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With access to the energy services mentioned in the previous sections, people are able to improve their livelihoods in a variety of ways. These changes can help shift from a subsistence existence into more productive communities where people are able to enhance their livelihoods through their own efforts. Mechanical power is crucial in enabling people in developing countries to increase both the quality and the quantity of their produce, and in contributing to increased income generation. It should be noted that such benefits must be linked to other factors such as access to markets and availability.

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In the following articles, we would like to share some stories about the advantages of using briquette press and briquettes for your reference.

Elivansoni is a briquette customer in Uganda, who has experienced the benefits of using briquettes made from briquette press. “At first I was using firewood but now I use briquettes. Briquettes made from briquette press just occupy a little space yet with much more heat. Using briquettes I can relax when I am cooking and don’t have to pay as much attention to the fire. Because they burn longer the food will keep warm for a long time. After using briquettes there is no more firewood. So I appreciate the use of briquette press and briquettes. They change my life”.
 
Elivansoni has a family of five to feed and would previously use around 4 bundles of firewood a week costing her around 8000 Ush (US$3.42). With briquettes she uses around 3kg a week which only costs her 1500 Ush (US$0.64). The money she saves on fuel she now uses for other household needs such as buying maize flour. The traditional fire that Elivansoni was previously cooking with gives off a lot of smoke. “Briquettes don’t produce smoke and we can even put the stove inside the house”, she says. “Using firewood gives off a lot of smoke and I would have tears in my eyes and a pain in my head. Now my eyes are clear and my head feels normal. I tell my friends about briquettes and briquette press”.

Briquettes have a wide variety of use from household to industrial. The fuel has not been fully exploited as there has not been scarcity of fuel in the past. However, with the current fuel shortage and ever rising prices, consumers are looking for affordable alternative fuels and briquettes fill this gap for:
• Cooking and water heating in households;
• Heating productive processes such as tobacco curing, fruits, tea drying, poultry rearing etc; 
• Firing ceramics and clay wares such as improved cookstoves, pottery, bricks etc; 
• Fuel for gasifiers to generate electricity;
• Powering boilers to generate steam.

The most important advantages of the briquette are its relative freedom from dust and its ease of handling. Briquettes appear on the market in a wide range of shapes and sizes: oblong, egg-shaped, hexagonal and pillow shaped. The latter seems to be the most accepted with an edge length of about. 50 mm and thickness of 25 mm approximately. 

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