image: chardust ltd
Chardust Ltd: sustainable charcoal production in Kenya
by Tim Willmott : Be the first to leave a comment
In Kenya, a small company called Chardust has developed a method for turning charcoal dust into fuel-efficient ‘briquettes’ for use in improved cooking stoves. The dust is sieved, milled, mixed with a small amount of clay and water to bind it, then passed through a ‘sausage-machine’ device to make the ‘briquettes’.
Chardust was founded in 2000 to produce substitutes for charcoal on a commercially sustainable basis. Given that charcoal generally wholesales for less than $150 per tonne in the developing world, this was at one time thought impossible. Chardust, however, by making use of low-priced raw materials, ample labour supply and a good measure of innovation, set out to produce fuels that could sell directly into traditional charcoal markets and compete head-to-head on both price and quality. With daily sales now in excess of 7 tonnes, this goal has clearly been achieved!
Chardust’s centre of operations is a 2 acre plot in the Lang’ata area of Nairobi. This is the company head office and home of the briquetting operation and Chardust’s programme of research and development.
Chardust’s main product is the Vendor’s Waste Briquette – ‘VWB’. This is a pillow-shaped briquette weighing approximately 35 gms. It is made from charcoal dust and fines that are salvaged from charcoal traders across the city of Nairobi. VWB burns for over 3 hours with no smoke, sparks or smell. This makes it ideal for space heating and water heating applications, as well as cooking and roasting. VWB is sold to institutional customers such as poultry farms, hotels, lodges and restaurants, as well as to charcoal dealers and individuals for direct sales into the domestic market.
P.O. Box 24371
Phone: +254 (0)20 3538995 / 3538996