We came across this innovative little piece of appropriate technology developed by Beaverton Rotary during our research prior to the consultancy trip this March which is has been used successfully in other developing nations to start microenterprises:
The device uses a car tire jack to compress locally available organic waste material (such as rice or coffee husks, shredded paper, dried grass or leaves, etc) into a high-density, slower-and-cleaner-burning fuel briquettes.
This could be adapted to Mongolian conditions, although adjustments would need to be made:
- Briquettes can only be made during warmer months, when rivers are flowing and the briquettes can dry out.
- Water squeezed from the press during the manufacturing process should be caught and used on crops, as this water will contain 'pulp' organic matter that will break down and help build soils.
- Suitable organic matter needs to be found: paper waste is plentiful in urban areas, and once trees and/or crop systems are established, the plants may drop enough organic waste matter to be used for briquettes.
Once again, we can see how valuable tree-cropping systems can be for creating food security and economic opportunity. Appropriately selected species of trees can provide:
- Renewable sources of winter fuels (coppiced woodlots).
- Emergency animal fodder (Ulmus and some Salix species).
- Human nutrition (fruit & nut trees).
- Construction materials (Larch and Spruce).
- Bimoass (all of the above species + more), which can be used to protect & build soils (mulches, green manures & biochar) and create an additional fuel supply through biogas (fermentation process).
For more information about the Peterson Press, download this information brochure: