The decreasing availability of fossil fuel and fuel woods in most developing countries has necessitated efforts towards efficient utilization of agricultural residues as energy feedstock. In this regard, a simple, cost effective method has been developed to convert different types of agricultural, industrial and commonly available wastes into charcoal by slow pyrolysis method with limited supplye of oxygen at 350°C using a kiln, followed by mixing the charcoal material with binder to be made to energy pellets through briquetting machine having the capacity of 50 kg / h.
These pellets have low moisture content, higher calorific value, long burning hours and low ash content than plant waste. Charcoal energy pellets are used in local tea and laundry shops as heating source and at rural households, small hotels & industries for cooking and heating. Apart from energy pellets, a value added product namely the incense pellets from charcoal powder by mixing it with other perfumary natural ingredients was also developed. This technology package has been disseminated through NGOs to 300 unemployed people in different districts of Tamil Nadu.