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Monday, July 20, 2009

Briquette Machines

In a recent post about briquettes, the ones shown look really neat and most likely were produced from briquette machines like those pictured below.

All of them, from the biggest machine that looks like a mini-power plant to the smallest machine that looks like a creature out of a "Transformer" movie will require some space and electricity. The large-scale production of briquettes for these machine will generally be for commercial purposes.

Of course you can always go "manual" as far as household briquettes are concerned. For how do you justify the use of power (electricity) to create fuel for household cooking only? I'd want to create nice, "efficient" briquettes but the idea of burning the product that was created from an expensive process does not appeal to me.

One of the most popular manual briquette making machines seen on the internet will be this wooden contraption which appears to be a cross between a horse and a rhino.

It's been successfully implemented in some places in Africa, South America and other developing countries. I had wanted to build one myself. As it became popular, woodworking plans on how to build one were even freely available on the internet.

My reservations about building one are as follows:

  • It takes 3 people to operate the device.
  • It's big. The whole thing is about 6 feet long with a 5 foot handle.
  • Since it's wood, it can become a termite magnet if not used for a long time.
  • I don't have a big place for it.

There is a recent development on briquette making machines and this is called the Peterson press which makes use of a bottle jack with the jack being the high ticket item. Although it doesn't create briquettes as many and as big as that of the "horse" model, this compact model is more practical in my opinion.