BAKERS in the Ashanti Region have adopted the use of sawdust briquette as fuel in the bakery industry.
The technology, which is the brainchild of Energy Pool (EPL) Limited, a company in Kumasi that manufactures superior charcoal and allied carbon products, had been tested by the Forest Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG) and found to be of high quality for use in the bakery industry and households.
The technology is expected to reduce the overreliance on wood as the source of fuel in the industry.
The Ashanti Regional Chairperson of the Flour Users Association, Mrs Comfort Akotua, told the Daily Graphic after a meeting last Friday that the technology was good for the industry.
“We have tested it for some time and found it to be good in terms of heating capacity,” she said. When burning, the sawdust briquette is smokeless. Mrs Akotua believed it was good for the health of its members who, over the years, had had to endure the hazards of inhaling smoke from the use of firewood in their businesses.
She said their fear was the cost of the briquette, but added that with the assurance from the company that the price would continue to be within their reach, the leadership of the association would encourage its members to continue to use the new technology.
In Ghana, forests provide many products on which the local population subsists. However, these resources are depleting due to a variety of factors, including the overdependence on firewood as fuel for both domestic and commercial uses.
Since 1981, the annual rate of deforestation in Ghana has been two per cent per year or 750 hectares each year. Mrs Akotua commended the company for the introduction of the briquette, and expressed the hope that it would not increase the cost arbitrarily.
Explaining how the technology emerged, the Managing Director of EPL Limited, Mr E. Osafo Kuffour, said it was the result of research.
He said for a long time, sawdust from the timber companies had been destroyed, creating environmental problems but with the current situation, the waste product had become a commercial product.
Mr Kuffour said the product was being introduced to other parts of the country, adding that as demand for the product increased, the company would expand production to meet demand.