At the International Cooking Energy Forum in Bonn BTG Biomass Technology Group (BTG) presented a new tool that gives small and medium enterprises, trade organisations and policy makers in developing countries insight in the potential of charcoal production from alternative feedstocks. Examples are charcoal dust, harvest residues like cotton stalks, processing residues and invasive species. Besides feedstock selection insight is given in the available carbonisation and briquetting technologies and sales opportunities in the charcoal market.
At least 80% of the African population depends on traditional biomass resources such as charcoal and firewood for household energy use. Most charcoal is produced in forests near urban areas, where most charcoal consumption takes place. Charcoal production from wood is an important cause of deforestation, one of the most urgent environmental problems of Africa. One of the solutions to prevent deforestation is to promote the use of alternative feedstocks for wood charcoal.
The tool is developed by BTG on behalf of NL Agency and free available under publications (registration required).