A good knowledge of fuel characteristics is a major asset for their acceptability and their diffusion. The present research is intended to be a contribution to a comparative study of the combustible briquettes locally produced using Municipal Solid Waste (MSW). The physicochemical characterization of the briquettes was carried out by the determination of the moisture content, dry matter, volatile organic matter, fixed carbon, ashes as well as their calorific value. Monitoring their combustion allows comparing them by appreciating their quality. Their physicochemical analysis shows that they are characterized by a moisture content (between 5 and 10% except for the peat that entitled 25.81%), a content in organic matters (between 8.8- 77.7%), fixed carbon content (between 18-57.1%), ash content (from 20.2-40.2%) and the energy content in the range of 12.3-18.6MJ/kg. Compared with charcoal of eucalyptus, which release 33.5MJ/kg, the briquettes are medium to poor fuels. However, their value as substitutes for charcoal and firewood is undeniable. Based on prices in Burundi, the briquettes studied are compared against the price of 1000kcal and their cost range from 68 to 122 BIF/1000kcal. During the cooking tests, the heating curves made it possible to classify the studied briquettes according to their quality in terms of rate as well as their level in fire resistance. Some samples burn very quickly and do not provide prolonged heating while other samples have a slow rate of combustion and release little energy.
Keywords: Biofuels, solid wastes, briquettes, Burundi