COTABATO CITY—Filipino inventor-cum-Manila Pest Control (Mapecon) company owner Gonzalo Catan, Jr. has recommended the use of the green charcoal technology to address the problem of water hyacinths clogging the water tributaries here.
Speaking before members of the Presidential Task Force Mindanao River Basin Rehabilitation and Development (PTFMRBRD) office here, the inventor said the production of green charcoal briquettes would only require the use of water hyacinths, leaves, twigs and branches of trees, trash such as paper, coconut shell, corn shells, peanut shells, among others, in making the technology work.
"The raw materials of leaves, twigs, and other wastes are compacted into briquettes. This would go far because of the technology, even generating employment to the poor", he said.
The green charcoal process converts biodegradable waste and other organic materials into economic use like bio-fuel, thus reducing waste that needs to be disposed.
The process, however, requires the procurement of green charcoal processing machines ranging from P 2.5 million to P5 million depending on the briquetting machine tonnage.
President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino, in an earlier visit here following the floods that hit the city, has ordered the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Department of Science and Technology to work on the conversion of the water hyacinths, foremost, into bio-fuel.
The DOST Region 12 office said it is planning to set up two water hyacinth processing centers at the riverbank of Rio Grande de Mindanao River, the largest water tributary in Mindanao, which traverses the city.
Last month, torrential rains forced massive carpets of water lilies coming from the Liguasan marshland bordering Cotabato City and the provinces of Maguindanao and North Cotabato cascaded downstream on the Rio Grande River causing it to overflow and inundated 95 percent of the city.
The floodwaters only began to recede towards the last week of June.
The PTFMRBRD said it would be recommending appropriate solutions like the green charcoal technology to the President to address the perennial problem of water hyacinth in the rivers here.
(Writer: Noel Punzalan of PNA)