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The study appraised briquette users’ opinions on the apparent properties and environment friendliness of the briquettes bonded by 30% and 40% starch composited saw dust collected from Marine and Illoabuchi Sawmills in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Multistage sampling was used amongst 100 plantain (Bo-lae) roasters, meat barbecue (Suya), Garri (carbohydrate based food), and Akara (baked bean cake) respondents to elicit information on use of briquettes as an alternative source of energy on a 4-point Likert scale. The results showed that male user-respondents were 22 (88%) and 21 (84%) and female 3 (12%) from Marine and Illoabuchi sawmills, respectively. The 41-50 respondent age bracket were the most represented in both sawmills-Marine Base and Illoabuchi 12 (48%) and 11 (44%) respectively, followed by 31-40 (7: 28%) and 51-60 (4: 16%) in Illaboachi sawmill, while the 51-60 and 31-40 age groups were 6 (24%) and 5 (20%), respectively. Amongst the businesses run by respondents, users from Marine Base, plantain roasting was highest at 7 (28%), followed by fish barbecue and akara with 6 (24%), Suya had 5(20%), while at Illoabuchi, Suya grillers had 9 (36%), followed by plantain roasters 8 (32%). Garri stewards and Akara had the same 3 (12%). Environment friendliness and physical properties showed that briquettes smoked well with cut off Mark (M =3.04 and 3.80), smelled pleasantly (M=3.03 and 2.68), stuffy and choky smoke (M=0.4 and 1.00) and irritation of eyes had M=3.25 and 4.00 at Illaobuchi and Marine Base sawmills, respectively. Darkening pots, burning with dark smoke and being affected by water had their cut off marks at 1.33 and 1.40 (rejected), 2.63 and 2.50 (accepted) and 2.01 and 2.12 (rejected), portable, cheap and useful had M= 2.45 and 3.00, 3.60 and 3.60 and 3.40 and 3.09 from both mills respectively. This study recommends that briquetting of sawdust from sawmills be promoted via automation to maximize its utilization status.
First Online07 August 2018.
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