Fuel Briquettes from Water Hyacinth-Cow Dung Mixture as Alternative Energy for Domestic and Agro-Industrial Applications

Frank. O. Oroka, Akhihiero Thelma.E.


The processing of agricultural wastes into biomass is a strategy towards the development of alternative energy sources. The study was undertaken to investigate the properties of fuel briquettes produced from a mixture of a water hyacinth and cow dung. Briquettes were manufactured with a manually-operated briquette press using four water hyacinth: cow dung mixing ratios (by weight), i.e., 100:0; 90: 10; 80: 20; and 70: 30. Results obtained showed that briquettes produced using 70:30 and 80:20 water hyacinth-cow dung ratios respectively exhibited the largest relaxed density on drying with values of 1157 and 1296 kg/m3 respectively. Equilibrium moisture content (e.m.c) of the briquettes ranged between 10.5 % and 15.1%, with a gradual increase in e.m.c with increase in cow dung content. A reciprocal relationship was observed between compressed/relaxed density and relaxation ratio of the briquettes. The durability rating of all the briquettes exceeded 85%. Flue gas temperature ranged from 60.5 to 74.5 0C.  Comparative water boiling tests indicated that water was brought to boiling within the range of 54 to 59 minutes. It was concluded that stable briquettes could be formed from water hyacinth mixed with cow dung and can be used as alternative energy source to kerosene and fuel wood.

Keywords: water hyacinth, briquette, cow dung, durability rating, bulk density

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3232 ISSN (Online)2225-0573

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