The Paper Brick Maker recycles waste paper and cardboard into combustible bricks that can be used in place of firewood in a stove. The paper can be burned alone or it can be mixed with many combustible fuels like wood chips, grass or coal dust. Paper is a very good binder and should be used in combination with any other waste fuel that is available.

Directions for making a paper brick

Mix the paper or cardboard with water in a drum, stirring occasionally. If you add a little bleach (Clorox, Jik, etc.), about 1tablespoon/bucket, it will greatly speed up the process.

When the paper is coming apart into soft pieces, grab a big, soggy, wet double-handful and plunk it into the Paper Brick Maker. Place the lid onto the top and fold the handles over. Pressing down on the handles helps squeeze out most of the water (shown on the right).

Turn over the Paper Brick Maker and press out the brick (shown on the right). It will be soft and you should carry it on the base plate to a shelf for drying. Leave it for a long time and the water will evaporate. The paper, or preferably paper-sawdust-chopped grass mix, will dry into a hard brick that can be used in the place of wood. Reports from the Women for Peace movement in Johannesburg indicate that a coal or wood stove will burn 4 of these per hour. They sell for approximately 2-1/2 cents (US$) each in the eastern townships.

Coal dust

Mixing in coal dust (waste) also improves the burning of waste products, as long as the dust comes from coal with a relatively high volatiles content. If it is semi-anthracitic it will not ignite.

Production time

The bricks can be moulded at a rate of about 1 every 45 seconds. The soaking of the paper takes about 1 hour minimum with lots of agitation, 4 days being optimal. The maximum depends on the volume of the container (i.e. a drum) and whether or not bleach is being used. When properly soaked (retted), less paper is required to give a strong product. Soaking for more than 10 days leads to bacterial problems. Less agitation is needed the longer it is retted.

Paper Brick Maker -- (230x90mm fuel brick) makes fuel out of waste papercall
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Parts of a Paper Brick Maker:
Paper brick parts

Assembled Paper Brick Maker shown ready to squeeze paper:
Paper brick assembled

Ejecting a paper brick:
Paper brick ejecting

Large newspaper+sawdust briquette:
Large news paper saw dust

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