Briquette Press For Rocket Stove Fuel


[Gregory] uses a rocket stove for heating when it’s cold outside. He’s been trying out all kinds of different materials as fuel when the idea of making his own briquettes from waste materials came to mind. Obviously the project works. As you can see in the image above, he has just formed a lump of fuel using a mixture of newspaper pulp and sawdust.

The orange device with the ax handle seen in the background is his own creation. You can see the device in action in the video after the break. In the video comments he also links to a CAD file if you’re interested in building your own.

If it’s a rocket stove you’re interested in there’s always the option of building your own.

23 thoughts on “Briquette Press For Rocket Stove Fuel

      1. Yes, if you’re worried about that, I guess you have to pick up every leaf and twig you see and all your organic refuse and bury it eleventy hundred feet deep in an anaerobic environment…

        Methane might eventually break down to CO2, but initially it’s 1000 times worse a greenhouse gas than CO2, so if you burn anything that might produce methane, you’re doing the planet a favor overall. (Or if you collect the methane and burn it)

        In other news, trees release VOCs and hydrocarbons in the sunshine!! Noes! Ban teh trees!

      2. Oil is naturally occurring. It’s also carbon neutral…..just not on human time scales.
        Energy from wood/bamboo pellets can be environmentally friendly but when done improperly you run into issues with over-harvesting and erosion. Then there are all the issues with monoculture.

        What’s the advantage of rocket stoves over a pellet stove? Fewer parts, no requirement for a forced air source?
        It seems like they are less efficient(than pellet stoves) and if you’re making your own briquettes you have to waste resources/energy on pulping wood and creating sawdust vs just using chipped wood.

          1. In fact, they can be made so efficient that an institutional cook stove made out of a 45 gallon drum to work with a 16 gallon stock pot uses a 3lb bundle of twigs to heat 8 gallons of water to a boil, yet you can touch any part of it while in operation without getting burned, AND smoke stops coming out of the chimney after 6-8 minutes. Even the 3 gallon bucket-sized charcoal rocket stoves – after getting to operating temperature – will have their carbon monoxide output levels drop to less than ten parts per million.

        1. You can use just about any flammable material in a rocket stove. The briquettes shown in this article are just a way to recycle workshop waste into a convenient unit to burn. If you’re looking to just use wood as fuel, twigs and planks are quite suitable. No point in chipping it.

          As for how they work, it’s not unlike a Dakota fire pit, in that it has self-sustaining airflow and a lot of thermal mass. It’s a reasonably efficient device, and very cheap to make at that. It’s used as a cooking stove primarily, but it can be built to heat water, spaces, floors, and beds.

          I can’t comment on how it might compare to a pellet stove, but given you don’t have to actively blow air into one, its overall efficiency might compare pretty favorably.

        2. I was going to point out petroleum is a natural product, but humanity my not survive until the next batch is cooked, ready to go. No energy is going to spend energy to make the saw dust and the wood pulp used to form this product. Not only does this product recycles wood, it recycles energy previously consumed do extra duty.

    1. @aliveoneee: Even if wood is a little less efficient in terms of CO2 per kWh, it is better in the carbon scheme of things, because of where the carbon *came from*. Burning wood to produce energy is carbon neutral, because the carbon in wood came from the atmosphere to begin with, through photosynthesis. If the oil you’re referring to came from underground petroleum, this carbon was not in the atmosphere to begin with (not recently anyways).

      Do this little experiment. Cut down a tree (or find one already down). Count the growth rings. That’s how recently that carbon was floating around in the atmosphere in the form of CO2. Photosynthesis takes CO2 from the air, keeps the carbon in the form of a tree trunk (or other woody plant matter) and releases the oxygen back into the air. There you go, a little biology 101.

      1. Also it’s much easier to offset on a human time scale. burn a tree’s worth of wood, plant a few trees (to make up for the time it takes to grow.) In burning you release basically just the CO2 it absorbed growing. it’s not 100% efficient, sure, but as mentioned above, a rocket stove is very efficient much more so than say burning oil. Also a rocket stove should burn very cleanly, so you release a minute fraction of the hydrocarbons burning oil would. So it is mainly just the CO2 you have to worry about instead of the NO2, etc.

        TLDR: composting that scrap wood would be as bad or worse (some bacteria will produce methane in digesting the wood) and burning oil is not clean at all. This is far cleaner, more efficient and you get heat!

    2. As a fuel wood is carbon neutral. Where this fuel uses wood that was used to create other products. This achieves at least three goals, for the effort. Produces heating fuel, saves money, and reduces CO2 emissions.

  1. Home briquette makers using paper pulp have been around for YEARS, my granddad had one in his shed unused for years after using once or twice, and he died nearly 2 decades ago :)

    Search ebay for paper brick maker.

  2. 6~8 pounds for a kwH of heat from oil? No wonder you’re looking for an alternate fuel source! In the states a kwH of electricity will cost you less than $0.10….have you considered an electric heater?

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