Fossil fuel reserves are dwindling while energy demand continues to rise, the phenomenon of climate change, environmental degradation due to pollution and the depletion of forest area on the surface of the earth makes people think to look for solutions. It is estimated that the earth needs a new forest covering 70 million ha within the next 2 years, which means that each country needs to make 320 thousand ha. Bamboo plant has very promising prospects in the future, amid concern the world over, to climate change, forest protection and a number of important issues like the above.
Bamboo is a plant source of timber that can grow rapidly in the earth. And a plant replacement timber from tropical forests which are now greatly reduced due to the enormous demand from industry, therefore attention to the production of bamboo began to increase in all continents either Asia, Africa, Europe and America. In this 21st century bamboo industry will continue to be an increasingly valuable commodity. Even the African continent has seen bamboo as a potential source of renewable energy. Europe has also seen the potential of bamboo as a source of bioenergy. While in India, one of the countries in Asia are building power plants using fuel made from bamboo.
Bamboo is a plant that is able to regenerate itself naturally. While bamboo stalks are harvested, then the new shoots will appear and replace them within a few months. If compared with a tree that can only be harvested with the rotation a few years, bamboo can be harvested on a regular basis per year. Rapid growth of bamboo which means ensuring the continuity to meet the ongoing needs.
Depending on the type, bamboo plantations can be earning more than 50 years. First harvest bamboo plants in plantations usually begins after age 5-7 years. The process of harvesting can be done with equipment that is fairly simple and inexpensive. Such as hand saws, and other simple tools that are often in need.
In plantations, bamboo will produce biomass that can support to maintain a green environment. 1,000 hectares of bamboo plantation can produce approximately 30 thousand tons of timber resources. The cost to create a new plantation depends on the cost of labor, land preparation, fertilizer, irrigation, and plants. It costs almost the same as making timber plantation. But there is a huge difference at the payback period, the timber takes longer than bamboo plantation. Investment in bamboo plantations will be back in less than 10 years. And for that reason tersebutlah the bamboo plantations generate profits faster than wood. Bamboo plantations will be very profitable after 5 years.
Potential of bamboo as raw material for renewable energy such as charcoal and torrified wood. By using continuous pyrolysis technology that products can be produced. Bamboo charcoal can then be further processed into activated charcoal (activated carbon) for water purification. Due to the increasingly severe environmental degradation due to soil pollution by industry and households, the need for activated charcoal for water purification will be even greater.