THE demand for coconut shell charcoal (CSC) could go up substantially if its new found uses pick up globally.
The new found use of coconut shell charcoal in the development of golf courses and the use of coconut shell charcoal briquette in barbecue and poultry raising in Europe could raise its demand globally. Currently, it is used mainly for making activated carbon.
Coconut shell charcoal is found to be a suitable material in the development of golf courses, according to the Coconut Development Board sources here. In golf courses, a layer of coconut shell charcoal is laid to a certain depth along with sand and other biomass before grass is planted.
South Korea has already projected a requirement of 1,000 tonnes of coconut shell charcoal for use in the construction of golf courses of international standards in the country. It is planning to develop 15 golf courses this year in the new tourist resort s using coconut shell charcoal. In course of time, a total 45 golf courses are to come up in the area.
South Korea was a major importer of coconut shell charcoal which was mostly converted into activated carbon. Before the 1997 economic crisis, it imported around 13,000 tonnes of coconut shell charcoal per annum, CDB sources said.
Besides, in Japan, which absorbed about 40,000 tonnes of coconut shell charcoal mainly for making activated carbon, the use of coconut shell charcoal briquette in the preparation of traditional foods such as “Sukiyaki” was becoming more and more popular, they said.
The use of coconut shell charcoal briquette in barbecue and poultry raising is becoming popular in Europe also. If this trend continues, the use of coconut shell charcoal could expand rapidly raising its demand significantly. The use of coconut shell cha rcoal in these spheres in India could revive the already dull coconut shell charcoal manufacturing sector here.
Given the trend in the global market, the demand for coconut shell charcoal and activated carbon is expected to grow by 10 to 15 per cent this year. The total exports of coconut shell charcoal from the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Indonesia is partly estim ated at 46,000 tonnes last year as against 50,281 tonnes in 1998.
The exports of activated carbon from these countries and Malaysia and Thailand increased to 74,000 tonnes in 1999 from 65,807 tonnes the year before, the sources added.
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