Coconut shell, a once discarded outer hard cover of a coconut is now a product of great demand. In addition to the known fact that coconut shells are used in handicraft industry to make very interesting pieces of art, coconut shells have various other uses apart from the arts and crafts industry. This section throws light on such innovative products derived from this humble outer shell. It also explains the various applications of these products.
There are basically three products that are got by processing coconut shells.
Coconut shell charcoal:
Coconut shell charcoal is used abundantly as a domestic and industrial fuel. It is the only main ingredient that is used to produce activated carbon. This activated carbon is much superior to other variants obtained from other sources like wood. Since it is easily available compared to other forms of coal, it is widely used in laundries as well. Blacksmiths and goldsmiths also prefer this charcoal due to its benefits. It is obtained by burning the coconut shells with limited air for carbonisation. The heat that is generated in this process is used for drying copra. Shell charcoal is obtained easily by using the drum method which is used in several small scale industries.
Coconut shell activated carbon:
It is one of the most wonderful gifts from nature and the best form of activated carbon that has loads of benefits. Since it is 100% natural, it is completely safe. It is obtained by various processes that involve burning the shells of matured coconuts in a kiln with a limited amount of air. The shells are burnt to a particular limit without completely destroying them. Over 50,000 coconut shells are required to produce about 1 Tonne of coconut charcoal. They are burnt to a consistency that it has a minimum of 72% fixed carbon and it is uniformly black in colour. It has no additives and it is made only from one ingredient which is the matured coconut shell. It can be used for a variety of purposes from manufacturing medicines to barbecue grills. It is used in the manufacturing of soaps and toothpaste. It has enormous adsorbing properties and therefore it is used as a food supplement in both animals and humans to promote good health and immunity. It is all natural and therefore it is used in grilling food items. It lights up faster and the temperature can be adjusted easily as per the requirements. It also burns hotter than a regular briquette and therefore it is energy saving and efficient. It produces only very little ash after burning and does not cause pollution. A whole lot of eco-friendly uses have made it preferable in many industries like manufacturing of air and water purifiers, odour eliminators and even building golf courses.
Coconut shell powder:
Coconut shell powder is used extensively in the manufacturing of mosquito coils and incense sticks. It is also used in plywood manufacturing as a phenolic extruder and as filler in the manufacturing of resin glue. It has uniform quality and good resistance to water and fungal attacks. Good quality coconut shell powder is obtained by using matured coconut shells and appropriate machinery.
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