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Forest Waste To Fuel

Many of us are complaining about the high cost of (LPG) cooking gas in the market. And returning to traditional firewood fuel would increase strain in our forest resource. Why not try charcoal briquette? Please read the procedures below.


1. Preparing the raw materials.

Collect the wood (e.g., gmelina twigs, ipil-ipil branches) and no biomass materials (e.g., coconut leaves) that are traditionally considered as wastes. Sort these raw materials. Chop the large-sized raw materials and then, dry them. Reduce large pieces into finer ones by grinding. Screen the ground materials using a 40-mesh metal strainer.

a. Pruned branches and twigs are good sources of raw materials for charcoal briquette production.

b. Sorting of raw materials like coconut leaves, gmelina twigs, ipil-ipil branches.

c. Chopping of raw materials.

d. Drying of raw materials such as peanut shells, rice hull, gmelina twigs/branches and leaves.

2. Carbonizing.

This can be done either by the drum method or by the metal plate method designed by the Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI). Use the drum method in carbonizing larger materials like twigs and corncobs. For pulverized materials, use the metal plate method.

e. Modified drum kiln can be used for charring shells, husks, wood pieces and corncobs.

3. Shredding/Grinding.

The common practice is that raw materials are carbonized first, using the drum method, or the metal plate method before they are fed to the grinding machine. These are placed inside the hopper to produce fine carbonized materials.

If the materials are raw (twigs, branches, corncobs) the shredding machine is used. If the materials are carbonized, the grinding mechanism is used. However, if the materials are too wet, they can be used for composting.

f. The metal plate carbonizer is a simple low-cost machine capable of carbonizing not only sawdust and rice hull but also coconut coir dust and other carbonaceous fine materials.

g. Participants demonstrate the use of a shredding machine for grinding bigger sized raw materials.

4. Preparing the binder.

The FPRDI recommends cassava flour as binder because it is available in local markets. The amount of starch to be used for carbonized charcoal briquettes is 6% to 25% of the total weight of the raw materials. This means that every 1 kg of ground materials needs 150 g of cassava flour. The amount of water needed to gelatinize the starch ranges from 60% to 100% of the weight of the raw materials.

h. Cassava flour is the recommended binder for the DENR charcoal.

5. Mixing.

This is the process of coating every particle of ground materials with a film of binder. It will enhance adhesion and produce uniform good quality briquettes. Pour proper proportions of ground materials and gelatinized starch into the mixing container. Mix the ground materials and the binder thoroughly.

i. The fine carbonized materials and the binder are mixed manually.

6. Briquetting.

The mixture is converted into finished products using the manual briquettor. Pour the mixture directly into the molder which produces it into uniform-sized briquettes.

7. Drying.

Place the briquettes in trays. Dry them under the sun for two days during sunny days or use a suitable drier during rainy days.

j. Briquetting machine is a simple energy- and money-saving device made out of locally-available materials. It is used for converting charcoal fine into charcoal briquettes.

k. The briquettes are place in trays and dried under the sun for two days during sunny days, or placed in a suitable drier during rainy days.

8. Packaging.

Pack the dried briquette in plastic bags and seal them. Charcoal briquettes are ready for use.

l. These charcoal briquettes are produced in a manually-operated briquetting machine.

The DENR charcoal is a solid fuel that is produced using leaves, twigs, stems and other cellulosic forest wastes. These are compacted into briquettes. When burned, the DENR charcoal emits a steady heat with low clean flame. It is easy to ignite and burns completely in at least 50 minutes.

The use of charcoal briquettes can reduce wood charcoal consumption of poultry farms, households and domestic enterprises which is about 590 t/year or an equivalent of 26,970 m3 fuelwood. Shifting to DENR charcoal not only puts forest wastes into good use but also helps mitigate carbon dioxide emission in the atmosphere and lessens the depletion of the country’s forest resources.

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