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Paper - Major Contributor of Charcoal

Charcoal has been considered a source of fuel for many Filipino people especially in the rural areas. According to a survey by The Central Echo (2011), more than 90% of Filipinos are dependent on charcoal for cooking. While only 1-2% use Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) or kerosene due to high cost of living. However, making charcoal means cutting trees. As a result, only species of trees that do not burn well are left in our forests. Therefore, there is a compelling need to find alternative fuel sources and new methods that can minimize the need for charcoal (The Central Echo, 2011).

Paper is the major contributor of solid waste by either weight or volume. Yet it is highly recyclable and can be manufactured into some other materials. Thus, paper charcoal was introduced as an alternative for charcoal. Also, it will not destroy our forests and ravage mother earth but instead, this will help minimize solid waste and reduce forest denudation due to charcoal making (The Central Echo, 2011).

Paper charcoals are made by soaking papers overnight and forming it into fist size balls which are left to dry in the sun. Paper charcoal serves as a good alternative fuel for cooking. Encouraging the use of paper charcoal as an alternative for fuel is a good practice. Waste papers that would otherwise end up in landfills are given new use as cooking medium. This will also help reduce dependence on forest wood for cooking. Since this is made out of used paper materials, this is inexpensive and can be done by every household anytime.

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It does not produce soot like ordinary charcoals. A few pieces of these paper charcoals can be used for cooking and is very ideal to use during the rainy season (OISCA, 2012). Aside from its environmental benefits, it will also help families with their budget since paper charcoal can easily be made and the materials to be used are widely available. Paper charcoal may function differently than charcoal but it is very resourceful and eco-friendly.

Statement of the Problem:

This study aims to introduce and promote Paper Charcoal as an eco-friendly alternative to charcoal, thus contributing to a cleaner environment.

General Objectives:

Generally, this study will be conducted to produce charcoal made out of waste papers. Specific Objectives:
Specifically, it aims to:

  1. Produce charcoal not made from wood itself, but rather from waste papers.
  2. Follow all the procedures in producing Paper Charcoal.
  3. Use the produced Paper Charcoal as an eco-friendly alternative for charcoal.
  4. Determine if the Paper Charcoal has the same effects as Charcoal. Hypothesis:

Paper Charcoal has the same effects as charcoal and can be used as an eco-friendly alternative for charcoal.


Everyone knows how important food consumption is to an individual. Without food, one may get totally insane and may revert to destroying people’s lives, including their own. As our country continue to battle with the worsening poverty problems and non-stop increase in oil and fuel prices, many Filipinos today rely on wood charcoal for cooking to save money. Metro Cebu, with its four (4) cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu and Talisay; and six (6) municipalities of Compostela, Lilo-an, Consolacion, Cordova, Minglanilia and Naga; has an average of about 2,000,000 in population as of 2001. It has an approximate total land area of 79,209 hectares making it the second gateway and the second largest urban area in the Philippines. With a rapid growing population and increasing urbanization, Metro Cebu is a great business spot.

This is true for small-time food entrepreneurs like owners of barbecue stalls since Cebu is already synonymous to the word “barbecue”. The booming barbecue industry in Cebu uses mostly, if not all, wood charcoal as their main source of heat in cooking. Also, based on a 1994 study, three fourths of low-income households in Metro Cebu rely on charcoal as their primary cooking fuel and over 80% in the highest-income category use LPG (Sueycloe, 2012). Ramon Magsaysay Elementary School is one of OISCA CFP supported school. CFP has provided the school with training on environmental protection and proper waste disposal. The school observes segregation of school trash and applies the environmental principles of 3Rs (Re-use, Reduce, Recycle). The school has encouraged the use of paper charcoals made from used paper products which they have learned from OISCA. The children also applied in their homes what they have learned from the trainings and environmental education provided by OISCA (OISCA, 2012).


Production of Paper Charcoals is very easy and can be made by every household. The materials that you will need to make Paper Charcoal are easily available. You will need waste papers. Newspapers or any old papers are preferable while the glossy ones are not. You will also need a container where you will soak your waste papers in water. A basin or washtub will do. Here are the procedures in making Paper Charcoal: First, gather the waste papers and tear them into pieces about the size of your hand or smaller. Place all the torn waste papers into the basin or washtub. Fill it with water and leave for at least an hour. The paper will be ready when it is thoroughly saturated with water and is mushy to the touch. Next, grab a large handful of the mushy paper. Form it into a ball about the size of a golf ball or ping pong ball, squeezing out as much water as you can. Repeat until all the mushy paper is in ball form. Discard the water. And lastly, place the wet paper balls in the sun for at least two days. Do not let them get rained on. They must be completely dry and brittle. At this point, they are ready for use in the same manner as charcoal briquettes.


During the study, the researchers have produced charcoal made from waste papers and have followed all the procedures in producing paper charcoal.

During the process, the researchers have observed that the production of paper charcoals takes time as you have to wait until the paper is thoroughly saturated..

The researchers have also observed that making paper charcoal is very easy and simple. The only difficult part was the time it takes for it to be ready for use since it has to be completely dry. The researchers then hypothesized that paper charcoal has the same effects as charcoal.


Paper Charcoal has indeed become a good alternative fuel for cooking especially to those who seek budget-friendly alternatives for charcoal. Not only does it save money but it also saves more trees and keeps the environment free from litter. Paper charcoal production may take some time and effort to make but it is very resourceful and inexpensive. So the next time you throw out papers, think of how much help you could do for the environment when you can recycle them and make paper charcoals.


This research paper is made possible through the help and support from everyone, including: parents, teachers, family & friends. Especially, please allow us to dedicate our acknowledgement of gratitude toward the following significant advisors and contributors:

First and foremost, we would like to thank Mrs. Girlie David for her valuable advices and for teaching us the correct ways in conducting a research paper. Her opinions and suggestions are highly anticipated.

Second, we sincerely thank our family especially our parents for their guidance and financial support. The product of this research would not be made possible without them.
Finally, we would like to thank our friends and classmates for their advice and support in helping us with this study.


Paper Charcoal as an alternative fuel.(2011).Retrieved March 04, 2014, from Recycling paper as alternative to charcoal.(n.d.).Retrieved March 04,2014, from Paper Charcoal.(2012, September).Retrieved March 04, 2014, from How to make charcoal paper.(n,d,). Retrieved March 04, 2014, from Philippines: Paper charcoal making.(2012). Retrieved March 13, 2014, from

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Paper - Major Contributor of Charcoal. (2016, May 16). Retrieved from

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