To effectively compete with fuelwood, the heated-die screw-press briquetting technology required reduction in energy consumption and increased screw life. The high electrical energy consumption of the briquetting process and short life of the briquetting screws were the two main problems. Activities carried out under the Renewable Energy Technologies in Asia: A Regional Research and Dissemination Programme (RETs in Asia) targeted specifically these areas, and the result was an efficient and cost-effective briquetting technology. Briquettes become more cost effective than fuelwood. By improving combustion performance and efficiency, briquettes reduce demand of fuel wood, and thus improve access and usage to cleaner fuels. The briquetting technology can also institute micro-enterprise opportunities including production, packaging, transporting and selling of equipment and products (briquettes).



  1. Objective
  2. Target Group
  3. Output
  4. Key Features of the Case
  5. Sustainable Financing
  6. Supportive Policies and Institutional Environment
  7. Building Local Capacity and Skills
  8. Community Participation and Including Local Stakeholders
  9. Achieving Co-Benefits
  10. Affordability and Technical Issues
  11. Local Champions
  12. Monitoring and Evaluation
  13. Replicability and Scaling-up
  14. Contact
  15. References and Further Reading



Under the wider objective of the RETs in Asia programme to promote mature and nearly mature  renewable technologies  through adaptive research, demonstration, capacity building and dissemination, the project in Bangladesh developed an energy efficient and cost-effective briquetting packages (briquette machine and stove) and built local capacity to design and fabricate the systems.



Target Group

Entrepreneurs (to develop the briquetting package) and users (household and small businesses such as brick kilns, rice mills, etc).




  • Technology details [1]-



The screw life increased from 3 (without hard facing) or 6 hours (with conventional hard-facing electrodes) to (up to) 22 hours per run. The briquetting machine could be operated continuously (3 shifts) before it requires a screw replacement, compared to one shift earlier.


The briquette-fuelled stove thereby replaced electrical coil heaters for die heating, resulting in 25% reduction in the total electricity consumption.


  • Financial details [1]-


The production cost of the briquettes reduced from Taka 2.03 (US $ 0.04) to Taka 1.788 (US$ 0.03) per kg of briquette (in Bangladesh, based on US$ exchange rate to Taka in 2005).


The cost of electrical energy consumption to run the briquetting system decreased from Taka 68.80 (US$ 1.18) to Taka 48.80 (US$ 0.81) per hour.


Briquettes could be sold for Taka 2.50/kg compared to fuelwood (Taka 3.75 /kg).



Key Features of the Case

Under the RETs in Asia programme, KUET worked to reduce the technical and operational problems, and to adapt the technology to local conditions based on the type and quality of raw materials available.


The adaptive research activities carried out at KUET resulted in the development of improved and cost-effective briquetting packages.


Two technology packages on improved heated-die screw-press briquetting system were developed by KUET, each consisting of a machine to produce briquette, selected accessories, and a stove to burn briquettes.


The improved technologies focused mainly on the improving the screw profile (as wear of the screw was the main problem of existing machines) and the electricity consumption of the existing briquetting machine.


KUET also developed low cost briquette-fuelled stoves to popularize biomass briquettes for domestic and small business use. Over 400 of these stoves were distributed to local communities [1].


Due to local fabrication, the technology offered business opportunities for small entrepreneurs in rural Bangladesh.



Sustainable Financing

The project was part of 'Renewable Energy Technologies in Asia: A Regional Research and Dissemination Programme' funded by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and coordinated by the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT). The overall programme involved 13 institutes from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Nepal, Lao PDR, Philippines and Vietnam to promote mature and nearly mature renewable energy techniques through adaptive research, demonstration, capacity building and dissemination of research outcomes to stakeholders.


Improved Biomass Briquetting was one of the technology packages developed by Khulna University of Engineering and Technology (KUET) in Bangladesh. The financial analysis of the improved briquetting system showed a payback period of less than one year. With a benefit cost ratio of 1.21 (electric system) and 1.45 (diesel system) and a short payback period, the briquetting system demonstrated a viable business model [1]. With briquettes being sold cheaper than fuel wood, the technology offered business opportunities for small entrepreneurs in rural Bangladesh. It was observed that the number of briquetting machines in operation in Bangladesh earlier was about 900, which increased to 2,000 in the year 2002, with the introduction of improved technology and better profitability [1].



Supportive Policies and Institutional Environment



Building Local Capacity and Skills

Junior researchers of KUET participated in several academic and training programmes on renewable energy in general, and briquetting technology in particular, at AIT. The training resulted in the development of improved biomass briquetting systems and efficient briquette-fueled stoves. Experimental results and design details were also shared between AIT, KUET and other institutions participating in the programme. A biomass briquetting laboratory with fabricating and testing facilities was established at KUET [2].


Training programmes and workshops were conducted as part of the capacity building and technology transfer activities. KUET also developed one month-long intensive training program on briquetting technology for local personnel, and 68 local technicians were trained in fabricating, operating and repairing of briquetting systems. Also, two researchers from KUET followed advanced courses in biomass energy and participated in briquetting research at AIT [2].



Community Participation and Including Local Stakeholders

The project provided opportunities for the research institutions in six Asian countries to work together and in partnership with AIT. The improved biomass briquetting technology in Bangladesh was developed by local partner with sufficient know how, experience and capacity for local fabrication of low cost and more efficient briquetting systems. The fabrication of briquetting machines and production and selling of briquettes were already established in the Khulna region of Bangladesh. With technology getting mature there was growing acceptance of briquettes as replacement for fuelwood in the residential and for small and cottage industries sector, especially in the food processing business [1].



Achieving Co-Benefits

The impacts of improved briquetting machine is multi-prolonged, including the generation of rural employment and income, elimination of disposal problems of large quantities of rice husk residues, efficient utilization of energy resources and reduced use of fuel wood and consequent conservation of forests [1]. The activities related to briquette-production such as briquette machine and components fabrication, screw repairing, transportation, and marketing of rice husk and briquettes, have contribute in instituting a small industrial and service sector in Bangladesh. The technology also helped the local industry in Bangladesh as after the modification of briquetting technology to suit the local conditions, country-wide survey showed that there were over 900 briquette machines in use and 98% of them were manufactured in Bangladesh [2].


To support the dissemination of briquetting technology, KUET also developed and distributed over 400 briquette burning domestic stoves to the local village community. Although the detail analysis of the contribution of the technology to replacement of fuelwood at household level is not available for the Khulna region, similar programme conducted in Vietnam (as part of RETs in Asia programme) showed that the annual household fuel consumption due to briquette stove would reduce by about 50% [1]. Research has also shown that potential benefits of using rice husk briquettes in Bangladesh include time saving (for collecting rice husk briquette over firewood) to be 24 man-days/year; generation of 3.73 man-days of direct employment through the production of each ton of briquettes; and saving of 1.81 kg of CO2 per each kg rice husk briquette fuel use over each kg of non-sustainable firewood [3].



Affordability and Technical Issues

Initial survey showed that the average cost of a briquetting machine was about US$ 2,500. KUET's efforts in improving design and fabrication methods brought down the cost of briquetting machine of similar production capacity to about US$ 800 [1]. Local availability of materials (base metal and welding electrode) in fabricating and repairing the screws contributed to a further reduction in operating costs. In addition to cost reductions, KUET also developed a new mechanism for changing the worn out screws in a shorter time, thus reducing the machine downtime during screw replacement significantly [1].



Local Champions

The local partner, KUET, played an important role in executing the project by local capacity building for designing, fabricating and maintaining the briquetting systems and its demonstration and dissemination. AIT played an important role in capacity building of the local partners.



Monitoring and Evaluation

The improved briquetting systems developed after adaptive research was demonstrated as one of the cost effective ways of bringing a technology to potential users. Several demonstration biomass briquetting systems were set up at KUET. Briquetting machine owners, operators and potential investors were encouraged examine these systems. KUET organized a series of events such as seminars, workshops and exhibitions with the aim of disseminating the improved biomass briquetting technology targeting participants, namely, briquetting machine owners and operators, technicians, and teachers of engineering institutes. Similar systems were replicated in Vietnam (Institute of Energy) [2].



Replicability and Scaling-up

As a part of capacity building and technology transfer, KUET organized a regional training program on fabricating briquetting systems for researchers from Vietnam and Nepal.  The training programs helped in replication and scaling up the benefits through south-south collaboration in capacity building and technology transfer.



Nawsher Ali Moral

Professor, Khulna University of Engineering and Technology Khulna, Bangladesh

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


S. Kumar

Professor, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 



References and Further Reading

[1]   Kumar, S., Bhattacharya, S.C., Barua, D.C., Dung, T. Q., Elepano, A.R., Gewali, M.B., Ibrahim, M., Moral, N.A., Sharma, D., Toan, P.K. (2005). Renewable Energy Technology Promotion in Asia: Case Studies from Six Asian Countries. Asian Institute of Technology.


[2]   Regional Energy Resources Information Center (2002). Renewable Energy Technlogies in Asia. A Regional Research and Dissemination Programme- Phase II. A Summary of Activities and Achievements in Bangladesh. Asian Institute of Technology. Available online


[3]   Ahiduzzaman, M. (2007). Rice Husk Energy Technologies in Bangladesh. Agricultural Engineering International: the CIGR Ejournal. Invited Overview 1 (9), 1-10. Available online at


Other useful literatures


Bhattacharya S.C., Kumar, S. (2000).  Renewable Energy in Asia: A Technology and Policy Review.  World Renewable Energy Congress VI, 1720-1723.


Bhattacharya, S.C., Leon, M.A., Rahman, M.M (2002). A study on improved biomass briquetting. Energy for Sustainable Development 6(20, 67-71.


Islam, A.K.M.S., Islam, M., Rahman, T. (2006). Effective renewable energy activities in Bangladesh. Renewable Energy 31, 677–688.


Islam, M.R., Islam, M.R., Beg, M.R.A (2008) Renewable energy resources and technologies practice in Bangladesh. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 12, 299–343.


Kumar, S., Bhattacharya, S.C (Eds) (2005). Technology Packages: Screw pressed briquetting machines and briquette fired stoves.  Asian Institute of Technology.


Ahiduzzaman, M., Islam, A.K.M.S. (2013). Development of biomass stove for heating up die barrel of risk husk briquette machine. 5th BSME International Conference on Thermal Engineering. Procedia Engineering 56, 777 – 781.





Biomass Briquetting Technology: Domestic and Small Industrial Applications






Khulna University of Engineering and Technology (KUET). Formerly known as Bangladesh Institute of Technology (BIT- Khulna), it provides technical education and offers degree courses at Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral levels in all major engineering disciplines. The Department of Mechanical Engineering of BIT has well equipped laboratories and operates an Energy Park, wind field and bio-energy research complex for advanced research in energy technology. The Department is actively involved in research related to briquetting of biomass.



Nawsher Ali Moral

Professor, Khulna University of Engineering and Technology Khulna, Bangladesh

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


S. Kumar

Professor, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 



Fuel efficient charcoal stove

Energy resource:

  • Biomass

Sub type:

  • Agricultural residue
  • Forest residue


  • Household
  • Commercial


  • Cooking
  • Heating
  • Productive uses


  • Off-Grid

Targeted area:

  • Rural

Geographical scope:


Project status:

Completed project

Project start:


End date:


Implementing approach:

Public private partnership

Funding Type:

  • Grant

Budget (Euro):