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Dec 04, 2002
Cane trash charcoal progress.

Dr Arvind Karve, President of ARTI that developed the Ashden Prize-winning process for briquetting char powder from sugar cane leaf trash writes:

“The update on the char briquettes is that some 5 kilns are currently in operation in the vicinity of Phaltan (Dist. Satara, Maharashtra). Each kiln produces daily about 50 kg of char.  For making briquettes, we have fabricated a mold, which produces briquettes in the form of a round cake with 13 vertical holes. Each cake weighs 100 grams, enough to cook one meal. We in fact buy the briquettes from the villagers at a price of Rs. 5 per kg. In this way, a rural family operating one kiln and a briquette mold can earn daily Rs. 250.

We have also started mass production of the stove-and-cooker system, which is made of stainless steel.  It is capable of cooking rice, dal and vegetables (or meat) for a family of five, using just 100 g of the briquettes. The entire system, along with the charcoal burning stove, costs just Rs. 350.

Housewives just love this cooker, not only because of the low fuel consumption, but also because the fire does not need any tending. The quantity of coal (100 g) has been so adjusted, that it is just enough to cook the food, after which the fire goes out because the coal is burnt out.  The food remains warm for almost two hours, if the cooker is not opened.

There is a steady demand for the cooker-and-stove system. If we are able to sell 5000 pieces of this cooking device, there would be a permanent clientele for about 50 kiln operators in the rural areas.”

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