IMPROVED BRIQUETTES AND THEIR ASSOCIATED MODERN MICROGASIFIER COOKSTOVES
While recognizing that charcoal and firewood may continue to feature highly as a source of energy in Malawi for the next few decades, Jesuit Centre for Ecology and Development (JCED) is embarked to addressing this challenging situation. JCED is specifically promoting the production of clean and long-term burning briquettes allied to modern Microgasifier cookstoves. This is in response to the fact that nearly all the beneficiaries in the project area use predominantly biomass as a primary source of energy for household cooking and heating. The biomass is mainly used in the form of firewood and charcoal, and in villages with depleted tree resource, crop residues are instead used. However, use of these raw biomass energy sources result in indoor air pollution due to too much smoke as a result of unburnt volatile and oils in the biomass fuel. In addition, these fuels burn out quickly and yield more ash at the end of burning. This entails that the entire household cooking and heating system is health-hazard, environmentally pollutant, costly and inefficient. In pursuant of this, JCED has partnered with Mzansi Fire Solutions Pty Limited of 4411 Isimuko Street, Birch Acres, Kempton Park, Republic of South Africa to provide technology transfer in the production of clean and long-term burning briquettes and their complementary modern Microgasifier cookstoves.
A single processed briquette used in the Microgasifier cookstove can last for an average of 3 hours of cooking or heating and produces no smoke. The excess heat generated by the Microgasifier can be harvested by a thermo electric generator and converts it to electric energy that charges a battery to light a house for about 6 hours, or more if less than 3 light bulbs are used. When not in cooking, a solar panel can be used to charge the battery. This technology therefore, has multiple benefits to the project beneficiaries – clean, safe and efficient cooking and heating energy source, including the converted electric energy for lighting the house and charging mobile phones.