What’s Next for Briquettes?
Although we have been approaching this project as an appropriate technology for the developing world, I have long held the feeling that this technology is just as appropriate for the developed world as well. Especially in the United States, we love to consume; it’s what we do. All this consumption leads to a lot of waste, particularly food waste. I would love to find a means to convert urban-generated organics into quality charcoal that American BBQ’ers would love to cook with. Why shouldn’t Americans have a sustainable alternative to their traditional cooking fuels, especially one made from an abundant, renewable resource?
The next step for these briquettes and the idea in general is to participate (and win!) the Innovation Quest competition taking place in May at Cal Poly. With a 1st place prize of $15,000, this money could go a long way in terms of better product development, branding, and customer development, potentially making it into the next successful green business. What better place to give the idea a shot than San Luis Obispo? As an entrepreneur, I hope to see this project succeed, knowing the great potential that lies within it. It would also make for an awesome senior project.
As far as further development goes for any incoming groups (or Jake in his Innovation Quest), something of great value that could be explored would be carbonizing the briquettes in a similar fashion to the ways used by Takachar, as a way to address the smoke produced during burning, as well as increase the range of useable materials. Additionally, it would be beneficial for any other group to consider creating the simple hand press we had originally intended to make, since an accessible, easy to make/use/repair design would be pivotal to the success of alternative cooking briquettes in any region that desired to use them.
Also check out our group PowerPoint to learn more about our project and see pictures of the briquettes we made!