Quality status study of briquettes available in Nepal and recommendation of national standard. ( Santosh Sharma )

The major problem faced with the creation of dynamic and sustainable briquette market in Nepal is that the quality of traded briquettes varies extremely among the various producers. The users are often made to buy the fuels of which quality and composition can’t be guaranteed. The variation of quality and dimensions of briquette even creates problem for the end use application manufacturers like stove designers. Manufacturers of stove and boiler are confused as design of these equipments also needs the information on quality of briquette fuel been used. With all these issues there is a need of building confidence in quality of briquette.

In Nepal two types of briquettes are produced commercially, one is bee-hive briquette, which is mostly used for room heating for household and institutional purpose and another one is biomass densified briquettes which is targeted for industrial purpose. The research aims to study the quality status of these two briquettes available so far in Nepali market and propose a standard for these briquettes. Current quality control practices on briquettes based on weight are unscientific. From extensive literature review the parameters to be considered for defining the quality of briquettes were identified.  Samples of nine different brands (Himalayan Bio-briquettes, Subha biomass Briquettes, Maiphi Biomass Briquettes, Bhimeshowar Briquette Udhyog, Bisanghunarayan Banaspati Udhyog, Champadevi Guitha Udhyog, Parade Instant Lite charcoal Briquette, Fast Lite Charcoal Briquette, and Eco Briquette)   were taken and test was done for thirteen different parameters (diameter, length, unit density, durability index, destructive force, moisture content, volatile matter content, fixed carbon content, ash content, heating value, sulfur content, chlorine content and nitrogen content)  for each briquette. Effects on the chemical and physical characteristics are also studied varying the percent content of clay for charcoal based biomass briquette.

The test results showed that the briquettes available in the country met most of the requirements set by standards of European countries. A draft standard is also proposed based on the research.

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