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Fuel Briquettes from Alabama Lignite by Destructive Distillation at Low Temperatures and Briquetting the Residue without a Binder




Basore, Cleburne Ammen


The object of this investigation is to call attention to the presence of the Alabama lignite and, if possible, to find a method for the profitable utilization of this material. As a result of this investigation, a process has been developed for the manufacture of a good grade fuel briquette involving the following steps: (1) The raw lignite is air-dried and then preheated or subjected to low temperature distillation at a temperature sufficient to remove practically all the water and much of the volatile matter of the lignite. As a result, the weight is decreased about one third, much of the smoke is eliminated and the heating value of the lignite is appreciably increased. (2) The preheated lignite residue is then ground, moistened with water and briquetted hot without the addition of a binder. The resulting briquettes are firm and strong enough to withstand rough handling, and they resist weathering to an extent which would permit shipment and storage if protected from direct rainfall. (3) The optimum conditions for carrying out the various steps in the process have been determined and a study made of the probable large-scale equipment and cost of manufacture. (4) Judging from the apparent quality of the briquette and the estimated cost of production, the briquettes have considerable promise. Note.-Alabama lignite deposits have not been developed sufficiently for the variation in the lignite from different localities to be determined. Apparently there is considerable variation in Alabama lignite. While the samples employed for this work are believed to be representative of much of the lignite, the process described above is not necessarily applicable to all Alabama lignites. Preliminary briquetting tests should be carried out on an unknown deposit in order to determine if this method is applicable.