Skip to main content

Exploring The Beneficial Uses Of Wood Vinegar

For more than 30 years now, Japanese farmers have been using wood vinegar to improve crop and livestock production. They use it as: 1) foliar spray, particularly for fungus (grey molds), 2) insecticide when mixed with hot pepper, 3) enhancer for compost-making, 4) soil conditioner to improve the soil when mixed with charcoal, and 5) feed supplement or additives for livestock feeds.

What is wood vinegar?

Wood vinegar is a liquid substance that is obtained when organic materials such as wood, coconut shell, bamboo, grass, and other plants are placed in a heating chamber. When these materials are heated, their juices, oils, and liquid contents evaporate as steam or vapor. The vapor passes through a tube where it will be allowed to cool. When cooled, the vapor will turn into liquid (condensation process). The chamber is heated by burning firewood at the lower portion of the chamber. The liquid (wood vinegar) flows from a tube into a container ready for packing, storage, or use.

Wood vinegar contains organic substances such as organic acids, phenolic substances, carbon substances, alcohol, neutral materials, and base acidic substances. In addition, around 200 chemical substances are also present. Studies showed that when charcoal and wood vinegar were used as feed supplements in poultry, salmonella bacteria, which are responsible for gastrointestinal diseases of chickens, were eliminated. In chicken egg production, farmers claimed that their hens improved their egg-laying performance, had better rearing characteristics, and improved their hatching efficiency. It also improved the quality of eggs such as better taste, reduced cholesterol content, and had harder egg shells.

Studies on swine production showed that sows improved their performance. They became healthier, their fertility rate improved, and piglet size became uniform. The fatteners also improved their feeding efficiency and meat quality. The foul odor from the manure of the pigs was also reduced. Furthermore, reports from farmers indicated that their sows increased their milk production and diarrhea among piglets were prevented or cured.

In cattle, it is said that wood vinegar also improved meat quality, fertility rate, milk production, and feed efficiency.

How to make

Wood vinegar is actually a distillate of burning wood. According to Mr. Masaki Yokomori, technical consultant of the Japanese Agricultural Exchange Cooperation (JAEC) of the government of Japan, an estimated cost of P30,000 is needed for the chamber construction. Although the design can be modified to suit available resources, other necessities such as water, firewood, bamboo, grasses, and others must readily be available. Except for pine tree, any tree species can be utilized in producing wood vinegar.

The Thailand Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Production Sciences Research and Development Office recommends the following as steps in producing wood vinegar:

  1. Cure wood that has heartwood and bark for 5 - 15 days.
  2. Pile wood in the kiln. Close the kiln and cover every hole with clay. Burn it at 120-430ºC.
  3. After one hour, put a tile at the top of the chimney. If brown or dark brown drops appear on the tile, allow smoke to flow through a bamboo pipe so that the hot steam may be condensed into liquid.
  4. Place a vessel to collect the vinegar drops from the bamboo pipe.
  5. If wood is burned for 12-15 hours in a 200-liter oil drum kiln, it should produce 2-7 liters of wood vinegar. At this stage, it is called raw wood vinegar.
  6. Leave the raw wood vinegar for three months to become silted. The vinegar will turn yellow like vegetable oil, after which it will turn light brown and the tar will become silted. The top content will be light, clear oil. Remove the tar and light oil, as well as the dark brown translucent oil and the remainder will be sour vinegar.

How to use

The wood vinegar must be blended with water in a ratio of 1:50 (1 liter wood vinegar and 50 liters water), or up to a ratio of 1:800 (1 liter wood vinegar and 800 liters water).

For plant production specifically, spray the solution over plant shoots. Wood vinegar, like hormones, will be absorbed into twigs, trunks, or leaves. Plants will be stronger, and leaves will be greener and resistant to pests and diseases. Alternative technology

The technology offers an alternative agricultural product that is environmentally safe, locally available, and seemingly easy to follow technology. This addresses the present and emerging problems that are affecting the farming industry. Foremost of which are the steadily increasing prices of farm inputs like fertilizers, feeds, pesticides, and antibiotics.

These are compounded by issues related to the production of safe and cheap food, and environmental pollution from the use of chemicals, and from decomposing animal and farm waste. The mitigation of these concerns must be facilitated by the use of wood vinegar thus, a closer look at this technology is recommended.

For more information on this technology, please contact OIC Joselito Noceda of DA-RFU IVA Technology Generation (TechGen) at telephone numbers (046) 4121461, (046) 4121463 or email at:<

6 January 2009
Christmas B. de Guzman

Popular posts from this blog

An Urban Legend

Reading online threads, blogs, testimonials, analysis and historical accounts about the fate of Fray Diego de Herrera and the crew of galleon Espiritu Santo leads me to conclude it as an urban legend. The characters are factual but the story was distorted, exaggerated and sensationalized. Here is another version about the fate of Fray Diego de Herrera written by Fray Juan de Medina, O.S.A. in 1630 but printed in Manila in 1983. Please read... "In these early years a disaster befalls the Augustinians, and somewhat dashes their hopes. This is the death of Diego de Herrera with ten priests who are coming, six from Spain and four from Mexico, to augment the missionary efforts. Of the thirty-six priests obtained by Herrera on his mission to Spain, but six set sail for the Philippines. The four from Mexico who join them are: Francisco Martinez, of the chair of writing in the University of Mexico, an excellent Greek and Latin student, who had been prior of the Augustinian convent in …

Bicol Eyes Tilapia Production for Export Market

PILI, Camarines Sur, Nov. 8 (PNA) -- Bicol is taking the challenge of producing tilapia for both the domestic and export markets. Local fishery authorities say there is a big area for growth in the production in Bicol of both the small-sized tilapia which is a hit in the local market and the big-sized that is consistently gaining popularity abroad. The region had vast freshwater resources that are highly suitable for large-scale production. Among these are the Bato and Buhi Lakes in Camarines Sur, Danao Lake in Polangui, Albay, Bulusan Lake in Sorsogon and several other smaller sites sporadically distributed among the six provinces of the region. All in all, the region’s inland water resources capable of tilapia production are measured at 246,063 hectares of swamplands, 253,854 hectares of brackish water fishponds, 200,000 hectares of lakes, 31,000 hectares of rivers and 19,000 hectares of reservoir, according to data obtained from the Bureau of fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BF…

Pantomina Lyrics And Music

Pantomina is Spanish for pantomime, movements imitating the courtship movements of the rooster and the hen. Ang mga babaye
Kung mayo pa nin agom
Maugay nin aga maugay nin hapon
Alagad kung sinda igua na nin agom
Maugay Octobre, Disyembreng sunudon. Ica palan, Nenang ang pinagsasabi
Magayon na burac sa lugar na ini
Magayon ang tindog malinig ang pisngi
Arin pa daw ang puso ang dai mawili. Can ica sadit pa sadit pa man aco
Si satuyang cawat magkudot-kudotan
Kinudot mo aco kinudot ta ca man
Sabi mo sa saco luhayluhaya man. Ang mga lalake
Hudyan sisaboot
Ang pinagsasabing ngarang pagcamoot
Kundi ang babayeng iyo minahilod
Akong minahiling can mga pangguyod.