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Wood vinegar or wood acid or pyroligneous acid is a dark liquid, which is derived from charcoal. It is obtained by heating biomass in a closed container. The smoke generated during charcoal production is cooled into a liquid and then separated into bio-oil, tar, and wood vinegar. The dark liquid is a combination of nearly 80–90% water and over 200 organic compounds, such as acetic acid, esters, formic acid, ketones, methanol, and phenol.
Moreover, the increasing implementation of government initiatives regarding bio-based products will also ensure the large-scale adoption of wood vinegar for wastewater treatment, food, animal husbandry, wood tar, and agriculture applications. In the recent past, the agriculture sector has emerged as the largest consumer of wood vinegar due to the enormous use of bio-based fertilizers and pesticides to increase productivity. For instance, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India, has launched several programs in recent times to promote the use of biomass materials and bio-based products, such as wood vinegar.
The manufacturing segment of the wood vinegar market is categorized into slow paralysis, fast and intermediate pyrolysis, and others. Under this segment, the slow pyrolysis category is expected to account for the largest market share during the forecast period as slow pyrolysis provides a better yield of wood vinegar, char, and other products than other manufacturing processes. In comparison to other processes, slow pyrolysis exhibits a longer vapor resistance time and slower heating rate.
In recent years, wood vinegar producers, such as TAGROW CO. LTD., Nakashima Trading Co. Ltd., Ace (Singapore) Pte Ltd., Canada Renewable Bioenergy Corporation, Byron Biochar, and Nettenergy BV, have engaged in technological advancements to develop better and improved pyrolysis kiln methods to produce char, biochar, and wood vinegar. Additionally, the advanced pyrolysis methods help enhance the production process of wood vinegar and reduce the total manufacturing process. Further, the producers are also focusing on involving poverty-ridden people in wood vinegar production processes as the material is majorly produced in villages by using local resources and feedstock.
Geographically, the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region held the largest share in the wood vinegar market in 2015. This was on account of the presence of a vast base of end users and the existence of a large number of local producers in the region. Moreover, the surging need for clean water, owing to the booming population, will also create a huge requirement for wood vinegar in the coming years. For instance, the World Bank states that the population of India surged from 1.353 billion in 2018 to 1.366 billion in 2019.
Thus, the escalating need for treated water and surging government focus on using bio-based products will fuel the consumption of wood vinegar globally.