Coconut Husks and Charcoal Dust Briquettes

Why to choose this solution?
In most cases, in Tanzania after the edible portions of the coconut fruit are consumed, the husks are thrown away or burnt. Improper disposal and burning of husks result in the creation of environmental problems such as air pollution and chocked (gutter) mosquito breeding sites that tend to cause cholera, malaria and fever.
Savings per day or production:
A bag of charcoal weighing between 50 - 75 Kg is sold around 45,000 - 70,000 Tsh (USD 19.50-30) at a wholesale price. This means that one kilogram of charcoal costs about 900Tsh (USD 0.4), whereas one kilogram of briquettes is sold at 600-700Tsh (USD 0.25-0.30). Briquettes are more affordable than wood charcoal, are efficient due to a higher calorific value and have long burning time and higher heat content.
Cost in money and in own time to construct:
To produce one ton of briquettes, SEECO incurs a total of 305,104 Tsh (USD 130). These costs include materials, labour, transportation of materials and overhead costs. To produce 1-1.5 ton 6 - 8 hours are required.
Maintenance needed:
Regular maintenance of the briquettes machines is required including replacement of bearings, etc.
Resources needed in use:
An improved cook stove is required. There is no need for a special stove, since the briquettes burn well in normal charcoal improved stoves.
Problems and limits:
Low awareness on potential benefits of briquettes limit its use especially at household levels. Another challenge might be limited availability or increased costs of feedstock when markets of briquettes will peak in future.
Where and how can you get it or make it?
Available in Tanzania market produced by SEECO company. Some trainings and investment in machines and construction of carbonization kilns is required to be able to produce briquettes.
Skills needed to produce, install. maintenance, use:
Needs simple training to be able to produce briquettes. Needs to use proper ratios to mix materials required for briquette production. Some training is required on how to use the briquette production machines.
How to use it:
How to maintain it:
Climate effect (if any):
Methane is a greenhouse gas which is mostly emitted from decomposing waste. It has more than twenty times the potency of carbon dioxide and is ranked as a dangerous contributor to climate change. Using coconut husks and charcoal dust to produce briquettes avoids the production of methane while producing clean fuels which are useful for cooking. Carbonization of coconut husks is undertaken in simple retort kiln through pyrolysis process gas, thus less biomass is used to initiate carbonization before the process become self-sustaining.
Where it is used and how many users are there?
Mostly used in Dar es Salaam city (Tanzania), especially in institutions such as schools. Most of the private-owned schools in Dar es Salaam use briquettes for cooking meals for their students. The University of Dar es Salaam with about 24,000 students uses briquettes for cooking in their cafeterias. Some of the poultry keepers are good customers of briquettes. In urban areas, particularly in Dar es Salaam, there are some households and food vendors who use briquettes for cooking.
Why is it successful?
Briquettes are more affordable than most existing fuel costs, more efficient since they have a higher calorific value and have long burning time and higher heat content. They are user-friendly, clean and smokeless.
If you can make it, a short description, typical problems, materials needed.:
Required materials include coconut husks, charcoal dust and cassava flour binder. After binding into shape, it requires sun to dry.
How to make it (if possible):
(video coming)
How is it delivered and by whom?
Main actors include wood charcoal wholesaler and retailers, coconut oil producers, cassava flour dealers, SEECO company, transporter and end-users. SEECO always works to maintain quality of its briquettes. The company uses a business approach to deliver briquettes to targeted end-users. SEECO uses marketing personnel to identify and interest to potential customers. Once potential customers are identified, they are provided with samples to test the product. In most cases, the majority of the people who have tested SEECO briquettes came back and buy more. On average every week SEECO sells about one ton of briquettes to existing customers.
Successful financial model
Initial investment capital was covered by a grant from a development programme. SEECO incurs operational and maintenance costs through business returns.
What policies and strategies helped the success?
National Energy policy of 2015 which focus to promote alternative fuels to wood charcoal, the Draft Biomass Energy strategy (BEST) identified briquettes from waste as one of the alternative cooking fuels. Also support from former minister of Environment of Tanzania, Mr. January Makamba, who organized awards briquettes competitions of the producers.
More info:
Name of the association uploading the case:
TaTEDO, Centre for Sustainable Energy Services.
When was the case uploaded? (YYYY-MM-DD):