Increasing emission of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and other harmful gases is a major reason for global warming, and it has become a major international concern in recent years. A majority of the population living in developing countries is dependent on wood and other fossil fuels such as charcoal and kerosene for their domestic energy needs, which in turn is resulting in increasing air pollution and massive deforestation around the globe. It is very important to protect forestry resources as they help purify polluted air by absorbing harmful gases such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. It is important to develop new technology that can convert bio waste into a useful substitute in order to replace charcoal and wood usage in the energy mix. Biomass briquette production is a recently developed process, which is a type of clean coal technology based on the usage of bio waste to form usable briquettes to substitute charcoal and conventional firewood in cooking and other domestic tasks.
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Most bio waste and bio residue are produced in developing countries, which are also responsible for causing other forms of pollution. Major bio residues that are identified to be used for producing biomass briquette are coffee husk, jute sticks, rice husk, groundnut shells, coir pith, bagasse, cotton stalks, and mustard stalks. A major constituent of biomass briquettes is sawdust, a type of milling residue also available extensively around the globe. There are several problems related to the storage, transportation, and handling of bio wastes. Direct burning of loose biomass, without pretreatment, is associated with widespread air pollution and very low thermal efficiency. Biomass briquetting is also known as biomass densification of agro residues and sawdust. This method of producing usable biomass briquettes is becoming popular in the developing countries for its cheap and low polluting properties. The technology to produce biomass briquettes is based on the density increment of the conventional biomass in conjugation with sawdust to make small usable briquettes, which can be employed for cooking and other domestic needs.
Screw extrusion briquetting technology is a widely employed method to produce biomass briquettes around the globe. The process was developed and invented in Japan, in 1945. After becoming popular in Japan, it spread around the globe as a solution for rural and domestic energy needs. Presently, screw extrusion machines and piston or ram press are the most popular high pressure biomass briquettes production technologies. Biomass briquettes produced by using piston press technology are completely solid, while briquettes produced by using screw press technology have a concentric hole for providing better combustion characteristics to the produced briquettes. Briquettes produced by screw press method have high mechanical strength and are also homogeneous in nature. Biomass briquettes have a high combustion rate and have a high potential to substitute coal in most boiler and power applications.
Some advantages of using briquettes, as compared to other solid fuels, are: less expensive as compared to charcoal, do not contain sulfur, low environmental pollution, high thermal value, low ash content as compared to coal and charcoal, uniformity in combustion, and higher boiler efficiency attributed by high density and low moisture content. Europe and the North America have utilized the biomass briquettes production technologies to convert their biowaste into useful energy sources. Other regions which are adopting this technology are Asia Pacific followed by Africa and Latin America
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Rise in biowaste generation and increasing environmental pollution by burning charcoal and kerosene for domestic energy requirements in developing economies of Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa are anticipated to drive the global biomass briquettes market. Usage of biomass briquettes in boiler and power applications is estimated to replace charcoal, peat, and coal from power generation applications, hence preventing rise in air pollution, which in turn is likely to encourage the usage of biomass briquettes around the globe. North America and Europe followed by Asia Pacific accounted for a significant share of biomass briquette market. Availability of cheaper biomass, cost-effective production, and rise in indigenous production of biomass briquettes are expected to drive the biomass briquettes market in Asia Pacific.
Key global players operating in the biomass briquettes market are Carbolife LLC, Agrosure Africa Ltd., SAN Portugal SA., HT Vietnam Ltd., Križevci-Produkt D.O.O., Shijiazhuang Ningshu Trading CO., and Terra Australis LDA.
Application of biomass briquettes in power generation and boilers is expected to drive the demand for biomass briquettes in the near future. Increasing need for controlling environmental pollution and increasing thermal efficiency are also anticipated to boost the biomass briquettes market.