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Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 22,840
Loc: To the limit!
Last seen: 20 days, 9 hours
Oil/Fuel Pellet Press
    #4028279 - 04/07/05 10:05 PM (11 years, 6 months ago)


Copyright ? 2001
ECHO, 17391 Durrance Rd., North Ft. Myers FL 33917, USA
Phone: (239) 543-3246; Fax: (239) 543-5317
e-mail: echo@echonet.org; website- http://www.echonet.org/
Published 2001
Briquettes made from materials that cost little or no money to obtain, such as old newspaper or partially
decomposed plant waste, can be an alternate fuel to charcoal, firewood or coal, and may cost less. Depending
on materials used to make the briquettes, they may burn cleaner than coal. Finally, turning ?throw-away?
materials into a fuel source is attractive because it is a sustainable process. Many different methods and
technologies exist for pressing briquettes. Each has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. This
document describes two designs for briquette presses that are used here at ECHO.
One of the most commonly used materials is shredded newspaper. Small woodchips and sawdust also work
well. Plant waste can make good briquettes, but it's best to compost the plant waste for a while (two or three
weeks) so that it will stick together when it's pressed. Adding a small amount of wood ash to the mix makes
briquettes harder and makes them burn longer. The addition of manure can achieve the same effect.
To prepare materials for pressing, soak them in water. The easiest way to test if a material will make a good
briquette is to soak it in water, grab a handful of the material and press it into a ball in your hands. If the
material forms into a ball that retains its shape and doesn't fall apart, it will most likely press into a good solid
briquette. Some people choose to use a binding agent in their recipe in order to increase the binding capacity of
their materials. Some good options to use are fish waste, molasses, wood ash, manure, corn starch or wheat
starch. Most materials will not need a binding agent if you build a press that is able to exert a sufficient amount
of pressure. Experiment with materials that are locally available in order to come up with a good briquette
recipe, and also experiment with the proportions of your recipe until you come up with a good, long-burning
briquette. For example, 100% shredded newspaper will work for making briquettes, but they burn better if you
add some small woodchips or a small amount of crushed charcoal.
After the briquettes are pressed they will be moist. It is important to fully dry them before using for fuel. A few
days in the hot sun should be sufficient. When burning the briquettes, we usually break them apart rather than
just burning them whole. Breaking them creates more surface area and causes them to burn hotter.
Page 2 Briquette Press
The first press described in this technical note is built almost entirely out of lumber, so the building materials are
easy to find. Our press is very similar to one originally designed and built by Dr. Ben Bryant from the state of
Washington. The pressing is achieved through a simple lever mechanism. It is easy to understand and does not
require special parts (as opposed to screw presses and hydraulic jack presses). However, the press is quite large
and heavy so it is hard to transport and requires two people to run it efficiently. Also, this design only allows for
pressing briquettes while some other designs can also be used as oil presses.
Measurements for the press:
A- 215 cm (86 inches)
B- 80 cm (32 inches)
C- 85 cm (34 inches)
D- 180 cm (72 inches)
Here is a close-up of the
hinge mechanism that
generates the pressure.
A- 30 cm (12 inches)
B- 30 cm (12 inches)
Briquette Press Page 3
The mold for the briquettes is made from a
piece of PVC pipe 40 cm (16 in) long with a
7.5 cm (3 in) diameter. Drill holes all around
the pipe so that water can escape when the
briquette is pressed. Use a sturdy piece of
flat wood as a base on which to press your
briquettes (see picture below). We have
found that it is best to cut a wooden disk
about 3 cm in height with a diameter slightly
smaller than the diameter of the PVC pipe.
Screw it down onto the flat wooden base.
The pipe will then fit directly over the
wooden disk and will not slide when pressure
is applied from the press.
A piece of PVC pipe with a smaller diameter
can be used to form a hole in the center of the
briquette (see picture at left). If the center
pipe is to be used, partially bore a hole into
the base board the same size diameter as the
small pipe so that it can be inserted into the
hole. This will help keep it in the middle of
the mold when you fill it with your briquette
material. Though the hole is not needed, we
have found that briquettes dry faster when
they have a hole in the center.
To press more than one briquette at once, we fill the
mold about half full of material, place a thin plastic
disk in the mold to keep the two briquettes separate,
and then fill the mold the rest of the way.
Lift the handle of the press and place the full mold
under the compaction arm of the press. Place a
ramming block (see picture at right) on top of the
slurry in the mold. Lower the handle and press the
ramming block down into the briquette mold. Water
will flow out the holes as you press the slurry.
Page 4 Briquette Press
Now the briquettes are partially pressed. Slide the briquette mold down to the far end of the press which is
lower than the end with the lever. Repress the mold with the ram block in order to fully compact the slurry.
The briquettes are now pressed. The only thing left to do is remove the briquettes from the mold. Different
methods have been used for this process. We decided to build a small wooden frame for the extraction of our
briquettes. The frame is designed so that our briquette mold will rest on its edges. Then we press it one more
time to force the briquettes from the bottom of the mold.
Briquette Press Page 5
There are other good methods for extracting the briquettes. The best one I have seen involves attaching a
smaller lever to the press that is connected to a hinged piston. The mold is then placed on a ledge below the
piston. When the lever is pressed, the piston is inserted into the mold and the briquettes are pressed out the
bottom. On the other end of the spectrum is the simple method of laying your mold on its side and banging out
the briquette using a ramrod and a hammer. This method is not recommended, but it gets the job done when
nothing else is available.
The next press discussed is one that uses a car jack to exert pressure. The foot of the jack has been removed in
order to allow it to fit inside the briquette mold. Below are the dimensions for the frame of the press.
A- 70 cm (28 inches)
B- 15 cm (6 inches)
C- 90 cm (36 inches)
D- 30 cm (12 inches)
E- 55 cm (22 inches)
F- 5 cm (2 inches)
The briquette mold can be prepared in the same fashion as it was for the lever press. Place the mold under the
frame and secure the jack between the crossbar and the briquette mold.
Page 6 Briquette Press
Briquettes are extracted as previously described.
An advantage of the car-jack design is that it can generate enough power to be used as an oil press with just a
few simple modifications. Use a piece of PVC pipe similar to the one used as your briquette mold (you
probably will not want to use the same one because of risk of contamination). Construct a wooden disk that will
fit snugly down the pipe.
Fill your pipe with seeds and cover them with the wooden disk. Press the seeds the same way you would press
briquettes. Be sure to place a groove in the bottom of the surface that you're pressing on to act as a guide as the
oil flows. Also, slightly angle the bottom surface so that the oil will flow down, and do not forget to place a
receptacle underneath to catch the oil.
Briquette Press Page 7
One important consideration: some seeds are very hard and our simple car jack won't produce enough force to
press oil out of them. If you're extracting oil from very hard seeds, a similar press can be constructed using
metal instead of wood and using a hydraulic jack. If you make a heavy duty press, the cylinder that's filled with
seed will have to be made out of metal or extra heavy duty 3/8 inch PVC pipe rather than regular PVC pipe. I
saw a working model like this in Haiti that was used for pressing cacao. The hydraulic press generated 8000
pounds of pressure per square inch. Materials like wood and regular PVC pipe would not hold up under those


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Registered: 10/02/03
Posts: 20,498
Loc: Euthanasia
Re: Oil/Fuel Pellet Press [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #4029418 - 04/08/05 03:46 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

i was thinking about doing something like this
im not sure, but i think it would be possible to sign up for enough junk mail
that you could collect it most of the year and then use it to keep warm in the winter.
also lawn mower waste, and weeds would probably work well too

i wonder if there is a limit on the amount of crap you can receive in the mail.........

not even once.

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Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 22,840
Loc: To the limit!
Last seen: 20 days, 9 hours
Re: Oil/Fuel Pellet Press [Re: sherm]
    #4029803 - 04/08/05 08:52 AM (11 years, 6 months ago)

The book "The Art and Science of Dumpster Diving" suggests that you sign up for as much junk mail as possible. You can send off for free samples of stuff, and use the paper as fuel.


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