During the summer of 2009 I led a team of 8 students conducting an investigation of the feasibility of using agricultural residue for biomass energy. We made our own briquettes, measured their energy density, assessed their combustion performance, and designed a water-cooled stove to reduce ash buildup.
We made briquettes out of many different materials, this one is compressed reed-canary grass.
We quantified the energy released using a can of water and measuring the temperature rise for a given amount of biomass fuel.
Our improved stove had a feed chute and was water cooled to prevent ash buildup inside. It doubled as a water heater.