Research on solid biofuels from cotton waste biomass – alternative for Tajikistan’s energy sector development
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An increasing awareness of the negative environmental cost associated with the combustion of fossil fuels and concerns over the geopolitical instability of the main oil producing regions is driving the development of renewable energy sources and biofuels. Use of solid biofuels made of different types of biomass became perspective alternative to conventional fuels in many countries. Such positive indicators as low cost of the final product that meets the quality of standards, not capital intensive production, possibility of producing briquettes/pellets from almost any agricultural waste or combination of raw materials are undoubted advantages of biomass based fuels. The main challenges for Tajikistan’s energy sector, which is depended on energy imports, are: to increase energy supply through better exploitation of hydropower and other renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and primary biofuels. Within the agricultural sector of Tajikistan, which is highly agrarian country, cotton accounts for 60% of agricultural output. According to the Ministry of Agriculture of Tajikistan 199,400 hectares of lands have been allocated to cotton cultivation in the year of 2014. Plenty of unused cotton residual biomass could be effectively utilized for winter heating in rural areas. The main focus of the research was to investigate and assess physical, chemical and mechanical properties of pellets and briquettes produced form cotton waste biomass.