Green chemistry is also called sustainable chemistry. It is involves designing chemical processes and products in order to reduce or eliminate altogether the use of hazardous substances. It involves a chemical product’s life cycle, design, manufacture and use. Its technologies provide such benefits as safer products, reduction in use of resources and energy, reduction of waste, reduction of price and competitiveness, and safe environments. This study will explore the production of biomass briquettes (Sanghi, 195).
A briquette is a compressed block of coal dust, saw dust, woodchip or charcoal that is used for fueling and kindling a fire. They are small in size, varied in color and may vary in size depending on the press.
Background/literature review on green chemistry
With the rising fuel costs, technologists are increasingly looking at ways of reducing heating costs especially in developing countries in order to provide a safe reliable and affordable fuel which is environment friendly. Briquettes are blocks of compressed charcoal dust, coal dust, woodchips, sawdust or biomass, used as fuel in boilers and stoves. Briquettes which are made from materials which are not carbonized can be a bit smoky. In order to make them smokeless pyrolysed or carbonized materials can be used. Through carbonization, organic substances are converted into carbon without the presence of oxygen. Biomass briquettes can be made from biomass, a process which will not involve carbonizing the biomass. This can be done by partially decomposing the raw materials for a week or two. The material can then be dried and crushed into small pieces which are then mixed with mater to make a soupy slurry substance. The mixture is then put into a briquetting machine also known as a briquette press for pressing into the desired sizes.
This project will make a great contribution to the different masses of the world while improving their lives in many ways. Since the process is simple, it can be carried out at home, to ensure that there is a steady supply of fuel when needed. One can opt to purchase them from entrepreneurs who make them at an equally low cost, because the materials involved are cheap. Using the briquettes will save the average user about between 40-60% of fuel costs incurred on any other type of fuel.
Entrepreneurs can embark on this business in order to provide for the community (Khanal, 135). This way, they are able to make a living for themselves and sustain others in a low cost, environmentally friendly manner. The materials for use in presses can be obtained locally. Production does not require skilled labour and orientation for new employees can be done quickly and easily. Since fuel is a heavily sought after product, sale of the same is fast and reliable.
Biomass briquettes in particular offer various benefits over the conventional fuels such as coal, oil, natural gas, propane and fuel, and, other pre-compacted raw materials such as woodchips, greenwood, paper, nut shells, various husks, fibers and fines.
Benefits of Biomass Briquetting
Cost – The purchase cost is lower than that of other fuels. The process is not difficult and can be done on small scale to take care of the needs of a small family. (Sanghi, 255)
Storage and handling – Compacting the biomass waste to briquettes reduces their volume immensely. This makes it easy to transport and store as opposed to other forms that may be difficult to store and hazardous to store. They can be produced in various sizes and their shelf life is long.
Pollution – They are immeasurably cleaner than many other fuel alternatives such as coal and firewood. Most governments support briquetting systems as they do not create harmful dust.
Efficiency – They burn in a relatively controlled manner which is slow and efficient. They burn well in burners and boilers and are in use more and more in utility companies to replace or supplement solid fuel sources such as coal.
Sustainability – Since these briquettes are made of such products as grass, hulls, leaves, husks, corn stalks, animal and food waster, they are a renewable form of energy. Collection of these products is easy as they can be found on the ground without affecting the atmosphere.
Environmental Friendliness – They can be made from such urban wasters as paper products ensuring that the cities of third world countries can suitably rely on them for heating and cooking in urban areas. They are an easy means to keep the urban areas clean and take care of the garbage without necessarily burning it.
Renewable – If animal dung is used in making biomass briquettes, what results after its use can be used as fertilizer for crops and gardens. This further helps to benefit the environment and the people.
Significance & conclusions
Green chemistry is used by chemical engineers, chemists and with increasing frequency by environmentalists who design materials that help move the society towards sustainability. The designs allow making of decisions that impact on the processing, use and management of materials. Green chemistry is involved chiefly with making friendly products rather than preventing waste or cleaning it up. It involves designing products that are safer in order to effect desired functions and minimize toxicity (Chaturvedi, 97).
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