Design and fabrication of biomass densification machine for teaching and research purposes

Segun Emmanuel Ibitoye*, Rasheedat M. Mahamood, Tien-Chien Jen, Chanchal Loha, Esther T. Akinlabi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In developing nations, research output is limited due to factors like unreliable power supply and inadequate laboratory equipment. The high cost of purchasing completed laboratory equipment and the unavailability of accessories for imported equipment further contribute to this issue. A biomass densification machine was designed and constructed to address these challenges for teaching and research purposes. The machine was tested at five different compaction pressures (100, 200, 300, 400, and 500 kPa) using gelatinized cassava starch as a binder. The physical and mechanical characteristics of the produced fuel briquettes were investigated following ASTM standards and procedures reported in the literature. The results show that the physical and mechanical properties of the fuel briquettes increase with compaction pressure. The compressive strength, durability, and water resistance of the briquettes varied between 55 and 101 kN·m−2, 89–99%, and 20–120 min, respectively, while the compressed and relaxed densities range from 0.780 to 1.220 g·cm−3 and 0.670 to 0.990 g·cm−3, respectively. The machine performed satisfactorily because the briquettes’ characteristics were found to meet the specified ISO Standard (17225). The development of this machine will enable academic institutions, researchers, and students to harness the potential of biomass through the densification process without the challenges posed by imported equipment. The creation of the machine will also facilitate students’ hands-on learning. By providing an easily accessible and reliable platform, academic and research institutions can integrate biomass solid fuel production experiments into their curricula, fostering a thorough understanding of renewable energy solutions and supporting sustainable practices. Therefore, it can be recommended for teaching and research in developing nations. Incorporating an electronic component, such as a digital pressure gauge and electric hydraulic jack, is recommended for future research to enhance the performance.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalBiomass Conversion and Biorefinery
Early online date19 Jul 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Jul 2023

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