If you enjoy eating peanuts, you might have disposed of numerous shells at this point. But did you know that you can maximize a peanut’s entirety down to its shell and use it as a natural burning agent?

Peanut shells do burn well if turned into briquettes or pellets to serve as a natural and eco-friendly fuel. They are a lignocellulosic material containing carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen, making them efficiently combustible. Their moisture content and temperature affect their efficiency when burning. 

Keep reading this article as I discuss why peanut shells burn well under the right conditions. I will also talk about how they are transformed into briquettes and pellets, and whether they are a great alternative fuel source.

Why Peanut Shells Burn Well

Cellulose and lignin are the primary chemicals found in peanut shells. Specifically, they are composed of 48 wt% of cellulose, 28 wt% of lignin, and 3 wt% of hemicellulose. Therefore, peanut shells are a lignocellulosic material consisting of oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen. These three elements contribute to their flammability, resulting in them burning well.

In addition, peanut shells burn better when turned into briquettes or pellets because the moisture content decreases as they are compressed, increasing the combustibility significantly. 

The moisture content of any material significantly affects its flammability since it requires a high temperature to combust properly. Thus, the lower the moisture content of the peanut shells, the better the chance it will ignite and maintain the fire.

Turning peanut shells into briquettes or pellets is highly recommended. Loose peanut shells will not produce the results you are looking for since they still contain a lot of moisture, making them harder to store and burn.

How Peanut Shells Are Turned Into Briquettes and Pellets

Creating briquettes and pellets requires natural raw materials such as agricultural, wood, or animal waste. And in this case, tons of peanut shells. Although they share the same material, briquettes and pellets have differences which you can see in the table below.

ShapeSquare or Rectangle or HexagonCylindrical
Moisture Content5%14%
Production EquipmentBriquette PressPellet Mill

How To Make Peanut Shell Briquettes

Follow these steps to make your own peanut shell briquettes: 

  1. Prepare and gather your peanut shells.
  2. Grind the shells to produce high-quality briquettes.
  3. Make sure the ground shells are not very moist. Otherwise, allow them to dry until the excess liquid evaporates. In contrast, if the shells are too dry, spritz a bit of water to introduce adequate moisture back into the ground peanut shells.
  4. Place the mixture into a briquette press and collect the briquettes.
  5. Before storing them in a well-ventilated and dry place, make sure the peanut shell briquettes are at a normal temperature.

Watch this video from the Henan Dongfang Food Machinery Equipment Limited Company’s Youtube channel to see a demonstration of how agricultural waste is turned into briquettes using a briquette press:

Benefits of Using Peanut Shell Briquettes

  • Peanut shell briquettes have 5% moisture content since they are heavily compressed in the briquette press. Therefore, they are highly combustible.
  • They last long because they are stored properly and are cost-efficient, allowing you to save money.
  • They are compacted and smooth, allowing a cleaner burning process.

Where To Use Peanut Shell Briquettes

  • Cooking and grilling: Peanut shell briquettes are great for cooking and grilling since they last longer and burn cleaner than regular charcoal. The heat produced from the briquettes is more controlled and slower, which is perfect if you plan on leaving your meat on the grill for hours.

How To Make Peanut Shell Pellets

Here’s the step-by-step process for making peanut shell pellets: 

  1. Gather your peanut shells.
  2. Before drying them, put the shells in a screening machine to remove any impurities.
  3. Make sure all the shells are as dry as possible to produce denser pellets.
  4. Place the dry peanut shells in the pellet mill.
  5. At this point, your peanut shell pellets are still hot and fragile, so cool them down to a normal temperature before storing them in a dry and cool place.

Watch this video to see how GEMCO Energy produces their peanut shell pellets:

Benefits of Using Peanut Shell Pellets

  • Peanut shell pellets generate less ash, making them more eco-friendly.
  • Given their small size, they are easy to store and transport.
  • Peanut shells are one of the most common materials used to make pellets. That’s why they are widely accessible.

Applications of Peanut Shell Pellets

  • Cooking: Like peanut shell briquettes, peanut shell pellets are also a common substitute for charcoal.
  • Heating: They are used in broilers in restaurants and hotels to help them comply with the environmental requirements. 
  • Animal bedding: Peanut shell pellets can also be used as bedding for horses and cat litter.

Peanut Shells as an Alternative Fuel

Peanut shells converted into briquettes and pellets are an excellent alternative fuel source because they are affordable and accessible. They can help you save money if you use fuel regularly all year round.

Aside from that, both options have an excellent combustion rate, low emission, and produce less ash than other common fuel sources, such as charcoal. As a result, they are a more eco-friendly option. 

The use of peanut shell briquettes and pellets also promotes lesser or even zero waste, which is another good reason you should consider switching to them.

Final Thoughts

Peanut shells burn well once turned into briquettes and pellets. However, the moisture level and temperature will affect their flammability.

Once the peanut shell briquettes and pellets are produced, they make great substitutes for other fuel sources, such as coal and charcoal, as they emit toxic chemicals that pollute the air.

So whenever you snack on some peanuts, do not forget to save the shells and turn them into an eco-friendly and energy-efficient fuel source. Switching to a natural combustible not only helps fight global warming, but it can also you save money.

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