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Design of Agricultural Waste Charcoal Cooking Fuel for Developing Countries

[+] Author Affiliations
Amy Banzaert

Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA

Amos Winter, V

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Paper No. DETC2013-12219, pp. V004T05A035; 10 pages
  • ASME 2013 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4: 18th Design for Manufacturing and the Life Cycle Conference; 2013 ASME/IEEE International Conference on Mechatronic and Embedded Systems and Applications
  • Portland, Oregon, USA, August 4–7, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5591-1
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


Charcoal made from agricultural waste (AWC), intended for use in developing countries, has the potential to be a cooking fuel with health, economic, and environmental benefits. Investigations were undertaken to integrate the technical understanding of the fuel with the real-world context in which it may be produced and used. Multiple formulations of AWC were studied to understand the impact of raw material variation on charcoal briquette emissions. A key finding is the viability of manure as a binder, which should improve AWC production costs and proliferation. In Nicaragua, AWC emissions, end user interest, and producer economic viability was examined. Emissions of AWC appear to be similar to or less than wood and wood charcoal. End user interest seems moderate, a positive outcome given the lack of charcoal usage in the region studied. Based on the outcomes of pilot production, development of the manufacturing system must account for local preferences.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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