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Amy Smith demonstrates how to make briquettes


We received from Amy Smith (MIT/D-Lab) in today’s post a link to a ten minute YouTube video that is essentially a how-to-make-your-own-briquettes video. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqI63IEg3MM&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0&border=1]

What is astonishing is how simple the process can be. From converting the vegetable material into charcoal in a regular 55-gallon oil drum, to mixing it with a binding agent (cassava paste, in this case), and then using the most elegantly simple tools to churn out perfect little briquettes. It’s like witnessing the invention of the wheel!

The entire process is very straightforward, although a few steps could use some clarification. For example, we were curious to know why the ultra dark smoke following the ignition of the material in the barrel? Or, why did it flame with a single match following the initial internal combustion? Otherwise, the video is very comprehensive in documenting the process.

We’re eager to learn if you or anyone you know is using this method or interested in implementing something like this!

Our thanks to Amy Smith and D-Lab for sharing this!


  1. admin says:

    Dear Sir,
    I recommend you contact MIT D-Lab for further information. We do not have any DIY information regarding the briquette-making.
    The Charcoal Project

  2. Samuel mathu says:

    Am briquette maker in kenya and i have educated more than 80 interested persons.
    My concern is how can you and we make briquette be known more in E. Africa to save forest and good source of fuel energy.
    Thank you.
    Briquette manufacturers (kenya)

  3. Kiruga Festus says:

    High Samuel Mathu, I am interested in learning briquettes making please I need your contacts.

  4. ALICE says:

    high mathu im interested in making briquettes pliz how can i contact you. currently im in thika.

  5. eric mutuma says:

    hi sam im a new player in the briqquete making arena and would like to know of where to get machinery for makng briqquete in kenya also best and simplest way of doing it

  6. NORA says:

    Hi Sam
    I would like to have your consultancy for making briquete for my home country in middle east

  7. Dear Nora,
    I’m sorry for not responding before. We would be happy to chat with you about consulting on a briquette project. Please email myself and my partner, Sylvia Herzog at jkimchaix at charcoalproject dot org and sherzog at charcoalproject dot org. We look forward to being in touch!
    Warm regards,

  8. baker says:

    Hello am in a position of getting tons and tons of gab ages but the problem is drying them and powdering them because i want a fast process for commercial what should i do ? is their any machine that can do that in a fast process

  9. Hello, Baker. Did you mean “garbage” in your comment?

  10. i coppy this charcoal making method to my blog at


    just for share the method wider

    my blog is about making charcoal methods & kiln design as a hobby job


  11. chernakim says:

    good day,

    i cant access the video of miss amy. can u pls send it to my email addres. my parents and i wanted to know how to do charcoal briquettes and we are aware how helpful the product is and also for income generating project which my family badly wanted. hope to hear from you soonest. thank you very much


  12. Atila, hello. Please write to us via our new initiative Harvest Fuel Initiative (HFI). HFI aims to help entrepreneurs build and grow their fuel briquette and clean cookstove businesses.

    Also, tell us where you are located. You can read more about the HFI at harvestfuel (dot) org. You can write to us at info (at) harvestfuel (dot) org.

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