Here’s An Improved Kawayan Charcoal Briquette (Part 2)
COMPARISON TO OTHER BIOENERGY SOURCE
Comparing the characteristics of BPW based -from the study of Dr. Malab’s team and the standard heating values of charcoal (CRH and wood waste) and briquette (common hardwood and gmelina), the following results were obtained:
BPW has higher heat value (4,997 kcal/kg) than CRH (3,000 kcal/kg) and wood charcoal (2,222 kcal/kg), and was found comparable to common hardwood briquette (5,162 kcal/kg) and gmelina briquette (4,636 kcal/kg).
In terms of ash content, BPW has 8%13%, CRH and wood charcoal both have 8%-10%, common hardwood briquette has 8.18%, and gmelina briquette has 7.32%. However, common hardwood and gmelina briquettes have higher density at 0.52 g/cc and 0.54 g/ cc, respectively than BPW which has 0.46 g/cc.
It was noted that BPW does not easily crumble. It also produces white to clear fumes and does not cause blackening of cookware’s bottom, according to Dr. Malab. He added that a kilo of BPW burns in 2.5 hours, which means that it can cook up to three regular meals.
Dr. Malab said that commercial production of BPW briquettes would require an investment of P100,000 for the briquetting machine and P65,000 for the other basic equipment such as pulverizer, mixer, charcoal kiln/carbonizer, compactor drying pads, and 200-liter metal drums.
Based on a feasibility study conducted by the researchers, the cost of producing 12,000 kg briquette stands at r42,148. The payback period is 1.42 years. The profitability index is recorded at 1.95 which translates a cash inflow of P1.95 per P1 investment.
It is not only the processors that will benefit from commercial production of BPW briquettes, says Dr. Malab. In fact, it will also provide employment to the people in the community who will be indirectly involved in the production chain.
At the production site, the project will need workers for machine operations and non-machine activities. It will also help farmers, rice millers and haulers earn additional income as they will provide the raw materials.
ON THE ROAD TO COMMERCIALIZATION
Just recently, Dr. Malab’s charcoal briquette technology has got the attention of John M. Mendoza, a Manila-based entrepreneur who is interested in venturing into commercial production and distribution of charcoal briquettes.
Mendoza’s company, UR-Value Super Corporation, has just agreed with MMSU and ILARRDEC to adopt the technology and plan is now underway to put up a production plant in Ilocos where the raw materials are abundant.
In this regard, Mendoza will need about 4 tons of charcoal briquettes monthly which his company is going to supply to major stores and malls in the entire Metro Manila. He sees bright prospects in BPW briquettes as there is a great demand for alternative fuel by households and restaurants due to the rising price of liquefied petroleum gas. Moreso, he said that charcoal briquettes could be conveniently displayed in stores.
Dr. lVlalab also said that the Land Bank of the Philippines has also approved to provide a three-year, no-interest financial assistance to farmers who would like to enter into bamboo charcoal briquetting business.
Dr. Malab revealed that this year they are planning to develop a charcoal briquette with garlic scent to utilize the garlic wastes- in Ilocos. This will be made especially for grilling meat or barbecue, he said.
They are also looking at the possibility of using volcanic ash and sugarcane wastes as another biomass. It was reported that the former could be a very good material for charcoal briquettes with its high heating value.
Right now, value addition and value creation is the name of the game for Dr. Malab and his research team. This way, they produce a bio-fuel that is environment friendly and economically feasible while reducing wastes and avoiding cutting of trees.
More importantly, the commercial production of BPW briquettes will provide additional source of income for rice and bamboo farmers and processors in the locality.
By : Melpha Abello