Bio mass Briquettes

By Anusha Lanai Ediriweera | Published: 2:00 AM Jan 13 2022
Columns Bio mass Briquettes

By Anusha Lanai Ediriweera

In most Sri Lankan rural communities especially in mid country and the plantation community, forest resources are the predominant fuel source. The trees are felled, allowed to dry and different parts of the dried plants are used as firewood. Another way that people use to generate heat and light is by converting wood to charcoal. Other plants, apart from trees, are also used as fuel sources. The problem of felling trees for the purpose of using it as fuel source is that it impacts adversely on the environment. One way of limiting deforestation and protecting the environment is by using briquettes. 

The common forms of briquettes are the coal and the biomass briquettes. Biomass briquettes originate from mostly agricultural residues which also includes the charcoal briquettes. By converting the agricultural residues to briquettes, a gamut of advantages is derivable. These include: Briquettes provide an easier way of getting energy supply for cooking and ironing of clothes as the briquettes can be transported easily than the agricultural residues. Briquettes provide cleaner emission than wood and other dried plants usually used for obtaining rural energy supply.

Water weeds can affect negatively to the environment by impeding waterflow and increase flooding and erosion,reducing water quality, creating health hazards,displacing natural vegetation and destroy aquatic life,preventing recreational activities,reducing fish habitat,blocking channels and irrigation equipment,preventing stock access to water.This water weeds can be processed into Biomass briquettes for cooking purposes.  The briquetting of water weeds were done using a manually operated briquetting machine.

The cylindrical mould which serves as the compression chamber in the machine also  serves as a burner unit for the produced biomass briquette, when it is detached  from  the  main assembly.  Although the use of the water weed briquette took a longer time for  cooking  purpose  when  compared  with  the kerosene  stove,  an  improved  cooking  time  can    be obtained  when  the  water  weeds  briquette  is  aided with  some  saw dust.  The water weed biomass can serve as an alternative energy source.

Dumping of saw dust creates various environmental impacts especially in urban area. Commercial and industrial wastes, construction and demolition activities, pallets and packaging; and utilities are the main sources of urban wood wastes and finally, such materials take up a large amount of space in landfill sites and create the need for new waste disposal sites.

This water weeds and saw dust mixture can be processed into Biomass briquettes for cooking purposes.  The briquetting of the water weeds were done using a manually operated briquetting machine. The  cylindrical  mould  which  serves  as  the compression chamber in the machine also  serves as a burner unit for the produced biomass briquette, when it is detached  from  the  main assembly.  

The raw material for making briquettes are sourced from materials that would have been chunked, and as such it converts waste to energy ,Briquettes can be used in stoves and boilers Briquetting increases strength, density, heat emitted per volume of the biomass.

By Anusha Lanai Ediriweera | Published: 2:00 AM Jan 13 2022

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