Briquette making in Kenya: Nairobi and peri-urban areas
Ngusale, George K.
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Briquettes made from biomass residues could contribute to ensuring the sustainable supply of biomass energy. The paper reviews the present briquette making process in Kenya especially in Nairobi and peri-urban areas. The paper introduces the energy situation in Kenya, then the briquette making process and finally presents the challenges and opportunities in briquette making. In the opportunities section, eighteen briquette producers participated in the question and answer exercise to quantitatively provide information on briquette making. Most producers use bare hands (handmade briquettes), others make use of novel-based machines such as ram-piston type, motorized screw press, shredder, wooden press and the mold-box piston type all made from locally available materials. The mixing ratios and the various ingredients used in briquette making are haphazard with no standard ratio and specific mixture for optimum briquette production. Despite these, most briquette producers are well along in the briquette business. At the same time, the end-use consumers are very positive in using the briquette fuel as an alternative fuel. Some of the end-use consumers are the schools, churches, hotels and some households. This study indicates that the opportunities for briquette making are immense and could help curb deforestation thereby reduce environmental degradation.