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Charcoal Dust Brikets
A. The financing by REPIC has reached us and so this whole venture is now being implemented by EFCO. The initial FARIP kick-start of this venture was therefore successful. But we have not yet reached a viable business operation. With the REPIC funds and further small FARIP contributions this should be achieved by 2018
B. On the positive side we found a very simple way to produce charcoal dust: The “Kon-Tiki” method with a simple pit and adding more and more biomass onto the fire in the pit, even if it is green or wet. See the below small film that shows the process. This has proven to be so effective that the teams have stopped using the drums. They are now busy producing chardust and earning regular income. We are stocking the dust for processing into brikets during the dry season when it is too dangerous to make open fires even in a pit.
C. On the challenging side we are still looking for a safe, reliable and affordable machine to do the briketting. We must mechanize it in order to manage the volumes and in order to be competitive with the end-price of the brikets. For this purpose we are launching a separate FARIP venture for building and testing a prototype machine. See separate FARIP venture
Short description of venture
Charcoal use is rapidly increasing in urban centers. By far the most people use it for their cooking. It is a heavy burden on the forests. The idea is to process biomass waste into charcoal dust and to then compress that dust into brikets that replace the charcoal being used from cutting down trees. So now Bahat Tweve in southern highlands of Tanzania is exploring this venture:
Teams of 3-4 people will own or rent movable equipment with which they can convert any waste biomass (crop residues branches and twigs from forestry operations, cutoffs and sawdust, savannah grass, rubbish from cleaning fields, etc) into charcoal dust in the field. They then sell this dust to a briket manufacturing operation that produces brikets from this dust. Brikets are then sold in urban areas as they can be used exactly like the normal known charcoal.
A first training with ARTI (http://arti-africa.org/) resulted in charcoal dust production initiated in Mgololo area. Today teams are producing charcoal dust from biomass residues and waste (ie. NO trees) using a very cheap and simple pit method (“Kon-tiki”) that has proven to be most efficient.
Another challenge is to develop affordable machines that can do the briketting. The marketing of the brikets will then be taken care of through the Transaction Security Services of the company Biashara Mapema.
Funding so far has been committed by FARIP initial funds and by the REPIC program
Status of financing
USD not yet raised
A first training by ARTI in Magunguli was the first step, resulting in a demonstration to proof of technical and operational concept in the southern highlands and three chardust production teams operating regularly
Set up further chardust teams and get them started as independent producers
Set up the company and operations for briketting
A 6-month production period will follow that will explore all the technical and operational issues and attempt to solve them
Develop and build/test affordable extruders.
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