ECO Consult wraps up standards for briquette production for CTCN

Turning organic waste into sustainable biofuel in sub-Saharan Africa: Manual for capacitation

2019-05/ Briquette production techniques are highly required in regions of sub-Saharan Africa that wish to improve their solid fuels waste management, and introduce climate-smart combustion technologies at a time. In order to replace charcoal and firewood by briquettes from non-wood fibres implementation strategies are needed that are situation-specific and consider users' perspectives. For the UN's Climate Technology Centre & Network (CTCN) ECO Consult has now condensed contextual expertise from The Gambia in a brochure "Briquette production manual: Basic and advanced technology". It helps capacitate women’s groups for income generation and improve the waste management value and supply chain.

The manual by ECO Consult's Dr. Mike Temmerman was produced in the context of CTCN's technical assistance project "Organic wastes for Energy and Smallholder Livelihood" in The Gambia. Here, as in other sub-Saharan countries solid waste management is crucial for maintaining public health, in cities and rural areas alike. Turning biowaste such as ground nuts/coconut shells, corn cobs or sawdust into carbonized fuels is a promising option to stimulate waste collection. On the side of sustainable fuel provision biomass energy has many advantages, as it stems from ubiquitous and affordable resources, creates jobs, ensures diversification and energy security and may be deemed a climate-smart alternative. Among briquettes' obvious advantages are price, length of combustion and possibility of standardization. 

The manual explores general rules for briquette projects, touches on the cost structure of briquette production and offers step-by-step advise on how to proceed in practice (from prior equipment to drying). Models of training and product evaluation forms and a reporting template are annexed separately.

In The Gambia resources for briquette production are abundant and available. But a rigorous analysis of the briquette value chain and of possible scenarios for producing and selling revealed that by no means all production strategies are viable or sustainable. As proven by ECO Consult in other contexts, profitable value chain models are possible though, if the the production chain is organised in stages and target groups are capacitated on a regular basis. Practitioners in the area of biowaste technology can now resort to the booklet as a compact tool to this end.
> view manual (PDF, web version, 7.2 MB)