A technology for producing high quality charcoal from bamboo has been introduced by the Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI).
The technology is an improvement on existing charcoal kilns, and was developed under the “High Quality Charcoal from Bamboo for Industrial Uses” project, which is being monitored and funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture and the Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).
Belen B. Bisana, project leader from FPRDI, designed the machine. The bamboo charcoaling kiln can also produce pyroligneous liquor (PL) or wood vinegar recovered from the destructive distillation of bamboo when it is converted into charcoal.
The new charcoaling kiln is being used at CS First Green Agri-Industrial Development Inc., a 30,000-hectare bamboo plantation in Pangasinan.
Bisana said that when bamboo is used as a raw material, the resulting charcoal can perform like activated carbon. The improved charcoaling kiln can yield 34.56 to 44.50 percent charcoal, compared with the traditionally used pit, drum, and brick kilns, which can only yield 25 to 31 percent.
To monitor and evaluate the project, the Forestry and Environment Research Division (FERD) of PCAARRD conducted a two-day site visit in Bayambang, Pangasinan. Dr. Leila C. America, FERD Officer-In-Charge, led the monitoring team composed of Dr. Nimfa K. Torreta, PCAARRD Industry Strategic S&T Program (ISP) Manager for Bamboo and Biodiversity, and Eirene Grace C. Zaragoza, also of FERD.
Classified under DOST-PCAARRD’s strategic R&D banner program, the new technology is envisioned to alleviate poverty by creating employment in the rural areas. The next phase of the project is the development of products out of bamboo charcoal and bamboo vinegar.