What is a paper briquette maker.
A briquette maker sometimes called a paper log maker is a domestic easy to use eco friendly press that allows you to produce solid and dense paper logs at home using waste paper that burn surprisingly well.
You can burn the finished logs as fuel on an open fire or wood burning stove reducing you carbon footprint whilst saving you money on your heating bills.
In the garden they can be used in chimaeras and fire pits.
Each log can burn for up to two hours.
They can be made at anytime of the year even in the winter but as they need time to dry out its better to make them in the summer months if you can.
You can use any unwanted newspapers, photocopy paper, cardboard. junk mail, wrapping paper in fact any paper that will break down into a pulp can be used. The aim is to make waste paper into something that will readily burn instead of using expensive traditional fuels.
This free method of making paper logs is not only good for the environment with less trees being chopped down and reduced landfill but it’s also good for your pocket as the end product produces free heat. With the price of electricity and gas these days anything that you can get for free has got to be a real bonus.
The briquette press is a simple device and has been around for many for years, in fact I can remember my father using one when I was a young boy and that’s many years ago I can tell you.
Why use expensive real wood logs when you can recycle the paper that you would normally throw away or send to the recycling depot.
Tip: Even if you don’t make enough logs to see you through the winter you can still use them to supplement your normal supply.
Apparently the average home uses something like 500kg of paper and cardboard a year so why not use that paper yourself and create your own alternative fuel supply.
Tip: What if you don’t have enough paper to recycle, that’s not a problem, just ask your friends, family and workmates if they would keep it for you as I’m sure they would be only to happy to oblige.
With all your paper collected you are now ready to use the briquette press to form highly effective fuel burning logs out of wet paper yes that’s right I did say wet paper.
How to make the briquettes.
Making paper briquettes is very simple once you get the hang of it and with a bit of practice you’ll have a nice little production line going in no time at all.
There are two types of wet log makers available, briquettes and cylinder but the process is more or less the same for both. You can also get a dry cylinder log maker.
This is the wet method.
First thing to do is tear up the paper into small strips of a about an inch wide (strips work better than pieces) or use a paper shredder and place them in a large bucket, fill the bucket with water and a add spoonful of bleach which will help the paper break down quicker and stop it smelling.
The bleach is not absolutely necessary so if you don’t want to use it for environmental reasons then that’s fine but make sure all the paper is fully submerged in the water.
Tip: If you want to be more eco friendly you can use water collected from a water butt rather than your household tap.
Leave it soak overnight or a little longer until it turns to mush but not to long or it will start to smell.
You can speed up the process if you want to by using warm water which help break down the paper quicker and enable you to start making briquettes in about 30 minutes, whichever way you decide to go with you will need to give it a good old stir.
The finished paper should look like mushy pulp.
Another method is to use a mixing paddle on the end of a drill and mixing until you get the paper to turn into a pulp but this can get a bit messy so watch yourself. Whichever method you decide to use the whole process is best done outdoors.
Now the paper is ready to be made into logs so get your briquette machine and fill it to the top with the paper pulp squeezing out some of the water as you go with your hands, wear rubber gloves as it can get messy and might even stain your hands from the print.
Tip: If you find that the pulp falls through the holes in the bottom of the machine try placing a piece of newspaper over the holes to act as a liner.
Place the top plate on top of the pulp and give it a push down to extract some more of the water then pull the handles over and use the handles to squeeze out the remaining water.
Tip: Try putting some foam over the metal handles as they can hurt your hands after a while.
Pull the handles back, lift off the top plate and take out the finished brick.
You can turn the brick ninety degrees if you feel the need and put it back into the press and give it another squeeze to get rid of every last drop of water.
Keep repeating this until all the paper has been used up and place your freshly made briquettes in a warm place to dry out, if you have a greenhouse then this is a perfect place for them if not any dry place inside or out is fine.
You can leave them outside in the summer months but keep them out of the rain. If they are not dried out in time and you have radiators on to heat your home try placing then on top of them to speed up the drying times.
Once fully dried store them in a cool dry room that doesn’t get damp and use them when needed.
You now have paper logs that will burn for at least an hour and up to 2 hours satisfied in the knowledge that you have made something that is as environmentally friendly as it can possible be.
Tip: Why not get the kids involved as its quite a fun activity to do and less work for you.
Pro’s and Con’s of using a Briquette Maker.
- Free Heat.
- Burns for over an hour.
- Easy to make.
- Can be made any time of the year.
- Can be used inside and out.
- Can be messy to make.
- Takes time to dry out.