Rice Husk Briquetter
Traditionally, rice husk (or hull), which is the outermost layer of the paddy grain that is separated from the rice during milling, is wasted in Africa. Stockpiles of rice husk are either dumped near the mills, where they rot, producing methane (a potent greenhouse gas) or burnt in the fields, polluting the atmosphere.
But now people are increasingly realizing the value of rice husk and turning it into various products (building material, fertilizer or fuel). Burning of rice husk in regular stoves will cause a lot of smoke. However, fan-assisted gasifier cookstoves has been developed that use rice husk to produce clean cooking energy. These stoves are preferable for users close to rice milling facilities since the transportation of rice husk poses some challenges due to its low bulk density.
AfricaRice and its partners have developed a manual multi-piston briquette machine to compress rice husk to make briquettes, which burn efficiently in any well-ventilated stove. They can be used for cooking by rural and urban households, who cannot afford or do not have access to gas.
The briquetting machine does not require too much investment and can be used in the fields, which is very convenient for farmers. It adds value to the product and increases the quantity of briquettes a single person can produce in a day.
The use of briquettes is a more economical, healthy and environmental-friendly way to provide renewable green energy, as it reduces the need to cut down trees to make firewood. Producing energy from rice husk for domestic use, agricultural operations and industrial processes offers a great opportunity to deliver benefits to resource-poor farmers and processors.
The rice husk briquetting could therefore generate employment in rural areas, particularly for women and youth, protect the environment, and reduce poverty and improve the quality of life for the rural poor.
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