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Abstract

Charcoal briquettes are widely used in Trinidad and Tobago for outdoor recreational cooking. This study evaluated two invasive plant species Syzygium and Gliricidia as well as dry coconut husks as raw materials for charcoal briquettes. Samples were collected, dried and made into charcoal from a method adopted from MIT D-Lab. Cassava porridge was used as a binder for combining crushed charcoal samples into cylindrical briquettes using a manual mold and mechanical press. Each charcoal briquette sample was tested for burning time, ash content, calorific value, organic carbon, moisture content and phosphorus content. All three charcoal briquette samples displayed burning times of 2.5-3 hours, ash content 8-11%, calorific values 6100-6700 Kcal/Kg, organic carbon 2-4%, moisture content 10-16% and phosphorus < 1.5%. These results are comparable to briquettes sold commercially and validate further research into commercializing charcoal briquettes from the sample raw materials.

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