Efficiency of place-based innovated briquettes making technologies for sustainable cooking energy in Tanzania

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Petro Mwamlima
Nyangi Chacha
Samson Mwitalemi
Kasian Joachim
Frank Prosperous


Briquettes, briquetting technology, cooking and heating energy, innovations, sustainable energy, biomass waste


Globally, more than 2.8 billion people don’t have access to electricity. Whereas about 550 million of them live in Africa. Hence, they opt to go for cheaply available sources like charcoal and firewood for their cooking and heating purposes in their daily domestic and industrial applications. More than 80% of sub-Saharan Africans and 90% of East Africans rely on biomass energy for their domestic and industrial heating purposes. In Tanzania, more than 85% of the population depends on wood-based energy for cooking. This dependency is directly linked to climate change as it promotes deforestation and has the potential to lead to desertification. Currently, a focus is on the use of renewable energies, especially recycled bio-waste (bio-briquettes) as an alternative to charcoal and firewood. Both government and private institutions have initiated and taken the lead in making sure that the effort is of high value; however, the available briquette-making machines are expensive, complex to use, and demand electricity which adds more costs to production, hence making the briquette production a non-economic business adventure within Tanzania. In addressing the problems, this study aimed at conducting an inventory study in order to come up with place-based briquette technologies suiting youth and female unemployed groups. A human-centered design concept was used in inventing two briquetting machines. One uses screw pressing mode (Peyam Screw Press), while the other one uses a hydraulic jerk system (the Briquetter). The machines were tested for; Type Test (compression method), user friendliness (gender sensitiveness approach), and acceptability (market validation method). Results revealed that the machines produce briquettes of high quality that passed both the Impact Resistance Index (IRI) and Water Absorption Resistance (WAR) tests at a threshold of >50%. Moreover, they offer reliable production and have passed social acceptability tests, hence they should be considered for adaptation.

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