FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cheetah Conservation Fund Demonstrates CK-3 Carbonizing Kiln for Industry Delegation at its Biomass Technology Demonstration Centre
OTJIWARONGO, NAMIBIA (24 March 2017) – Cheetah Conservation Fund’s (CCF) Bush Project aimed at managing bush encroachment in an environmentally and socially responsible manner has gotten a boost from the European Union grants programme in the form of a new kiln. The CK-3 Carbonizing Kiln offers a technology that improves upon the process for converting sustainably harvested thornbush into fuel briquettes known as Bushblok created under CCF’s commercial habitat restoration initiative. CCF demonstrated use of the kiln for representatives of the Namibian biomass industry and other stakeholders today at its Biomass Technology Demonstration Centre (BTDC) based at CCF’s Field Research and Education Centre in Otjiwarongo.
“The CK-3 Kiln is a ‘green’ charcoal technology”, said Bruce Brewer, CCF’s General Manager. “The CK-3 carbonizes our Bushblok briquettes, which densifies their caloric content and reduces shipping weight, making biomass-derived wood products like Bushblok more likely to capture a greater market share”.
In its operation, raw wood is brought into the CK-3 Kiln, which remains in one place. Two interconnected retort chambers make use of the off-gas generated by pyrolysis reactions. Depending upon raw biomass type and moisture, the CK-3 may be able to produce as much as one ton of the lighter-weight, carbonized Bushblok briquettes in a single 24-hour cycle.
Representatives from Namibia’s biomass industry, local farmers and media observed the demonstration. Industry delegates in attendance included executives from the Namibian Biomass Interest Group and the Namibian Charcoal Association. The Ambassador of the European Union to Namibia, Jana Hybaskova, who observes the results of EU support to programmes in Namibia was also present. CCF acquired the kiln last year with funding provided by the European Union’s Climate Change Adaptation and Climate Change Mitigation Programmes.
“We believe biomass represents a major economic opportunity for this country. Bringing biomass technologies like this to central Namibia will have the combined benefits of creating much needed employment, generating electricity, restoring wildlife habitat and improving farmland productivity”, said Brewer.
Initial BTDC technologies are utilised in the manufacture of briquette logs, charcoal hex logs, lump charcoal, and for pyrolysis-based electrical generation. Phase two will include other promising technologies to be employed in wood pellet production, including alternative chipping power trains and Stirling engines. The CK-3 is primarily used to carbonize some of the Bushblok that CCF produces, but will also be used to demonstrate production of traditional charcoal from raw wood pieces. The new kiln has been in operation at CCF since November of 2016.
CCF’s production of Bushblok is certified by the The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)™ (FSC-C004580), a standard that ensures products come from responsibly managed lands and provide environmental, social and economic benefits. It is the highest standard in forestry management. Bushblok is used for cooking fires, braai, home heating and industrial heat applications and is classified as a smokeless fuel.
“CCF’s Bush Project and its sustainable harvest of overgrown thornbush restores grasslands for farmers and livestock, and allows for more space for predators and their prey. It also helps stave off desertification, which is a critical concern for Namibia, with its arid climate and millions of hectares of encroached lands”, said Dr Laurie Marker, CCF Founder and Executive Director. “We are very pleased to have the support of the European Union in this important project”.
Dr. Bruce Brewer
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