Imarisha Charcoal Briquettes produced from biomass waste, represents an alternative to traditional charcoal and mostly used for chicks and piglets brooding, cooking purposes in homes and institutional stoves, camp fires, Nyama Choma barbecue preparation, room warming amongst others.
Imarisha Charcoal Briquettes are made using quality standards for charcoal briquettes and are an overall better quality product compared to the traditional charcoal. Some of the benefits of Imarisha carbonized briquettes are:
- Uniformity and standardization
- Consistent high burning efficiency due to the low moisture and combustion is more uniform compared to other fuel.
- Eco friendly and renewable
- Longer burning time: Imarisha briquettes are prepared with fine biomass materials, have higher fixed carbon content and are more dense, which makes them burn for up to 5 hours, where the traditional wood charcoal burns only 1 to 1.5 hours.
- More cost-effective than traditional fuel
- Smokeless: the carbonized briquettes produce almost no smoke when burned, because of its high efficient and complete combustion. This reduces black carbon and carbon emissions, resulting in a healthier product.
- Lower ash content 2%-5%. There is no fly ash when burn.
- Less sparks/sparkles: because of its high density and uniform composition, Imarisha briquettes produce almost no sparks, which represent a hazard for domestic fires and therefore resulting in a safer product.
- Practical to use: the char-briquettes come already in a small and practical shape, with no need to be cut and perfectly adaptable to different cook stoves. They are easy for transportation, feeding and combustion due to unique shape.
- Demandable market due to high rise in fossil fuels price.
The problems it attempts to solve or address
Around 3 billion people still cook and heat their homes using solid fuels (i.e. wood, crop wastes, charcoal and dung) in open fires and leaky stoves. Such inefficient cooking fuels and technologies produce high levels of household air pollution with a range of health-damaging pollutants, including small soot particles that penetrate deep into the lungs. In Kenya, youth population constitutes over 70% of Kenya’s population and majority of them are unemployed, underemployed or underpaid and are therefore in the swelling ranks of the working poor. Every end of year school leavers leave in big numbers which have not been followed by a corresponding expansion of employment sector. By the time the youth complete secondary education, they do not have adequate skills to start self employment activities. At the same time, the employment sector is very limited and it normally looks for skilled labour. One other major problem that the urban poor in cities of Sub-Saharan Africa have to contend with is inaccessibility of affordable cooking fuel. In Kenya, annual consumption of charcoal has been estimated at 2.4 million tonnes (Republic of Kenya, 2002) producing 70 tonnes of charcoal dust which clogs waterways and exacerbates air pollution. Additionally, 3,000 tonnes of solid waste is generated daily in Kenya urban centers (JICA, 1997). Only about 40% of the waste generated is formally collected and disposed with the remaining garbage waste being dumped with all the
disease risks inherent. Imarisha briquettes are made from different types of biomass waste materials, and offers low-cost quality alternative domestic fuel to hundreds of households. Accessing organic materials and converting them into fuel briquettes provides employment and income to the youth among whom unemployment and under-employment is high in all urban and peri urban centers in Kenya. Our enterprise generates income and providing employment to youth and address environmental pollution.
The organisation aims at developing quality, sustainable alternative cooking fuel to charcoal from biomass waste.
To char the biomass, Imarisha uses binders, accelerators and charcoal dust. A crusher is used to reduce dry biomass waste to fine units which are then puts them in a motorized briquette making machines and compressed under high pressure to form a round carbonised briquette.
The raw materials supplied to produce Imarisha Charcoal Briquettes are:
- Charcoal dust collected at a fee from waste pickers in urban and peri urban areas and farmlands
- Cassava flour/molasses/corn flour
- Fermented sawdust or fermented pulped waste paper.
The raw materials are being delivered directly at Imarisha production unit and then processed into quality carbonized briquettes.
Finally Imarisha carbonized briquettes are sold at about same price as traditional charcoal in Kenya. Half of our products are sold by our sales team to restaurants, stockists and retail shops, while the other half is sold to distributors, which purchase the product unit and then do the distribution themselves (in markets and door-to-door).
Imarisha has elaborated a competitive pricing strategy, which addresses different customers’ needs and enables the organisation to simplify sales, maintaining the same level of profitability.
- Small unit branded packages with low margin per unit targeted to bottom of pyramid
- Full price: including delivery service, sold mainly to restaurants.
- Slightly discounted price: sales above 300kg, including delivery service, sold usually to retail shops.
- More discounted price: at the factory, sales above 1 tonne; sold to distributors.
Through the clean production and sales of her carbonized charcoal briquettes, Imarishasubstitutes the traditional charcoal deriving from illegal logging, and therefore reduces deforestation and abates CO2 emissions. Imarisha has a capacity to produce 1,000 Kgs, equivalent to 240 tonnes of its charcoal briquettes, leading to an estimated saving of almost 2,000 tonnes of wood, a year which will not be cut in Kenya’s forests for traditional charcoal production.
At the same time, Imarisha provides employment to the youth and an additional income to waste pickers. The organisation also provides its final customer with a better quality, healthier and safer product.