Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Green fuel from rice and coconuts

Green fuel from rice and coconuts

Green fuel from rice and coconuts

TWO green-focused NGOs have developed a new fuel which aims to reduce deforestation and provide an income to poor families near the former Stung Meanchey dump in Phnom Penh.

The “charbriquettes” promoted by Sustainable Green Fuel Enterprise, created by two NGOs, are made of rice husks and coconuts.

“When the dump site near Pour un Sourire d’Enfant closed, the NGO was willing to find a substitute income for the families,” said Antoine Cabassu, part of the sales and marketing team for NGO Geres and SCFE. “Geres had heard about ovens that could be used to carbonise the biomass,” he said.

Two years ago, PSE and Geres set up SGFE to hire workers from Phnom Penh’s poorest communities to make the briquettes, used as solid fuel instead of wood in stoves.

Today, the enterprise functions with two security guards and 12 employees, who earn US$80 a month and benefit from health insurance.

The briquettes are a way to improve the management of waste materials and reduce greenhouse gas discharges.

Waste coconuts and rice husks often decomposes and discharges methane, a gas 24 times worse than carbon dioxide in affecting global warming, according to Cabassu.

This product, ideal for barbecues, also produces no smoke – which can be toxic – during the cooking process.

The “charbriquettes” have been for sale since last January, but SGFE has just launched a commercial expansion drive. For the moment, exporting to Japan enables the enterprise to have time to develop, but the aim remains to capture a larger share of the Cambodian market, which traditionally relies on charcoal to cook.

However, charbriquettes are more expensive than charcoal, at 2,300 riel for a kilogramme of premium fuel that burns for two hours and US$1 for a kilogramme of diamond fuel that burns for five hours. The charbriquettes are currently available at Lucky Supermarket and some Tela gas stations.


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of

  • One Australian, one Cambodian killed in explosion at military base

    Updated: 5:20pm, Friday 16 March 2018 An Australian tourist and a Cambodian soldier were killed in an explosion on Thursday afternoon at an army base in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. The Australian, whom the government initially identified as a technical demining expert in his 40s, and

  • Peeling back layers of prehistory in Battambang

    When the man passed away, he had not yet reached 50. He belonged to a tribe that had settled near the Sangker River in Battambang province, likely cultivating the fields and raising animals. On the side, they hunted for boars, and even turtles, one of which