Biomass briquettes, mostly made of green waste and other organic materials, are commonly used as solid fuel in industrial boilers, electricity generation, heat, and cooking fuel. These compressed compounds contain various organic materials, including rice husk, bagasse, ground nut shells,verious types of agro wastes and even municipal solid waste, agricultural waste. The composition of the briquettes varies by area due to the availability of raw materials. The raw materials are gathered and compressed into briquette in order to burn longer and make transportation of the goods easier. These briquettes are very different from charcoal because they do not have large concentrations of carbonaceous substances and added materials. Compared to fossil fuels, the briquettes produce low net total greenhouse gas emissions because the materials used are already a part of the carbon cycle.
One of the most common variables of the biomass briquette production process is the way the biomass is dried out. Manufacturers can use torrefaction, carbonization, or varying degrees of pyrolysis. Researchers concluded that torrefaction and carbonization are the most efficient forms of drying out biomass, but the use of the briquette determines which method should be used. Compaction is another factor affecting production. Some materials burn more efficiently if compacted at low pressures, such as corn stover grind. Other materials such as wheat and barley-straw require high amounts of pressure to produce heat.
There are also different press technologies that can be used. A piston press is used to create solid briquettes for a wide array of purposes. Screw extrusion is used to compact biomass into loose, homogeneous briquettes that are substituted for coal in cofiring. This technology creates a toroidal, or doughnut-like, briquette. The hole in the center of the briquette allows for a larger surface area, creating a higher combustion rate.