The Middle Dutch brick allowed the development of the French word briquette. That is the closest etymological antecedent of briquette, a term that refers to a Block of Coal vegetable or from another biofuel.
Briquettes are usually produced by conglomeration. The action of conglomerate or agglomerate, meanwhile, refers to the union of multiple fragments appealing to a conglomerate (a material that serves to join the parts and provide cohesion to the whole), enabling the generation of a compact mass.
How to make a briquette
The usual thing is that briquettes are considered as a solid biomass. Is called biomass, in turn, to organic matter that can be used to generate energy.
There are different types of briquettes, which vary depending on the material that was used for the conglomerate. It can be used charcoal; biomass from agricultural activity or from sawmills; or a combination of these elements.
The most popular briquettes are those that are produced using natural biomass that comes from sawmills. In this case, bricks are generated by compaction of sawdust or sawdust, which are the particles that arise from the wood when it is sawn. The production of these briquettes usually does not require resorting to a binder: the lignin (an organic compound present in woody tissues) and the moisture of the wood are sufficient to achieve cohesion.
It should be noted that briquettes can also include other forest residues, such as remains of pruning or shavings. In general, all the components are crushed, dried and finally compacted.
The properties of briquettes depend on their materials and their way of production. They can have a cylindrical, prismatic, spherical or pillow shape and have a very variable length, in some cases reaching forty centimeters.
Higher density than firewood, its storage, transfer and handling is easy. The briquettes take up little space, are homogeneous and generate a small amount of ashes.
If we focus on sawdust briquettes, we can say that they do not produce odor, smoke or sparks; they are recyclable; and they offer non-polluting energy. As they are made with forest residues, they also contribute to environmental cleaning.
Uses of briquettes
Briquettes are used in different fields. Many times people choose briquettes to light the fire demanded by the roasts or barbecues. Charcoal briquettes, for example, usually take longer than charcoal to ignite, although they last longer. These briquettes are produced by grinding charred wood, joining the fragments with the application of starch or another binder.
Briquettes can also be used to heat boilers that generate electricity by steam. It is common that, in different contexts, briquettes are lit together with mineral coal to develop a co-combustion.
This is how the simultaneous combustion of two different fuels is called. The briquettes (biomass), in this way, are lit in the same place together with mineral coal (fossil fuel), a practice that allows to improve the performance and reduce environmental impact.