Ratchet Fuel Briquette Press
by: Richard Stanley/Legacy Foundation
The Problem: There is a fuel wood crisis in the world and the concept of biomass briquetting is becoming more widely known as a fuel wood alternative.
Legacy Foundation began providing technical assistance in biomass briquette technologies in 1994 with the introduction of a briquette production process, including a press design. The process focused on community production units and briquettes, which were made from readily available agro residues, containing no binders and combustible in a standard stove. Through practice and application, LF learned that a press must produce briquettes which combust thoroughly and cleanly and be formed in a way that generates high thermal output. The number and types of biomass briquette presses grew but until our ‘next idea’, The Ratchet Fuel Briquette Press, there was no device which provided the essential combination of pressure, portability, ruggedness, ease of use and local replication for continuous, intensive biomass briquette production.
The Ratchet Fuel Briquette Press is an elegant solution to a ‘burning’ need for sustainable solid fuel production in developing nations. The design provides for the production of a high-quality briquette through a small, portable, high pressure and durable mechanism.
An efficient biomass briquette production activity has the potential to provide local employment and income. In practical terms, with current fuel wood prices in developing countries, briquette production can provide wages of close to $10/day which, in most cases, could increase a daily wage tenfold.
Sustainability: The Ratchet Fuel Briquette Press can easily be replicated and supplied through a simple metal workshop in most small towns in the developing world. Through our process, local manufacturers and briquette producers are involved in the design and implementation of their own production units. This creates a sustainable technology and ensures that the ‘next idea’ continues to thrive.