Alternative Waste Technologies

Alternative Waste Technologies (AWT) is a commercial briquette manufacturing enterprise based in Kenya. It is a social enterprise company which seeks to convert organic agricultural waste into bio-fuel that can be used as an alternative energy source in homes and institutions. Biomass briquettes can be used as a fuel to displace firewood, charcoal, or other solid fuels. In the proper context fuel briquettes can: save time, save money, decrease local deforestation rates, and provide and income generating opportunity. AWT intends to collect the organic agricultural wastes through collaboration with Community Based Organizations (CBOs) which are based in informal settlements. This is because such settlements have limited access to government services of waste disposal hence they lack proper system of waste disposal and hence tend to throw them where there is available space. CBOs are in constant communication with the community hence with AWT empowerment strategy they can mobilize the communities to have a waste disposal mechanism which sees the organizations collecting the organic wastes from households at a minimum fee. AWT will also offer the CBOs incentives on every 1 Tonne of organic waste collected on behalf of the company.

Biomass Fuel Briquette

Biomass Briquetting is the process of converting low bulk density biomass into high density and energy concentrated fuel briquettes. Biomass Briquetting plants are of various sizes which converts biomass into solid fuels. Briquettes are ready substitute of Coal/wood in industrial boiler and brick kiln for thermal application. Biomass briquettes are Non conventional Source of energy, Renewable in nature, Eco friendly, non polluting and economical. Process of converting biomass to solid fuel is also non-polluting. No addition of any binder / chemicals is required so it is 100 % natural.

Every year millions of tons of agricultural waste are generated. These are either non-used or burnt inefficiently in their loose form causing air pollution. Handling and transportation of these materials is difficult due to their low bulk density. These wastes can provide a renewable source of energy by converting into high-density fuel briquettes without addition of any binder. Briquettes have high specific density (1200 Kg/m3) and bulk density (800 Kg/m3) compared to 60 to 180 Kg/m3 of loose biomass. These can stand the ardors of long distance transport. Loading/unloading and transportation costs are much less and storage requirement is drastically reduced. Compared to fire wood or loose biomass, briquettes give much higher boiler efficiency because of low moisture and higher density.

Briquettes produced from briquetting of biomass are fairly good substitute for coal, lignite, firewood and offer numerous advantages:

  • Briquettes are cheaper than coal.
  • Briquettes do not need a binding agent such as charcoal ash.
  • Oil, coal or lignite, once used, cannot be replaced.
  • High sulfur content of oil and coal, when burnt, pollutes the environment. There is no sulfur in Briquettes.
  • Biomass briquettes have a higher practical thermal value and much lower ash content (2-10% as compared to 20-40% in coal).
  • There is no fly ash when burning briquettes.
  • Briquettes have consistent quality, have high burning efficiency, and are ideally sized for complete combustion.
  • Combustion is more uniform compared to coal and boiler response to changes in steam requirements is faster due to higher quantity of volatile matter in briquettes.
  • Briquettes are usually produced near the consumption centers and supplies do not depend on erratic transport from long distances.