Charcoal is defined as dark grey residue consisting of impure carbon obtained by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and vegetation substances  or a black grey form of carbon, produce by heating wood or other organic substances in enclosed space without air. Charcoal is basically composed of tiny particles or carbon which is usually produce by slow pyrolysis, heating of wood, sugar, bone char, or other substances in the absence of oxygen resulting in soft, brittle, lightweight, black, porous material which resembles coal and is about 50 percent to 95 percent of carbon. The traditional way of producing charcoal is ‘the Kiln process’ is normally associated with huge amount of smoke which is a major contributor to the depletion of ozone layer but with the help of Orin Stafford, who helped Henry Ford established his briquette business developed an alternative method of producing charcoal in the early 1900s called the retort method. The retort method involves passing wood through a series of hearths or oven. It is a continuous process wherein wood constantly enters one end of a furnace and charred material leaves the other. Virtually no visible smoke is emitted from a retort, because the constant level of output can effectively be treated with emission control device such as afterburners . Charcoal could be found in several forms which include activated charcoal, lumps, extruded charcoal and briquette. Activated charcoal is a kind of charcoal with higher carbon composition, is made at elevate temperature in a chamber where air and oxygen are pumped out to ensure fewer impurities. The lump charcoal is made directly from hardwood material and usually produces far less ash than briquette. The extruded charcoal is which is made by extruding either raw ground wood or carbonized wood into logs without the use of binder. The heat and pressure of the extruding process holds the charcoal together but if the extrusion is made from raw wood material, the extruded logs are then subsequently carbonized. Unlike extruded charcoal, binders are used to bind crushed charcoal particles together to form briquettes. Briquettes would be discussed in detail later in this project.
1.2 Briquetting Technology
A briquette is a block of flammable matter used as fuel to start and maintain a fire. Briquetting is the transformation of a powdery or granular product into a larger more convenient size which is accomplished by compacting, the product with a roller press sometimes with or without a binder material  or the physical transformation of the loose raw material into high density fuel briquettes through compacting compressed units. Briquetting is the only way to change the powdery material into briquette which is suitable for transporting and is energy-saving. This form change results in a much higher specific density of the material which increases its combustion efficiency as compressed to the loose material. Charcoal is a material totally lacking plasticity and hence needs addition of a sticking or agglomerating material to enable a briquette to be formed. The binder should preferably be combustible, though a non-combustible binder effective at low concentrations can be suitable. (FAO, 1983) Based on the characteristics of the processed material, the binder used and the desired end product, the briquette can be produced with high or low pressure and can undergo mechanical or thermal treatment. The most common types of briquettes are charcoal briquettes and biomass briquettes. 1.3 Invention of Charcoal Briquette
Charcoal briquette was invented by Henry Ford along with his friend Thomas Edison in 1920 even though Zwoyer still had the patent. Ford created briquette from the wood scraps and sawdust left over in his model T. car factory. Later, Fords brother-in-law, E.G. Kingsford bought Fords briquette, which was originally called Ford Charcoal and formed the...
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