A chain of technologies for using sugarcane trash as a household fuel

A chain of technologies for using sugarcane trash as a household fuel
Authors (non HEDON members)
Priyadarshini Karve, H.Y. Mahajan, R.M. Salunkhe, A.D. Karve
Every hectare of sugarcane harvested leaves behind about 10 tonnes of dried leaves of sugarcane, called sugarcane trash. The trash resists biodegradation, and therefore cannot be used as directly as a fertilizer. It cannot be used as fodder, as it is highly indigestible. It is a bulky and low density biomass, so it cannot be easily removed from the field, and also cannot be used directly as fuel. Chopped and/or briquetted sugarcane trash cannot be used as fuel, because it produces a lot of smoke. Also, attempts to briquette the trash have showed that it required a very high expenditure of energy to compress it. Consequently, the farmers just burn off the ‘useless’ trash in the field itself.

On the other hand, it is well known that organic material can be charred, the char can easily be crushed into a powder, the powder can be mixed with a binder, and briquetted into a compact solid fuel. The char briquettes are equivalent to charcoal in burning characteristics and combustion efficiency. If a properly designed stove is used, the char briquettes can be used as a relatively clean household fuel.

In the context of the sugarcane trash, several key issues needed to be considered:

* The charring process should not involve collection and transportation of sugarcane trash in large quantities over long distances.
* The charring process should be as efficient and as environment - friendly as possible.
* The charring and briquetting processes should not require too high energy inputs.
* The stove should be specifically suited to the burning characteristics of char briquettes, and yet be as userfriendly as possible.
* The special stove as well as the char briquettes should be available in the local market, at prices that are affordable to rural low-income households.

With these considerations, the Appropriate Rural Technology Institute (ARTI) developed a chain of technologies, which is described in this paper.
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Title in French
Technologies pour l’utilisation des résidus de canne à sucre comme combustible domestique.
Abstract in French
Annuellement environ 4,5 millions de tonnes de résidus de canne à sucre sont brûlés uniquement dans l’état de Maharashtra. ARTI a développé une série de technologies permettant la conversion des résidus en briquettes pouvant être utilisés comme combustibles domestique dans les foyers ruraux. Cette technologie procure non seulement des possibilités de revenu mais également une énergie à la fois relativement propre et facilement accessible

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011 Briquettes And Pellets
010 Stoves
Service type
012 Cooking
BoilingPoint47    Briquettes    Sugarcane   

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  • A practitioner's journal on household energy, stoves and poverty reduction.

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