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Make Briquettes From Cow Dung

by Harvest Money Editor
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What are briquettes?

Briquettes are compressed blocks of coal or charcoal that burn under fire. They are an excellent way to utilise the smashed pieces of charcoal usually thrown away and the cow dung that causes pollution if not properly disposed of.

Briquettes burn longer than charcoal and, therefore, will reduce the amount of charcoal a household uses.

Briquettes help to conserve the environment because they burn for an average of two hours-and-a-half compared to the 45 minutes of charcoal.

Briquettes dry in less than three days during the dry season and take twice as long during the wet season. Those made from charcoal dust and paper dry faster than those made from charcoal dust and soil.

How to use briquettes

When using briquettes, light your charcoal stove with a little charcoal. When the charcoal has lit up, you add the briquettes.

While cooking, even when the small charcoal you use gets finished, the briquettes will remain hot and you can cook with them.

With these three simple steps, you can save money. Briquette-making can also be a money venture for both you and your children.

Benefits of briquettes

Briquettes are a clean cooking fuel. They keep the environment safe and healthy to use since they are smokeless.

Briquettes made of cow dung and charcoal dust burn for over four hours, compared to 45 minutes for regular charcoal.

Briquettes neither smell nor 4Briquettes produce less smoke compared to charcoal and leave no soot on pots.

Experiments have proved that briquettes reduce household carbon monoxide pollution.

Briquette production is a profitable business for the youth since materials used to make them are locally available.

Marketing briquettes

You can sell five charcoal briquettes for sh1,000 and can make around 1,000 briquettes in three hours.

You will need half a bag of charcoal dust (sh6,000) and three wheelbarrows of cow dung (sh10,000) to make 1,000 briquettes.

Potential customers need information on the multiple benefits of fuel briquettes to realise high sales.

Make some and give them to people for free so they understand that they burn hotter and for longer than normal charcoal.

Easy step-by-step guide

STEP 1: Sieve charcoal dust to free it from any impurity.

STEP 2: Crush charcoal dust into fine powder.

STEP 3: Mix cow dung with charcoal dust and little water in a ratio of 1:3:0.5 (cow dung to charcoal dust to water).

STEP 4: Put the material inside the briquette mould, hit 2 or 3 times and remove.

STEP 5: Manual grinding and compacting of fuel briquettes is tedious and compromises the density of the product, leading to breakages during transportation.

STEP 6: Remove the briquettes and dry in a solar dryer or under a well-ventilated place where they stay for four days before being packaged.

Drying fuel briquettes on the ground slows down the process as some pieces receive low amounts of sunlight. Spreading briquettes on roof tops speeds up the drying process, but results in breakages.

These two forms of drying also expose briquettes to rain. The drying period depends on the raw material used, size of briquettes and the weather.

What you will need

  • Overalls
  • Black plastic gloves
  • Masks
  • Closed shoes/boots
  • Stick/rod to mix the material
  • Water to sprinkle on charcoal
  • Mortar and pestle or another way to crush the charcoal
  • A place to mix your material with the gum
  • Briquette press
  • A place to dry your briquette

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