DENR promotes production of charcoal briquettes
by T. Villavert
Iloilo City (13 February) -- The production of charcoal briquettes that use forest wastes as raw materials is not only environment-friendly, but it provides an alternative livelihood opportunities for the people in step with the thrust of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
This was the gist of the message of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Lito Atienza during the launching of a community-based project on charcoal briquettes production in Tondo, Manila, recently.
The DENR press report disclosed that Secretary Atienza explained during the launching that the charcoal briquettes, when burned, emit a steady heat with low clean flame and, therefore, environment-friendly fuel alternative for cooking and other industrial uses. It is also easy to ignite and burns completely in at least 50 minutes.
The technology of making charcoal briquettes was developed by the DENR through its research arm, the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB), using leaves, twigs, stems and other forest wastes as raw materials.
According to the DENR press report the raw materials (forest wastes) are first carbonized in a drum before they are fed into a grinding machine to transform them into fine materials. The ground (fine) materials are then mixed with binders like gelatinized starch, and then compacted in a molder to produce uniform sized briquettes.
The project is aimed at reducing the pressure of cutting trees in the natural forests which used to be the traditional source of raw materials for charcoal making and to provide for additional livelihood opportunities for the upland farmers.
Other benefits from the production of charcoal briquettes is the enhancement of resource recovery from forest wastes, provision of cheap source of fuel for domestic and industrial uses and production of an environment-friendly biofuel, the DENR press report. (PIA 6) [top]