A Taiwanese team is to introduce natural wood pellets to the market as a low-emission alternative to coal for barbecues in an effort to recycle wood waste from local farmers and reduce air pollution.
The wood pellets are 100 percent natural, as they are sourced from subtropical trees, such as lychee, pomelo, lime, wax apple and bamboo, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology department of wood science and design assistant professor Long Way (龍暐) said.
Wood pellets of different trees would bring unique smoky flavors to barbecued food, Long added.
Photo: Chiu Chih-ju, Taipei Times
The product was jointly developed in a collaboration between academia, government and industry by the university, the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute and Ynidyi Enterprise Co.
The development team hopes that the product can help address air pollution issues, Long said, citing high levels of atmospheric aerosol particles in Pingtung County, most of which are caused by the burning of agricultural waste.
Between May and December each year farmers trim wax apple and mango trees in their orchards, burning the branches and twigs, even though such practice is prohibited by law, Long said.
To help farmers recycle and reuse agricultural waste, the team has developed technology to turn waste wood into high value-added biomass pellets, Long said, adding that a percentage of the revenue generated by the product would be given back to farmers.
The product was introduced to European markets two years ago at a price of 2 euros (US$2.24) per kilogram, he said, adding that sales have been steady, with about 100 tonnes of wood pellets being exported to Europe each year.
Taiwanese customers would be able to purchase the product via a fundraising platform as soon as the end of this month, Ynidyi Enterprise general manager Hsu Kun-yuan (徐坤源) said.
The team has also developed a barbecue grill designed for wood pellets, which is to cost NT$3,000, Hsu said, adding that 2kg of wood pellets would be included with the grill.
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