Biomass Briquette- A fuel for a better future

Biomass, as a renewable energy source, has started to look much more favorable again in recent years. Keeping in mind the environmental issues, Rotary Club of Panaji, has begun a project of using biomass briquettes to replace wood while cremating a body at the St. Inez crematorium.

A briquette is a compressed block of coal dust or other combustible biomass material such as charcoal, sawdust, wood chips, peat, paper or agricultural waste used for fuel and kindling to start a fire. The main advantage of a briquette over wood is that it has a higher calorific value with 20 percent moisture in it with the 40 percent moisture content in a dry wood thus making the ignition process quite easier.

While briefing the media Chairman of briquettes committee, Anil Sardessai said that the committee has discussed the project with stakeholders like Chairman of Panaji Crematorium, Audhut Angle, Mayor of CCP, Vithal Chopdekar and other CCP officials and they have given their approval and needed support for the implementation of the project. The success of this project will not only help the environment’s cause but also will help in motivating other crematoriums in Goa to follow in their steps, added Sardessai.

The use of briquettes in place of wood while cremating a body not just helps from an environment point of view but also on a monetary front, where cremating a body with wood will cost around Rs. 3,000, whereas while using briquettes it costs just around Rs. 1,500, said the member of briquettes committee, Nester Sequeira while explaining the statistical differences between wood and briquette. With just 150 kilograms of briquettes is required to cremate a body and each body taking approximately 4–5 hours to turn to ashes and the collection of the ashes can be done in a neat manner within the next 24 hours, added Sequeria.