Biomass Briquettes


Every year millions of tons of agricultural wastes and forest residues are generated. These are either wasted or burnt inefficiently in their loose form causing air pollution. Handing andtransportation of these materials is difficult due to their low bulk density. These wastes can provide renewable source of energy by converting in to high density fuel Briquettes without addition of any binder.

What is Biomass?

Biomass can also refer to our newest source of renewable energy and the best way to recycle biological matter.

All plants, including those from the sea and other water bodies, are considered to be biomass. Though, usually, the term refers to what they leave behind that we do not use for food or materials. For example, straw, corncobs, husks, animal waste, garbage, and other things that we usually throw away and forget about.

These materials are not useless, as most people believe them to be. Although they are the left-over pieces from industrial processes and natural waste, they can be used for many different uses. And though most people wouldn't think it, these are the key to creating a better world and a better future.

Biomass is all of the matter which is organic, contains carbon, and has gone through photosynthesis and other processes. Biomass is mostly made up of plants which make use of the light from the sun to create energy through photosynthesis many of the developing countries produce huge quantities of agro residues but they are used inefficiently causing extensive pollution to the environment. The major residues are rice husk, coffee husk, coir pith, jute sticks, bagasse, groundnut shells, mustard stalks and cotton stalks. Sawdust, a milling residue is also available in huge quantity. Apart from the problems of transportation, storage, and handling, the direct burning of loose biomass in conventional grates is associated with very low thermal efficiency and widespread air pollution. The conversion efficiencies are as low as 40% with particulate emissions in the flue gases in excess of 3000 mg/ Nm In addition, a large percentage of un burnt carbonaceous ash has to be disposed of. In the case of rice husk, this amounts to more than 40% of the feed burnt. Most of this biomass goes to waste by being dumped into landfills and even burned, which causes air pollution. Instead of making use of the precious land that we have and polluting the air, we can use biomass to create energy and fuel, as well as feed and other agricultural necessities.

Biomass is definitely a great way to help fix our earth. It is completely natural, and we can use it for fuel biomass, and many other things. There are many ways that we can get this biomass and use it to its full capacity. First of all, we should collect the residue that comes from agricultural and forestry processes. This can be used for manure, fuel, and even feed stock. Industrial waste such as used fuel can be reused to create more fuel that can be used in other fields. The great thing about biomass is that it can be grown for our needs. Growing plants to use as biomass will not only give us biomass to use, but it will also help clean out our land and air resources.

There are many different uses.

Concept and Technology

The process of "BRIQUETTING" is the physical transformation of the loose raw material into a compact form. The form change results in a much higher specific density of the material, which increases its combustion efficiency as compared to the loose material.

Briquetting (compacting) the Biomass, for fuel biomass is one of the simplest forms of using biomass. The residue left from crops and harvesting can be used as fuel biomass. This way, none of it goes to waste.

Briquetting of the Agro waste & husk could mitigate these pollution problems while at the same time making use of this important industrial/domestic energy resource. Moreover, Loose production waste such as dust or shavings represents a considerable cost factor. By compressing this waste material into briquettes we can decrease costs while reducing the mess and increasing safety.

By briquetting waste materials, volumes can be reduced by up to 90%. This creates a significant savings on transportation/handling/storage costs for later use as a heat source or simply for more convenient disposal. An additional advantage comes from briquetting flammable waste materials such as fine dust particles that are often created from wood processing operations. Briquetting eliminates the dust from the air and the mess created when removing dust collection bags, further reducing the risk of sparks or fire.

In addition to this commercial aspect, the importance of this technology lies in conserving wood, a commodity extensively used in developing countries and leading to the widespread destruction of forests. The following agricultural and forest wastes and residues can easily be converted into fuel briquettes ie. "BIO COAL or WHITE COAL".

Forest Wastes and ResiduesAgricultural Wastes and Residues
Saw Dust, Sandar Dust & Bamboo DustHusks - Rice, Coffee, Sunflower
Wood Chips and ShavingsShells - Groundnut, Almond, others
Tree Bark and TwigsCotton Stalks, Arhar Stalks, Lantana Stalks
Pine NeedlesBagasse, Sugarcane Leaves and Trash, Press Mud, Jute waste
Wild Grasses and ShrubsMaize Stalks and Cobs, Mustard Stalks
Bamboo Leaves etc.Bajra Cobs, Coir Pith, etc.

Biomass densification, which is also known as briquetting of sawdust and other agro residues, has been practiced for many years in several countries. In Japan sawdust briquettes, are known as 'Ogalite', 'Prest-o-log' technology of the United States, the 'Glomera' method in Switzerland and the 'Compress' method in West Germany.

At present high pressure technologies: ram or piston press is used for briquetting. While the briquettes produced by a piston press are completely solid. Reciprocating ram/piston press Technology.

Worldwide, ram or piston press technologies are being used for briquetting of sawdust and locally available agroresidues. Although the importance of biomass briquettes as substitute fuel for wood, coal and lignite is well recognized.

Product Specification

Fuel briquette is black / brown in color. When agro-waste of cellular nature is briquetted, it produces low cost, high calorific value fuel which can from a good substitute for wood and coal. This implies conversion of waste into a useful energy source. The end product has the following typical approximate analysis:-

1Ash0.5 to 6 %
Moisture8 % (Max)
3Volatile50 - 75 %
4Fixed carbon15 - 30 %
5Gross calorific Value3500 to 4700 kcal/kg.
6Size of briquettesDiameter 70mm, 90mm
7Length of BriquettesLength 50 to 300 mm
Benefits of Biomass Briquettes

Biomass briquettes offer many benefits over traditional fuels like coal, fuel oil, natural gas and propane as well as over the pre-compacted raw materials: wood chips, paper, green wood, nut shells, and various husks, fines and fibers. You can't afford NOT to consider a briquetting system for your operation!


The purchase price of biomass briquettes is less than natural gas, propane and fuel oil. Coal is a bit lower in price, but ultimately it is NOT cheaper because of the many benefits of biomass briquettes as discussed below.

Storage and Handling

Compacting biomass waste into briquettes reduces the volume by 10 times, making it much easier to store and transport than loose biomass waste. Other fuel types tend to be difficult to handle and are hazardous. Briquettes can be produced in a variety of sizes and have a long shelf-life.


Briquettes are immeasurably cleaner than the other fuel alternatives - especially coal! Therefore, government incentives that support briquetting systems and production along with dis-incentives for coal use make briquetting solutions extremely attractive. Plus, they don't create dust.


Briquettes burn in a controlled manner, slow and efficiently. They burn well in boilers and burners. More and more, utility companies are using biomass briquettes to supplement or replace coal as a solid fuel source.

Uses & Applications of Biomass Briquettes "Bio-Coal & White Coal"

Briquetted fuel can be used by the industrial, commercial and household sectors. It is ideally suited for use in the following areas:

Boilers(Sugar Mills, Paper Mills, Chemical Plants, Cement, Food Processing Units, Oil Extraction
Units etc.) Using fuel for steam generation and heating.
Forges and FoundriesFor metal heating and melting.
Brick kilns and
Ceramic Units
For firing of furnaces.
Residential HeatingFor winter heating in cold areas and in restaurants, canteens etc.
GasificationThe gas can be used to generate power, and eventually replace coal based producer gas
Systems and oil firing in furnaces.
AgricultureHeating Green Houses, Nurseries and Chicken coops.

Calorific Values of Raw Material

Agro WastesCal./ KgAsh Contents
Groundnut Shell4524 K.3.80 %
Bagasse4380 K.1.80 %
Castor Seed Shells3862 K.8.00 %
Saw Dust Briq.3862 K.8.20 %
Cotton Stalks / Chips4252 K.3.00 %
Bamboo Dust4160 K.8.00 %
Babool [Wood]4707 K.0.90 %
Coffee Husk4045 K.5.30 %
Tobacco Waste2910 K.31.50 %
Tea Waste4237 K.3.80 %
Paddy Straw3469 K.15.50 %
Mustard Stalk4200 K.3.40 %
Mustard Shell4300 K.3.70 %
Wheat Straw4100 K.8.00 %
Sunflower Stalk4300 K.4.30 %
Jute Waste4428 K.3.00 %
Palm Husk3900 K.4.90 %
Soya bean Husk4170 K.4.10 %
Sugarcane3996 K.10.00 %
Barks Wood1270 K.4.40 %
Forestry Waste3000 K.7.00 %
Coir Pitch4146 K.9.10 %
Rice Husks3200 K.19.20 %
Wood Chips4785 K.1.20 %
Others so many 3700 K. Apx.

Comparison of Biomass Briquettes with other Fossil Fuels

Sr. No.FactorsBriquettesWood/Loose Biomass/Rice HuskCoal
1Calorific Value3800-45002500 to 30005000-5500
2Ash Contents0.5 to 6 %20 to 25%20 to 40%
effluent Smoke
No Smoke
No Sulphur
phosphorous fumes
4Moisture8 %( Max)25 to 35%10 to 20%
5CostRs.4.5 – 5.5 /KgRs. 3.5 – 4.5/kgRs. 8.0 /kg Above
6Cost Rs./Kcal1.181.41.6
7Efficiency of boiler75%60%70%
8Wastages/Loss8-10% (Max)20-25% (Min)15-20% (Min)
8 aActual usable value
Rs./Kcal after losses
9Labor usageSingle person is
Require maximum persons in
handling and cutting
Require two persons
10Boiler efficiencyNormal Fly ash
deposit on tubes
Require maintenanceHigh wear & tear
11HandlingEasy because of
packed material
Tough require more areasTough material

FuelCalorific Value
Cost Kg/Ltr.
In Rs.
Efficiency %Cost Per 100 Kcal
In Rs.
Heavy furnace Oil990028.00852.14
Coal Grade B500010.00 Above751.52
Coal Grade C40007.00 Above751.53
Briquette40004.5 - 5.5751.53
Fire Wood33003.5 - 4.560---

Briquettes is an Ideal Fuel

  • Eco friendly and Renewable Energy fuel.
  • Economical and cheaper than other solid fuels i.e. Coal and Wood.
  • Pollution free because there is no sulfur or any hazardous material.
  • Lower than content 2 to 5%. There is no fly ash when burn.
  • Consistent high burning efficiency due to the low moisture.
  • Contain high density and higher Fix Carbon value.
  • Easy for transportation, feeding and combustion due to unique shape.
  • Combustion is more uniform compared to other coal.
  • Demandable market due to high rise in fossil fuels price.

End users of Briquettes

  • Gasifies System Application
  • Ceramic Industries
  • Solvent Extraction Plant
  • Chemical Industries
  • Dying Units
  • Milk Plants
  • Food Processing Units
  • Vegetable Plant
  • Textile Units
  • Spinning Mill
  • Lamination Industries
  • Leather Industries
  • Rubber Industries
  • Biomass Based Power Plant
  • Brick Making Units
  • Other industrial thermal Applications

Moisture Content in Different Raw Material

  • Raw Material Moisture Content
  • Cotton Stalk 10 – 20%
  • Wood Chips 10 – 60%
  • Sawdust 15 – 60%
  • Switchgrass 30 – 70%
  • Sweet Sorghum 20 – 70%
  • Maize Silage 65 – 75%
  • Bagasse 40 – 60%
  • Straw 20 – 30%
Type of Unit Working Season

Rice MillMid October to April
Sugar MillJanuary to June
Groundnut Oil MillMid November to Mid August
Cotton Ginning MillJanuary to May
Saw MillWhole Year
Jute MillNovember to June
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