A briquettes (French: [bʁikɛt]; also spelled briquet) is a compressed block of coal dust or other combustible biomass material (e.g. charcoal, sawdust, wood chips,peat, or paper) used for fuel and kindling to start a fire. The term derives from the French word brique, meaning brick.
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.
They are a technically renewable source of energy and produce less carbon emissions than traditional coal 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 reconstituted 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%.