Growing market for Wood Vinegar
Wood Vinegar (WV), or Pyroligneous Acid (PA), is a biodegradable, brown, and aqueous liquid distilled from biomass and produced through thermal, chemical, or biochemical processes. It is used in the agricultural sector because of its high germicidal properties attributed to compounds such as phenols, methanol, acetone, and acetic acid.
In the modern method of fast pyrolysis, fine ground biomass is exposed to a high temperature of about 500 – 800˚C in a specialised reactor with a vapour residence time of fewer than five seconds. The vapour is rapidly cooled to produce bio-oil and the gaseous compounds condensed into WV. The nature and chemical composition of WV depends on residence time, heating time, temperature, particle size, and biomass sources.
Wood vinegar enhances domestic animal health when added to a feed, increases yield, vitality, and quality in crops. It boosts plant and fruit growth, improves seed germination, stops pests, and weeds, prevents roots from rotting, and support photosynthesis.
Due to its nontoxic nature, it mitigates soil contamination when mixed with harmful chemical fertilisers. It can also be used as a wholesome pesticide while increasing the chlorophyl content in plants to promote faster and more effective production of sugars.
Wood vinegar also acts as a powerful composting agent when mixed with manure and aids in the reduction of pungent odours. As a catalyst, it assists crops in absorbing more nutrients, thereby boosting cell growth, enzymes, and microbes. Its germicidal qualities such as phenol, methanol and acids prevent infection by slowing down the growth of microorganisms. It has economic benefits over synthetic fertilisers by reducing the chemical footprint.
WV’s low cost and sustainable feeder material, low production cost, and simple production technique make it an ideal business venture for job creation and upliftment of the poor in marginalised communities that can benefit a wide range of industries.
Dominant growth potential lies in the food and beverage industries. WV is the ideal additive to give processed foods and beverages a distinctly smoky flavour, and it has become increasingly popular in canned foods, sauces, dairy products, and snacks.