Biocoal - Biomass Based Briquettes as Energy Source for the Industry

Opportunity Snapshot

  • Country: India India
  • Industry: Energy, Natural Resources, Mining
  • Stage: Initial growth (first revenues)
  • Years in operations: 5, Employees: 20
  • Investment size: $75,000 / min. $30,000
  • ROI: 40% in 3 years
  • Type of investment: Debt
Biomass Briquettes as a New Energy Source for the Industry The use of biomass briquettes is predominant in the southern parts of India, where coal and furnace oil are being replaced by biomass briquettes. Image courtesy of Stefani, 2008, Flickr CC.

Investment Opportunity

Briquetting plant is an eco friendly technology to convert diverse residues like forestry, industrial and agriculture waste into solid blocks of bio-fuel.

Biomass briquettes are made from agricultural waste and are a replacement for fossil fuels such as oil or coal, and can be used to heat boilers in manufacturing plants, and also have applications in developing countries. Biomass briquettes are a renewable source of energy and avoid adding fossil carbon to the atmosphere.

A number of companies in India have switched from furnace oil to biomass briquettes to save costs on boiler fuels. The use of biomass briquettes is predominant in the southern parts of India, where coal and furnace oil are being replaced by biomass briquettes. A number of units in Maharashtra (India) are also using biomass briquettes as boiler fuel. Use of biomass briquettes can earn Carbon Credits for reducing emissions in the atmosphere. Lanxess India and a few other large companies are supposedly using biomass briquettes for earning Carbon Credits by switching their boiler fuel. Biomass briquettes also provide more calorific value/kg and save around 30-40 percent of boiler fuel costs.

A popular biomass briquette emerging in developed countries takes a waste produce such as sawdust, compresses it and then extrudes it to make a reconsistuted log that can replace firewood. It is a similar process to forming a wood pellet but on a larger scale. There are no binders involved in this process. The natural lignin in the wood binds the particles of wood together to form a solid. Burning a wood briquette is far more efficient than burning firewood. Moisture content of a briquette can be as low as 4%, whereas green firewood may be as high as 65%.

Competitive Advantage

• Briquetting plant produces renewable energy. Hence it protects source of non-conventional energy.
• Environment friendly, easy accessibility and renewable source of energy.
• Compared to fossil fuels, bio-briquettes are less expensive.
• Agro-forestry waste such as Custer shell, ground-nut shell, saw dust, wheat husk and bamboo dust can be turned out into blocks of solid briquettes.
• Higher profitability as it can work constantly and still incurs low cost.
• Pollution free environment as it is free from sulfur.
• Higher boiler efficiency as a result of low moisture and high density.
• Reduces transportation cost.
• Further more significant important is easy to pack and store and hence hygienic to manage.

Rationale for the deal

The extrusion production technology of briquettes is the process of extrusion of screw wastes (straw, sunflower husks, buckwheat, etc.) or finely shredded wood waste (sawdust) under high pressure when heated from 160 to 350 C °. As shown in the table above the quality of such briquettes, especially heat content, is much higher comparing with other methods like using piston presses.

Sawdust briquettes have developed over time with two distinct types: those with holes through the centre, and those that are solid. Both types are classified as briquettes but are formed using different techniques. A solid briquette is manufactured using a piston press that compresses sandwiched layers of sawdust together. Briquettes with a hole are produced with a screw press. The hole is from the screw thread passing through the centre, but it also increases the surface area of the log and aids efficient combustion.

Use of financing

• To ensure availability of raw material.
• To enhance production capacity and capture market.

Opportunity for the investor

Being a producer of energy source in the booming industry will guarantee us very good returns. For more information on he expected financial performance, please refer to the staements attached.

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