What is a paper briquette maker.
A briquette maker is a very easy to use eco friendly way to make paper logs that you use to burn on an open fire or wood burning stove and will reduce you carbon footprint and save you money. In the garden they can also be used in chimaeras and fire pits or even on a barbeque. 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.
The idea is to simply use 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 it 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 but also for your pocket as the end product gives you 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. Even if you don’t make enough logs to see you through the winter you can still use them to supplement your normal supply.
The briquette press is a great 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. So why would you want to use expensive real wood logs when you can recycle the paper that you would normally throw away or send to the recycling depot.
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.
What if you don’t have enough paper to recycle, then 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 paper log 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. There are two types of log makers available, briquettes and cylinder but the process is the same for both.
First thing to do is tear up the paper into small strips of a about an inch wide (strips work better than pieces) and place them in a large bucket, you then cover with water and a 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. If you want to be more eco friendly you can use water collected from a water butt rather than your household tap.
You then leave it overnight but it could take longer for it to break down into a form of pulp. You can speed up the process if you want to by using warm water which 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 (that builders use for mixing plaster) on the end of a drill and mixing until you get the paper to turn into a pulp, be aware this can get a bit messy so watch yourself. Whichever method you decide to use the whole process is best done outside.
Once the paper is ready to be made into logs you can 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. If you find that the pulp falls through the holes in the bottom of the machine try placing a piece of dry newspaper over the holes to act as a liner.
Place the press on top of the pulp and push down to extract some of the water then pull the handles over and use the handles to squeeze out the remaining water. Lift the handles back up and lift off the press, take out the brick and your done. Try putting some foam over the metal handles or wear padded gloves as they can hurt your hands after using the press for a while.
You could if you want to turn the brick ninety degrees and put it back into the press and give it another squeeze to get rid of every last drop of water.
Keep repeating making the paper briquettes/logs 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 outside 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 satisfied in the knowledge that you have made something that is as environmentally friendly as it can possible be. Why not get the kids involved as its quite a fun activity to do and less work for you.
Below is a sample of briquette makers available from Amazon.co.uk. Clicking on any of the images below will take you to Amazon where you will get more information for that product and be able to purchase it.
Pro’s and Con’s of using a Briquette Maker.
- Free Heat.
- Eco friendly.
- 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.