

Cheers
George and Greenie
and Caroczel the artist

PRSP Project Contact:
George Riegg
General Manager
Mob: +220 770 7090
Email: icecool@qanet.gm

Small-scale Torrefaction for Developing Countries
Gerald Van Koeverden, March 08, 2008

Small-Scale Carbon Briquetting in China
Tim Anderson, June 2005 courtesy fo Jim Mason, January 24, 2007

Hi!
(little correction: i am a Hungarian born Hungarian citizen, and now living in Hungary again... )

When seeing the design from Haiti we were a bit afraid of using springs for ejection, so we really wanted to push from the bottom.. And that was a challenge with the spikes that make the holes.. And then my colleague had the great idea with the two-way lid. (He is called Attila, I include him in the list) And I dont think it should make much difference that the holes are rectangular.

The other great idea of his, which i am not sure if u can clearly see from the pictures, is that one of the lids is actually a tray that should slide under the briquettes after compressed (and pressed above the mould), and when you lower the jack, the briquettes just stay on the tray and can be moved (we will probably make another one of these, to save time like with the two mould sets with the legacy press). When we were testing the press, we had a little accident with the jack, so I am not 100% sure yet whether the tray will leave the briquettes intact(ish) but the first try when the jack was working was promising.

The fabricators are of a small coop from another very poor region of the country. (They are actually also Roma/Gypsy). A friend NGO set us up with them, and they were really great to work with.

Sure we would be very happy to make a manual out of this, but I first want to wait until we can properly test it and hopefully make a second prototype soon. The material costs were quite high which would be quite good to reduce.

I attach a collection of images and some info on presses that can be used as inspiration. (I think it would be really interesting to experiment with the screw press with the weights).

Thanks for your support!
All the best,
Nora

Nora Feldmar

File attachments: 

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