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Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice)
Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice)

rice husk briquette  


Traditionally, rice husk (or hull), which is the outermost layer of the paddy grain that is separated from the rice during milling, is wasted in Africa. Stockpiles of rice husk are either dumped near the mills, where they rot, producing methane (a potent GHG) or burnt in the fields, polluting the atmosphere.

But now people are increasingly realizing the value of rice husk and turning it into various products (building material, fertilizer or fuel). Loose rice husk can be burned in a stove but can cause a lot of smoke.

The Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) and its partners have developed a manual multi-piston briquette machine to compress rice husk to make briquettes, which burn efficiently in any well-ventilated stove. They can be used for cooking by rural households, who cannot afford or do not have access to gas.

The briquetting machine does not require too much investment and can be used in the fields, which is very convenient for farmers. It adds value to the product and increases the amount of briquettes a single person can produce in a day.

The use of briquettes is a more economical, healthy and environmental-friendly way to provide renewable green energy, as it reduces the need to cut down trees to make firewood. Producing energy from rice husk for domestic use, agricultural operations and industrial processes offers a great opportunity to deliver benefits to resource-poor farmers and processors.

The rice husk briquetting could therefore generate employment in rural areas, particularly for women and youth, protect the environment, and reduce poverty and improve the quality of life for the rural poor.

Steps to produce rice husk briquettes

1. Briquetting machine and accessories
2. Ground husk or husk mixed with bran
3. Palm press fiber
4. Water
5. Fiber bag
6. Wooden trays
7. Balance (10 kg)
8. 50 liter bowl for mixing


  • Collect rice husk from Rubber roll type mills or husk mixed with bran from Engelberg type mills.

  • Finely grind the husk using a grinder (e.g. corn mill)

  • Collect wet or dry palm press fiber from palm oil extraction press

  • Grind palm press fiber or use hands to disentangle the fibers

  • Place 4.5 kg of powdered rice husk in the mixing bowl

  • Add 0.5 kg of palm press fiber (optional)

  • Add 2.5 to 3 liters of water

  • Mix well to form a homogeneous mixture

  • Put the correct amount of mixture into the cylinders of the briquetting machine and close the lids.

  • Compact the wet mixture inside using the hydraulic jack

  • After a specified period of time, release the force applied by the jack

  • Remove carefully the solid briquettes from the machine and place them on trays for drying

  • Repeat the entire process again until you have enough briquettes

  • Dry the briquettes in the sun and under the shade to moisture content of 20% (This takes approximately 3 weeks under ambient conditions).

About the AfricaRice multi-piston briquetting machine

  • The system is an upgrade of a single-piston version developed at the Institute of Agricultural Research for Development (IRAD), Cameroon, by the same designer (Ndindeng et al, 2013).

  • The upgraded version is made of nine cylinders in which nine pistons, which are attached to a hydraulic car jack, are used to build pressure in the cylinders.

  • The pistons move up when the jack is pumped upwards and move down by the action of two springs that are attached on one end to the plate hosting the jack and to the other end on the plate hosting the pistons.

  • When the material to be briquetted is put in the cylinders, the upward moving piston compresses the material against a stationary steel plate.

  • Seventy strokes of the car jack lever are enough to fully compress wet rice husk material filled in the cylinder.

  • When the material is fully compressed, the pressure on the stationary plate is eased by slightly releasing the force applied by the jack using the force-easing key.

  • This will allow for the stationary plate to be removed by horizontally sliding it out.

  • The jack is then pumped upwards to release the briquettes.

  • The force produced by the jack is then completely released using the force-easing key and the springs will pull the pistons downward in preparation for loading the next batch of briquetting material.

For further information on this multi-piston briquetting machine, please contact Dr Sali NDINDENG at AfricaRice <s.ndindeng(at)cgiar.org>


Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice)



AfricaRice is a CGIAR Research Center –
part of a global research partnership
for a food-secure future.
It is also an intergovernmental association of
African member countries.


AfricaRice Headquarters
01 BP 4029, Abidjan 01, Côte d'Ivoire
T: +225 22 48 09 10; F: +225 22 44 26 29

M’bé Research Station
01 B.P. 2551, Bouaké 01, Côte d'Ivoire
T: +225 22 48 09 20; F: +225 31 63 25 78

E: AfricaRice@cgiar.org


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