Update: 3/14/2013

Rice husk, which is a large portion of biomass produced in the rice growing regions has been lying waste at the rice mills in most part of this country.

It was investigated as a source of solid fuel; two sets of solid fuel briquettes were produced from rice husk using starch and gum as binders. The briquetting was carried out manually using a dead weight.

Good and strong briquettes were produced. Water boiling tests were carried out which showed that 1kg of rice husk - gum briquette and rice husk - starch briquette took 15 minutes respectively to boil 2 litres of water where as it took 1.2kg of firewood 21 minutes to boil the same quantity of water.

Flame test also showed a pale yellow throughout and pale yellow to pale blue for rice husk- gum and rice husk- starch briquettes respectively.
These indicate the superiority of briquettes over firewood in terms of combustion characteristics and quantity respectively and also indicate the advantage of briquette in terms of ease of handling and transportation.

Binders Selection
Current usage defined binder as substance capable of holding materials together by surface attachment. The term binder is now considered to be a general term that includes other materials such as cement, glue, starch and paste.

Although all these terms are used loosely interchangeably, binder is generally becoming most widely used, and it is considered the most acceptable general term for all bonding agent.
The two binders used in the cause of this research were gum and starch. The reasons were because they are readily available, cheap, they have higher binding effect and burn effectively with less smoke.

Briquetting Process
In briquetting rice husk, the rice husk is grounded to a semi fine powder form. Rice husk briquettes are produced using 2 different binders (gum and starch); two sets of briquettes were produced at the ratio 6:1 (Rice husk: gum paste wt/wt and rice husk: starch paste, wt/wt).

These mixtures were loaded into a fabricated mould and compressed by weight to the mould for sometime and sun dried. The drying process was continued for proper drying to be achieved prior to the boiling water test.andling and transportation.

Source: © Emerging Academy Resources
By: D.B. Yahaya and T.G. Ibrahim
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