Are Peat and Sawdust Truly Improve Quality of Briquettes as Fuel Alternative?

  •  Andi Bustan    
  •  Muhammad Arsyad    


The availability of energy and fuel is always a critical issue, and currently the increasing scarcity and price of kerosene is causing problems for both households and businesses. For example, chicken farmers in Central Kalimantan need to maintain the room temperature when nursing chicks up to 12 days old, and currently have few alternatives to kerosene stoves. Non-carbonized briquettes made from a mix of peat and sawdust can provide an alternative fuel source. The sawdust is available from local sawmills, which is otherwise an unutilized waste product that is burnt off, so adding to local smoke pollution. This study was conducted to determine the optimal composition and manufacturing process to produce bricks that have a maximal calorific content whilst maintaining a long burning time and a reduced tendency to break. Analyses in the laboratory showed that the highest calorific content obtainable was 19 020.63 kJ/kg with a peat/sawdust ratio of 2:1 (20 kg of peat and 10 kg of sawdust). These briquettes had a production efficiency of 83.26%, and calculations showed the overall production cost of the finished product to be around 40% lower than that of kerosene. The results indicate that a peat soil and sawdust mix produce a briquette that is viable as a fuel alternative, and based on this the researcher recommends that it be further developed commercially to meet the additional energy demands at lower cost of people in rural areas and industrial sectors. 

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