7 Briquetting Myths Debunked

Not sure if briquette making is right for your company? Several myths about the process may give you pause, but make sure you have accurate information so you can make an informed decision.

Myth: Only a few materials can be briquetted.

Truth: It’s true that the most common materials processed into briquettes are wood chips, sawdust and aluminum. But did you know that the briquetting process suits just about any material you can think of? A wide range of metals can be processed into briquettes, such as copper, magnesium, titanium and cast iron. Then there are materials you would never imagine: banknotes, bark, cotton, hay, textile dust. Even tobacco, of all things, can be used in briquette making.

Myth: There is no way to determine which materials can be briquetted and which ones can’t.

Truth: RUF Briquetting Systems can test waste materials to determine their suitability for briquetting. We can also design a custom processing system for a given operation.

Myth: Briquette processing of wood might make sense, but trying to make briquettes out of metals doesn’t seem worth the trouble.

Truth: Briquettes make scrap chips more valuable because melting them yields more metal than loose chips. Briquetting metal also allows for the reclamation of coolant and reduces floor space storage requirements and handling and transportation costs.

Myth: Even if metals could be briquetted, it doesn’t address what to do with waste oil in a production plant.

Truth: Actually, not only does the briquetting process suit metals, but it also allows reclamation of oil, lubricants and other liquids that are used in metalworking. For example, it’s possible to recover up to 98 percent of cutting fluids from metal and sludge.

Myth: Briquette making requires a major disruption of operations.

Truth: Both briquetting machines and briquettes themselves economize available space. Paired with their ability to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week unattended, RUF briquetting machines’ small footprints allow them to be easily incorporated into existing production lines without the need for special foundations. The compact sizes of briquettes free up production facility space and optimize handling and transportation costs.

Myth: Briquette making adds a production process to an operation, so it doesn’t seem like a very sustainable practice.

Truth: Reusing something rather than landfilling it is always a sustainable practice. Despite best efforts to prevent groundwater contamination by landfills, the potential always exists for stormwater runoff to cause contaminants to leach out. Additionally, processing naturally occurring materials into briquettes yields environmentally safe products. Our machines form briquettes under high pressure without using artificial binders. For example, wood briquettes made with RUF machines are carbon-neutral. When they’re burned, they release only as much carbon dioxide as the trees they came from absorbed during photosynthesis.
Briquetting is good business, too: It helps your operation adhere to waste treatment and waste disposal regulations. Briquetting and other methods recently helped Ford of Europe achieve zero waste to landfill at its manufacturing plants. Another European company, Knauf Insulation, has reduced the amount of its landfill waste by nearly half in just five years.

Myth: Briquetting doesn’t improve the bottom line of a business.

Truth: Briquette making can reduce the need to purchase new production raw material or even add a revenue stream to a production operation. After processing grinding sludge or metal shavings into metal briquettes, a company can melt them for reuse or sell them as scrap to foundries. Wood briquettes can be used as fuel for commercial wood boilers or furnaces, or sold to homeowners for use in their fireplaces or wood-burning stoves. RUF briquetting machines are designed to be low-maintenance and operate continuously with an hourly production rate of up to 8,000 pounds per hour. Due in part to this productive capacity, the average payback period on RUF Briquetting Systems is less than 18 months.

One RUF customer, UK-based Ultimate Training Munitions, which makes training ammunition and safety systems for close-quarter battle training exercises for militaries and law enforcement agencies, grew its scrap revenue by 250 percent and the company reuses the processing oil it reclaims during briquette making.

If you’re looking to do more with your production waste, it’s time to take a closer look at briquetting as an option. Contact RUF at 888-894-5773 or reach us online for more help determining if our equipment is a good fit for your business.