Judging from the releases we receive now and then, we are sure the FPRDI is doing a good job for entrepreneurs, especially those who are in the wood-based industries. FPRDI, of course, is the Forest Products Development Institute, an agency of the Department of Science and Technology, based in Los Baños.
The latest technology announced by FRDI is the development of a bamboo charcoaling kiln which produces high quality charcoal that is good not only for household use but also for industrial application.
According to FPRDI, bamboo charcoal is a powerful cleaning agent widely used in industries to purify many kinds of substances such as water, air, precious metals, alcoholic beverages and others. It is also widely tapped in cosmetics and food processing as well as in agriculture.
Aside from the charcoaling kiln, FPRDI has also come up with a drum kiln, a hydraulic briquettor and a crusher. These three equipment are used for making charcoal briquettes which are solid charcoal that is easier to ignite, burns slower and emits more steady heat than the ordinary charcoal.
What is also significant is that aside from producing charcoal, the bamboo charcoaling kiln also produces a valuable byproduct called pyroligneus liquor commonly called industrial vinegar, wood vinegar, mokusako and by some other names by adoptors.
The wood vinegar plays an important role in organic farming. For instance, Jeff Laruan of Lily of the Valley Organic Farm in La Trinidad, Benguet, uses wood vinegar as a compost activator so that materials being composted (grasses, tree leaves, etc.) are turned into organic fertilizer in just a matter of 15 days. Without an activator, it could take months to decompose farm wastes and other materials.
Jeff Laruan also uses wood vinegar to produce liquid fertilizer that can be used as foliar fertilizer or as soil drench. The fertilizer does not only promote growth of plants, it also acts as a repellant to pests.
Wood vinegar is also considered as a probiotic that is added to the feeds and drinking water of livestock and poultry. This enhances proper digestion of feeds so that the nutrients are more easily absorbed by the animals. The probiotic is also responsible for eliminating bad odor in the pigpen.
To prepare calphos or calcium phosphate which is good for flowering and fruiting plants, Jeff gets a 20-liter pail or container and fills a third of this with wood vinegar. Lime, which is a product of burning oyster shell, is added little by little to the wood vinegar until bubbling stops. This is rich in zinc, which is a micronutrient useful for flowering and fruiting plants.
THE GOOD NEWS – What is heartening is that a company in Bayambang, Pangasinan, which has tried the four technologies developed by FRDI is all set to adopt them for large-scale production of bamboo charcoal and pyrolygneous liquor. The company is the CS First Green Agri-Industrial Development headed by Levin Uy. Mr. Uy said that after using bamboo wastes from their plantation, he fbelieves the technologies will help create jobs, and can help Bayambang build a thriving bamboo industry.
HANDICRAFT DRYER – Another technology that is helping a handicrafts manufacturers produce better products is the handicraft dryer that was adopted by Starwood Manufacturing Co. about four years ago.
The handicraft dryer has helped Starwood to dry their raw materials properly so that they are not easily affected by molds. The raw materials include acacia wood, vines and driftwood.
The handicraft dryer does not only dry the materials to the right moisture content, it also cuts drying period. For instance, it normally takes 1-4 weeks to dry the materials under the sun. With the handicraft dryer, it takes only 2-4 days to dry them.