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Bamboo charcoal is made up of pieces of bamboo, which are taken from plants five years or older and burned inside an oven at temperatures over 800 to 1200 °C. It benefits environmental protection by reducing pollutant residue. It is an environmentally functional material that has excellent absorption properties.
Bamboo charcoal has a long history in China and has been documented as early as 1486 during the Ming dynasty in Chuzhou Fu Zhi. Later, it was also mentioned in the Qing dynasty during the reigns of the Kangxi, Qianlong and Guangxu emperors.
Bamboo charcoal is made of bamboo by means of a pyrolysis process. According to the types of raw material, bamboo charcoal can be classified as raw bamboo charcoal and bamboo briquette charcoal. Raw bamboo charcoal is made of bamboo plant parts such as culms, branches, and roots. Bamboo briquette charcoal is made of bamboo residue, for example, bamboo dust, saw powder etc., by compressing the residue into sticks of a certain shape and carbonizing the sticks. There are two equipment processes used in carbonization, one is a brick kiln process, and the other is a mechanical process.
Bamboo charcoal is mainly used as fuel for cooking and drying tea in China and Japan. Most bamboo charcoal for fuel is bamboo briquette charcoal, and the rest is raw bamboo charcoal. As with any charcoal, bamboo charcoal can be used to purify water and eliminate organic impurities and smells. Drinking water sterilized with chlorine can be treated with bamboo charcoal to remove residual chlorine and chlorides. Thomas Edison's original light bulb had a carbonized bamboo filament.
Bamboo vinegar, or pyroligneous acid, is extracted when making charcoal and is used for hundreds of treatments in almost all fields. This liquid contains 400 different chemical compounds and can be applied for many purposes including cosmetics, insecticides, deodorants, food processing, and agriculture.
- "Bamboo charcoal can boost fish growth: study". The China Post (Taiwan). 6 April 2009. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
- J. Ruttanavut, K. Yamauchi, H. Goto, T. Erikawa (2009). "Effects of dietary bamboo charcoal powder including vinegar liquid on growth performance and histological intestinal change in aigamo ducks" (PDF). International Journal of Poultry 8 (3): 229–36. ISSN 1682-8356.
- Manual of Bamboo Charcoal Production and Utilization by Guan Mingjie of the Bamboo Engineering Research Center (BERC)
- Bamboo Charcoal – Information and How-to guide on making bamboo charcoal