Emission and Reduction of Air Pollutants from Charcoal-Making Process in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta

In Climate
Peer-reviewed Article
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Charcoal is a fuelwood commonly used for domestic purposes on the household scale
in Africa and Southeast Asia. Earnings from charcoal production contribute to the income of local
inhabitants in rural areas. Unfortunately, airborne emissions from the traditional charcoal-making
process affect both human health and the ambient environment. A series of studies were performed
at a charcoal-making village in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta (VMD) to assess: (i) air pollutant
emissions from the traditional charcoal-making process; (ii) the impacts on human well-being and the
environment of traditional charcoal production; (iii) the loading of carbon dioxide from a charcoalmaking
kiln; and (iv) the efficiency in reducing contaminants of an air pollution-controlling method
developed at a charcoal-making kiln. Study results revealed that the traditional charcoal-making
method causes a substantial loss of carbon from fuelwood materials and emits the products of incomplete
combustion. These contaminants negatively impact human well-being and the environment.
Carbon dioxide and incomplete combustion substances emitted from the charcoal-making kiln are
potential causes of the global warming phenomenon. The installation of an air pollution-controlling
system at the charcoal-making kiln is recommended as an urgent solution before alternatives would
be found to control the impacts of charcoal production.

Pham Van
Nguyen Truong
Huynh Long
Le Anh
Huynh Vuong Thu