Can Biomass Briquettes save Africa’s Mountain Gorillas?

“Virunga National Park in the DR Congo is home to the largest population of the critically endangered mountain gorillas. In a recent visit to New York, the park’s Chief Warden, Emmanuel De Merode, told ‘The Charcoal Project’ that the greatest threat to the survival of the gorillas was the persistent destruction of habitat at the hands of the charcoal producers that ring the park. Every year thousands of acres of forest are cut to produce the wood charcoal the local population depends on for cooking and heating.”

Uganda’s Kibale National Park, home to monkeys, apes, elephant, antelope, pigs, 350 bird species, 250 butterflies, so on and so forth, is also prey to small-scale deforestation for cooking fuel.

Between 2000 and 2012, East Africa lost around 6 million hectares of forest. WWF projects that the region will lose 12 million hectares between 2010 and 2030 if current trends continue.


In Africa, 90% of the population use wood as fuel for heating and cooking. With other pressures in the form of land clearance for agriculture, heavy livestock grazing, and industrialization, Africa’s lush forests are rapidly being cut down. Already, almost 90% of West Africa’s original forests have been wiped out.

When the land can no longer support wildlife, it leads to the displacement of wildlife or worse: extinction.


Create positive alternatives to deforestation.

Many Africans enter forests and cut down wood to use for cooking over open fires. To reduce deforestation,  we need to provide biomass briquettes for environmentally-friendly fuel for locals, cutting down on the need for forest destruction, fuel-efficient energy options for communities, such as by opening a shop that sells fuel-efficient cook stoves in a rapidly growing Kenyan community.


These briquettes, combined with fuel-efficient stoves, puts considerably less pressure on nearby forests. The method also leads to positive social changes, according to the couple: young girls can attend school instead of spending all day collecting firewood, while people are less likely to bring back disease from close contact with wild animals.

“With charcoal briquettes it costs just 3 Kenya Shillings (US$0.04) to cook a traditional meal of maize and beans for a standard household of 5 people. This is nine times cheaper than cooking the same meal with charcoal (KSh 26 or US$0.3) and 15 times cheaper than cooking with kerosene  (KSh 45 or US$0.6). As such, households are now able to choose from a wider dietary range,” says Njenga –  a doctoral fellow with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and lead author of the new study.

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Investing in Briquetting Press can bring great environmental & economic profit to African locales. Briquetting can help resolve the cooking-energy poverty faced by the poorest households.

Hi Tech Agro is a privately owned company that offers technologies and services in the field of Municipal Solid Waste and Biomass Processing.We help people use all types of Biomass, Municipal and Industrial residues to produce Clean, Affordable, and Renewable Energy.

Contact us for more information briquettes and briquetting equipments.




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