Fund for African Rural Innovation Promotion

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Extruder for making brikettes from charcoal dust

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In our venture on charcoal dust brikets we are making good progress. The most serious challenge was that the originally intended technology for briketing failed under the conditions in which we operate.
EFCO contracted the mechanical company Huesler GmbH in Heimisbach in Switzerland to build a prototype and test it in Magunguli. This was achieved in October 2017: The prototype that is based on a converted hydraulic wood log splitter, was introduced and tested. It works well so far. So the first milestone is reached. The challenge is now to observe the issues with the very high abrasion that charcoal dust can achieve on metal, and to find mechanical workshops in Tanzania that will be able to replicate the machine.
We are still looking for funds to pay Huesler GmbH for this effort. These costs had not been foreseen by EFCO in their project with the Swiss government funded program REPIC.

Short description of venture

    A project of EFCO (Emmental Forest Cooperation) is presently introducing technology that can convert any biomass (grass, leaves, twigs, agricultural waste, sawdust, forestry harvesting wastes, etc) into charcoal dust, mix it with a binder and then press brikets with this dust. See here. Thereby a fuel becomes available that can replace the charcoal and reduces the pressure on the forests. This project of EFCO is supported by the Swiss govt. agency REPIC with 50% of the projected costs. The other half must be raised by EFCO, which is one of the reasons for EFCO to approach FARIP with this proposal.
    The efforts so far by the project have managed to identify and introduce efficient procedures by which rural youths can char the various types of biomass into stockable chardust, ready for briketing. However, the envisaged briketing machinery has turned out to be either too small for commercial operations or far too expensive. A machine that runs well in the encountered rural situation in Tanzania with its operational and financial challenges could not be found.
    The new thing that needs to be introduced therefore is a simple and robust briketing machine that can work in the encountered rural situations, is sufficiently simple in its operations and above all in its repairs, and at a scale of output and pricing that makes such brikets competitive with conventional charcoal. Studies and test-marketing have shown that the potential market for such charbrikets is huge. This venture therefore is for building a prototype and testing it in the Tanzanian situation.

Status of Financing


USD not
yet raised

First milestone: Preparations, raise funds, design, build and test prototype and document it



Second milestone: Build and test prototype in Tanzania, train local workshop, operational production testing, documentation and technical/operational reports



Test management: Logistics, reporting, interface with REPIC-supported project, etc



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