EFCO - Tanzania

Waste Biomass to Charcoal Briquettes in Tanzania

 Contract: 2016.08
Resource Efficiency

Waste Biomass to Charcoal Briquettes in Tanzania

Project Type :

Pilot Project


Technology :

Resource efficiency

Country :



Project Status :


Project Start :

July 2016


End of Project :

December 2019

Partners :

EFCO – Emmental Forest Cooperation,, Anton Küchler


Swiss Contribution

Switzerland, and particularly the Emmental have a long tradition in smallholder farming and sustainable forestry. The extensive experience of the Swiss experts forms the basis for EFCO - Emmental Forest Cooperation to ensure the know-how transfer in small-scale forestry and pyrolysis technology.


There is an urgent need for sustainable fuel sources in Tanzania, where the majority of the population relies on conventional charcoal. Simple technologies can reduce the environmental impacts of conventional charcoal production, one of which is charcoal briquettes made from charcoal dust pyrolysed from waste biomass.

The project’s main objectives are:

  • Demonstrate proof of technical concept for the production of sustainably produced charcoal.
  • Demonstrate proof of economic concept of the production and marketing of green charcoal briquettes.
  • Conduct an impact assessment of the potential positive and negative environmental and socio-economic impacts.


The technical concept’s proof was provided by training 64 people, setting up eight production teams and producing a total of 100 tons of charcoal dust, as well as producing and selling 30 tons of charcoal briquettes.  However, the planned production quantities and the targeted production costs could not be achieved by the time the project was completed.  A tracking system was also set up for the biomass’s guarantee of origin. As those responsible for the project continue to work on optimising the entire production chain and reducing production costs, a business model for multiplication has been developed and upscaling methods are still being sought.


In addition to training people and setting up pilot production, the much hoped-for effects such as the establishment of a profitable production chain for unused biomass, new job creation, and the sale of large quantities of high-quality charcoal briquettes could not be achieved. The project is working with various project partners in Tanzania to find promising solutions and ways to multiply the project’s results.


The Final Report “Waste Biomass to Charcoal Briquettes in Tanzania” and the “corresponding study” are available at