Wood Vinegar

Tom Miles

Wood Vinegar
Food & Fertilizer Technology Center for the Asian and Pacific Region (FFTC)

"Wood vinegar is a byproduct from charcoal production. It is a liquid generated from the gas and combustion of fresh wood burning in airless condition. When the gas is cooled, it condenses into liquid. Raw wood vinegar has more than 200 chemicals, such as acetic acid, formaldehyde, ethyl-valerate, methanol, tar, etc. Wood vinegar improves soil quality, eliminates pests and controls plant growth, but is slightly toxic to fish and very toxic to plants if too much is applied. It accelerates the growth of roots, stems, tubers, leaves, flowers, and fruit. In certain cases, it may hold back plant growth if the wood vinegar is applied at different volumes. A study shows that after applying wood vinegar in an orchard, fruit trees produce increased amounts of fruit. Wood vinegar is safe to living matters in the food chain, especially, insects that help pollinate plants.

Wood vinegar is made from burning fresh wood in a charcoal kiln, made from a 200-liter oil drum and 120-cm-tall concrete chimney with a 4-inch diameter. The kiln contains 63-83 kg of fresh wood. Wood good for vinegar must have a heartwood."

Cooperating agency for this topic:
Agricultural Chemistry Group,
Agricultural Production Sciences Research and Development Office
Department of Agriculture, Thailand
Paholyothin Road, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
Tel. 66-2579-3579 Fax. 66-2940-5736
E-mail: panpimon@doa.go.th, 2005-12-01