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PH technology reaps international recognition

By Catherine J. Torres

MANILA, Sept. 26 (PNA) -– A technology Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) developed to produce environment-friendly charcoal will receive this November formal recognition for being among the world’s best environmental practices.

The Green Organization will recognize charcoal briquetting which utilizes abandoned biomass instead of trees to produce charcoal, noted this technology’s proponent Santiago Baconguis who’s chief science research specialist of DENR- Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau.

”That technology’s one of the entries chosen for the International Green Apple Environment Awards,” he said Thursday on the side of the second national climate change conference in Metro Manila.

The awarding is an annual activity to recognize, reward and promote best environmental practices worldwide.

Baconguis is scheduled to receive the award on Nov. 11 this year.

According to the Green Organization, the awarding ceremony will be at the Houses of Parliament in London.

For the awards, the Green Organization welcomes entries covering initiatives which either yield positive environmental impacts or promote sustainability.

DENR expects use of charcoal briquetting to help reduce cutting of trees, which people do to get wood for making traditional charcoal, since the technology uses abandoned biomass like twigs, leaves and other forest waste instead.

Baconguis earlier raised urgency for alternatives like charcoal briquetting, noting poultry farms, households and domestic enterprises consume some 590 tons of wood charcoal annually – a volume he said is equivalent to about 26,970 cubic meters of fuelwood.

Charcoal briquetting can likewise help generate alternative livelihood for people and communities willing to adapt this technology.

”Our equipment has a briquette production capacity of about 300 kg per day,” Baconguis said.

He earlier estimated briquette production cost at about PhP8 per kilo.

The briquettes can be sold at more than twice such production cost, he noted.

Last month, Baconguis spearheaded demonstration of charcoal briquetting technology in Caloocan City.

DENR also demonstrated the technology in 2009 at Don Bosco Youth Center in Tondo, Manila.

The agency showed people at the youth center that to make charcoal briquettes, abandoned biomass is merely carbonized in a drum then placed in a briquettor where the material is moulded into the desired product shape.

Baconguis also informed them that a condenser must be attached to the drum when smoke emission begins during the carbonization process to draw out the liquid carbon.

He estimated at about PhP1,500 cost then to manufacture the smoke condenser which can be made from bamboo. (PNA)


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