Briquettes instead of wood? Six good reasons for considering a new kind of solid fuel as an alternative

Last year Rechitsadrev introduced a new and perspective type of production. Our plywood producers learned to manufacture fuel briquettes from the dust, which is formed while plywood is sanded. Specialists say that the quality is really good – the heat output is practically equal to that of coal. They are environmentally friendly: the wood layer, which is removed while the plywood is sanded, is extremely thin. Birch dust is pressed without any glue and other additives at high pressure using modern equipment. Birch harvested in pollution-free areas of Vitebsk and Minsk regions is the source raw material. Briquettes can be burnt in boilers used for any kind of solid fuel.

Foreign partners were one of the first to assess the innovation. That is not surprising: the economical Europe is the trendsetter in terms of briquettes and other new kinds of solid fuel. They believe that heating must be environmentally friendly, pressed, neat and civilized. The number of domestic customers gradually increases as well. However, there has been no mass use so far.

The technology is new and there is little information about briquettes. We decided to bridge that gap by calling upon fuel manufacturers and real consumers. 
Thus, according to Rechitsadrev specialists, being an alternative energy source, briquettes have unique characteristics. Some of them are listed below.
Briquettes burn for over 30 minutes and smolder from an hour and a half to four hours. In comparison with ordinary wood, briquettes are put into fire 2-3 times more seldom.
For reference:
  1. Wood – 2,500 kcal/kg
  2. Briquettes - 4,500 kcal/kg
  3. Coal - 4,800 kcal/kg
For reference:
  1. ash content of coal after burning - 30%
  2. ash content of briquettes after burning – 0.22%
Natural charcoal left after burning can be used for domestic purposes. For instance as a fertilizer.
Briquettes emit little smoke while burning; they do not produce sparks and do not pop. Briquettes produce 10 times less carbon dioxide than natural gas and 50 less carbon dioxide than coal.
One cubic meter (or approximately one ton) of briquettes produces as much heat as five cubic meters of air-dried and split firewood while burning.
Apart from that, firewood have residual humidity of over 25 % whereas briquettes - about 8%. If you have been brought fresh firewood (humidity of over 50%), it means that half of the freight is just ordinary water. 
Unlike pellets, briquettes can be used instead of other types of solid fuel (coal and firewood) without any upgrade of boilers and stoves. Briquettes can always be substituted by firewood whereas pellets cannot. That is why manufacturers of pellet boilers have started producing combined boilers, which can work using pellets, firewood and briquettes.
Производство брикетов Речицадрев

Partners’ opinion:

“Briquettes can be different”, Yevgeny KORZHOVNIK, individual entrepreneur, Stolin: 
We use briquettes produced by Rechitsadrev for our own purposes – to heat a two-storey store with the total area of about 200 square meters and our private house. Our boilers are intended for solid types of fuel: they use both firewood and different briquettes, which are widely represented nowadays. We have been using briquettes for heating for several years already. There is little bother with them: unlike firewood, you need not split, dry and store them. The efficient use of time is as important as the efficient use of money.
Briquettes are easily fired without any appliances; they burn and smolder without cracking and sparking – it is important from the view of fire safety. We use one briquette in the store in the morning and forget about it for four hours. Then, we use one more briquette.
I would like to point out that briquettes can be different. A lot depends on the manufacturer. We follow the market of new kinds of fuel and test them. We liked Rechitsadrev’s product. In comparison with the briquettes we used for heating before, the heating effect of Rechitsa briquettes is much higher. Therefore, we purchased more than enough fuel for the season – 10 tons. We are satisfied with the cooperation and plan to continue it.
“The quality of the product is good but a mass user knows little about it”, Andrey SVISHCHEV, Deputy Director of JSC Belmashsnab, Minsk:
Our entity ensures both retail and wholesale sales of Rechitsa briquettes. I use this kind of fuel for my fireplace at home with great pleasure. What else can be said about briquettes? It is a good and quality product. However, it is not well known in the country so far.
My family likes to spend evenings in front of the fireplace. Earlier, we had to prepare firewood in advance, 20-25 kilos per evening, and bring it to the house. Now everything is much simpler. You just have to take a pack of briquettes and its total weight is about 10 kilos. Briquettes burn slowly and maintain the stable temperature for about four hours. There is no big flame, sparks or cracking. Some people believe that this characteristic of firewood ensures coziness; however, I do not think so. Flame and sparks are good when you are outdoors.
You must agree that it is not very comfortable when sparks from the open door of the fireplace in the house gets to the furniture and clothes.
Briquettes produce much less ash than firewood. The fact that they are made from birch’s waste is a big advantage. The chimney can be cleaned once every few years. Briquettes are carefully packed in packages which are put on trays and that makes their storage very convenient.
Our customers assessed that the price of traditional fuel and the price of briquettes would be comparable in case of the delivery of split firewood. Briquettes may be a little bit cheaper. However, there is much more bother with firewood. Moreover, it is often moist and requires drying; the heating effect of different types of wood is different. Taking everything into account, briquettes are much more profitable in all respects.
Lately, briquettes have been bought for heating for elderly people who live separately in their own houses. It is hard for elderly people to deal with firewood. People who are away on business purchase briquettes to make their close people’s life easier. It is simpler and more convenient to ensure heating this way. Many people combine firewood and briquettes. If you have free time and desire, you can use firewood; if not – briquettes will help you. If the price for this kind of solid fuel does not increase, I think that people will gradually choose briquettes. After testing, the product customers return to us. As for me, I will not procure firewood for winter this year.

How fuel briquettes are used
  • Heating in residential properties using boilers, stoves, fireplaces, furnaces and any heating equipment used for solid fuel.
  • Barbeque. Briquettes are better and more convenient than charcoal in terms of making barbeque; they ensure smokeless flame and long-term heat. They can be used to cook grilled meat, fish, poultry and other products.
  • Saunas and greenhouses. The use of briquettes ensures efficient heating in saunas and all ecological and sanitary requirements are met.
 12 briquettes are packed in a plastic package with the total weight of 10 kilos. One tray contains 96 packages. The convenient packing allows unloading and piling briquettes in a garage, basement, utility room or even balcony. The price in manufacturer's outlet stores “Nadzeya” and “Mebel Rechitsadrev” is BYR 15,100.

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