Briquettes are compressed block of coal dust or other combustible material used to start a fire. In South Africa it is most popularly used for braaing meat. Start your own business making and selling briquettes.

Prelude
When making a fire you essentially have three options: fire wood, charcoal and briquettes. Briquettes are cleaner, emit little smoke while burning; they produce very few sparks and do not pop. Charcoal – often made from alien species are particularly problematic for indoors as pieces can pop and land on carpets.

Types of briquettes
The two main types of briquettes on the market in SA today is charcoal briquettes (made from charcoal dust) and “green” briquettes made from biomass and other organic materials. The green briquettes haven’t really taken off in South African as it has in other countries, and thus there is a much larger market for charcoal briquettes.

The business
While it can be lucrative as the materials to make it can be gotten for cheap, it is a messy and labour intensive business. Your main challenge will be to get a large and constant supply of wood to burn to make the charcoal, your most constant supply will come from off-cuts from timber plantations or timber mills.

Making the briquettes
You can make a few kilo’s a day from home or you can make a few tons a day with a specialised machine. Briquettes are essentially made by compressing charcoal with a binder and other additives. The binder is usually starch. Below are a few links about the manufacturing process.

More Information
Charcoal briquette manufacturing process
How to Make Charcoal Briquettes: Ingredients and Composition
How to Make Fuel Briquettes – Charcoal Dust – Carbonization and Pyrolysis of Biomass

Videos
10 at a time briquette press machine idea
25 at a time briquette press machine idea
Homemade briquette press idea
Industrial briquette machine


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