? asked in EnvironmentGreen Living · 4 weeks ago

What are briquettes? Are they environmentally friendly?

Hi, I have a few questions on biomass briquettes;

What are they actually? Aren't they basically compressed wood? 

How are they environmentally friendly? Don't we burn them, producing more CO2?

How can briquettes help the environment?

What is the difference between the cylindrical briquettes and rectangular ones? 

1 Answer

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  • 4 weeks ago

    Your phrasing suggests you are talking about charcoal briquettes since "briquette" simply means "small brick."  Legos are plastic briquettes.

    Charcoal briquettes are wood heated in the absence of oxygen to the point of starting chemical reactions and becoming more porous.  This makes lighting them easier and they tend to smolder with radiant heat without excessive flame.  Otherwise, you build a fire, wait for hot coals to build up, and then smother the flame.  Lots of work and time.

    Charcoal briquettes are not environmentally friendly.  Lots of energy to make and they release PAH carcinogens and particulate as they smolder.  Small chain hydrocarbons, such as methane, LP, and propane, burn cleaner and more efficiently.

    Cylindrical versus rectangular is about the heat release profiles.  It comes down to surface area versus total volume/mass.  Rectangular would be ideal for making a dinner, where cooking time would be, say, an hour.  Cylindrical would be a great choice for a group picnic where total cooking time could be 3 hours.

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