Potential Utilization of Grass as Solid-Fuel (Briquette) in Nigeria

Alade, O. S.; Betiku, E.; Solomon, B. O.
February 2010
Journal of Solid Waste Technology & Management;Feb2010, Vol. 36 Issue 1, p500
Academic Journal
The ever-increasing energy demand has triggered over-dependence on non-renewable fossil fuel and poses environmental pollution threat. This has therefore necessitated several researches into finding renewable and environmentally friendly alternatives. Nigeria, estimated as about 150 million population, has about 71.2 million hectares of available agricultural land about half of which is currently being utilized. Nigeria though blessed with tremendous renewable energy resources has been feared "may fall into fossil fuel trap". Presently, energy utilization in Nigeria is far from being efficient. The forage grasses and shrubs, estimates show that 200 million tones of dry biomass can be obtained from them and this comes up to 2.28 × 106 MJ of energy. For crop residues and wastes, estimates of the 6.1 million tones of dry biomass that are produced annually leave residues whose energy content approximates to 5.3 × 1011 MJ. Although Nigeria is blessed with abundant renewable energy resources; there is currently a heavy reliance on fuel-wood and fossil fuels which is a major cause of desertification in the arid zone states of Nigeria. Briquetting is one of several compaction technologies in the general category of densification. Briquetting involves collecting combustible materials that are not usable due to a lack of density, and compressing them into a solid fuel of a convenient shape that can be burned like wood or charcoal. The utilization of grass in briquetting offers the advantages such as non- requirement of the binding agents, reduced storage cost, reduced or eliminated needs for drying as the material is briquetted at moisture content below 15% and superior combustion efficiency.


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