EVALUATING THE BIO-ENERGY POTENTIAL OF SUGARCANE BIOMASSBRIQUETTESP. SREEDEVI, M. MADHAVA AND P.V.K. JAGANNADHA RAO
The study was conducted to assess the conversion potentiality of sugarcane bio-mass into Bioenergy through briquetting. Samples of sugarcane bagasse, sugarcane trash and a 50:50 mixture ofsugarcane bagasse and trash were used to produce briquettes. An automated briquetting press witha capacity of 150-200 kg/hr was employed to produce cylindrical briquettes of 100 mm length. Thequality parameters of briquettes such as moisture content, bulk density, compressive strength,shatter resistance, resistance to water penetration,volatile matter, fixed carbon, and calorific valuewere determined. Among the various briquettes investigated, briquettes made of bagasse have lowash content (5.32%), high shatter resistance (99.4%), and a high calorific value (15.15 MJ/kg), all ofwhich are desirable characteristics for fuel combustion. However, the briquettes produced frombagasse-trash mixture were statistically on par with the briquettes of bagasse alone. Thus,briquettes produced from bagasse alone and bagasse-trash combination can be recommended foruse in boilers in the food processing sector as an eco-friendly biofuel, which in turn helps incurbing environmental pollution. Further, there is a scope for entrepreneurship development byconverting sugarcane biomass to briquettes, which would create employment for the rural youth.