Development of a Light Weight Briquetting Machine for Small and Medium Scale Enterprise

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Okechukwu Okwu


One of the greatest challenges being faced in Nigeria is the issue of waste generation, utilization and control. With the constant fluctuation in the prices of charcoal and petroleum products in Nigeria, the need to utilize other sources of fuel majorly in the rural and urban area became necessary. Unfortunately, because of ignorance, a good number of rural and urban dwellers dispose waste carelessly. This has contributed to air, land and water pollution. The purpose of this study is to convert generated waste materials into wealth by developing a simple, movable, light weighted briquetting machine for production of solid bio-briquettes. The biomass waste materials used in this research are: water hyacinth plant (WHP) and saw dust (SD). The saw dust are readily available at sawmills while the hyacinth plants are found growing on the surface of water. Quality samples of fuel briquettes were produced from a blend of water hyacinth plant and sawdust, using cassava starch as binder in the ratio 100:0, 70:30, 60:40, 50:50, 40:60, 30:70, 0:100. The briquettes were made and oven dried using a locally made oven at a temperature of about 105°c. The moisture content of each produced briquette samples were calculated and recorded. The developed traditional briquetting machine has been designed to eliminate the deficiencies of the adapted machine in terms of cost effectiveness, ease of operation, portability and flexibility of assemblage. Conclusively, the briquettes produced from the traditional briquetting machine are capable of producing cheap briquettes in large quantities to support cooking in rural and urban province. It is a good source of income to local farmers and rural dwellers and would greatly provide employment opportunities for youths and raise the standard of living of poor masses. Initial start-up is at low or no cost since it is a blend of SD and recycled WHP cleared from sea. The solid briquettes produced are useful for cooking in homes, hotels and industrial settings.

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