Bioresources for Sustainable Pellet Production in Zambia: Twelve Biomasses Pelletized at Different Moisture Contents

Lisa Henriksson, Stefan Frodeson, Jonas Berghel, Simon Andersson, Mattias Ohlson


The use of charcoal and firewood for cooking is common in Zambia, and its utilization is such that the deforestation rate is high, energy utilization is low, and unfavorable cooking methods lead to high death rates due to indoor air pollution mainly from particulate matter and carbon monoxide. By using an alternative cooking method, such as pellet stoves, it is possible to offer a sustainable solution, provided that sustainable pellet production can be achieved. In this study, 12 different available biomaterials were pelletized in a single pellet unit to investigate their availability as raw materials for pellet production in Zambia. The study showed that sicklebush and pigeon pea generated the same pelleting properties correlated with compression and friction and that both materials showed low moisture uptake. The study also identified two groups of materials that broadened the raw material base and helped to achieve sustainable pellet production. Group 1 consisted of materials with equal pelleting abilities (miombo, peanut shell, pigeon pea, and sicklebush) and Group 2 consisted of materials that showed low impact of varying moisture content (eucalyptus, miombo, peanut shell, pigeon pea, and sicklebush). The hardest pellet was made from Tephrosia, which was followed by Gliricidia.


Biomass pellets; Single pellet press, Densification; Backpressure; Chemical composition

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Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022,; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, URLs:; ISSN: 1930-2126