Dyes from Philippine Plants

Dyes from Philippine Plants

Dyeing using different plants has been a traditional practice. However, with the invention of
artificial dyes and modern dyeing practices, such use of dyes from plants was soon
There are many Philippine plants which are good source of dyes — either bark or wood.
There are plants which are naturally rich in tannic acid or tannin which is used in dyeing
leather, wood or textile, such as: kamachili, bakauan, red white lauan, tangal, ipil-ipil, coconut
husk and others. The common procedure of extracting dyes is as follows:
1. Boil the ground or chopped bark in uncovered cooking pot with just enough water to cover
the barks.
2. Boil to 60° C-80° C with with continuous stirring.
3. After an hour, strain in wire screen and replace water in the cooking pot.
Repeat 1-3 until water becomes pale in color.
4. The water used in second or third boiling could be used for the next fresh barks.
5. Mix all the water used for boiling and boil them altogether until you get a dark colored dye.

Source:Selected R&D Projects (Completed) NSDB
Tukno Tulong

Coal making

Making coals from Cocos through charcoal brick kiln

by Ellaine Grace L. Nagpala

Coconut (Cocos nucifera) remains to be the top cultivated crop in the Philippines.  Out of the 12 million hectares of farmlands in the country, 3.1 million hectares of it is devoted to coconut production.  With the vast size of farmland devoted to coconut farming, it can be said that a large percentage of the country’s population still depends on coconut for their living.

Over 3.5 million coconut farmers are widely distributed in different parts of the country, mostly in Southern Luzon and in different parts of Mindanao.

To help the coconut farmers gain extra income while attending to their farm activities, the group of Engineer Rosella B. Villaruel of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) in Region X1 came up with a charcoal brick kiln where coconut shells can be turned into quality charcoals.

What are kilns?
A kiln is a thermally insulated chamber used to harden, burn or dry materials, it could be utilized in drying and heating wood to produce firewood and charcoal, or in firing-materials used in ceramic-making.

Traditional means
Kilns were first utilized in Bago Oshiro, Davao City under the Philippine-German Coconut Project (PGCP) in 1995.

In the Philippines, charcoals are traditionally produced using drum kilns where a standard oil drum with an approximate capacity of 55 gallons is used. With the use of a drum kiln, charcoals can be produced from 600 pieces of split coconut shells.  However, charcoal workers encountered problems with regards to the operation, durability and efficiency of the drum kiln.

The charcoal brick kiln
The batch type brick kiln was fabricated as an alternative to the traditional methods of charcoal production and to ease the operations in charcoal making of the charcoal workers.

The brick kiln is made of 2”x4”x8” standard rectangular bricks, constructed in a dome-shape.  The kiln’s dome structure is for the purpose of optimal carbonization process.  Its inside has a base diameter of 1.2 meters and a net height of 1.10 meters with an approximate volume of 0.73 cubic meters.  This prototype kiln can accommodate approximately 3,000 pieces of average split shells.  This could be increased if the shells are semi-crushed.

The charcoals produced by the kiln from the coco shell wood passed the standard of a good quality charcoal which possesses a fixed carbon content of 86.5%, ash of 1.4%, volatile combustible matter of 9.6% and 2.5% moisture content.

The charcoal brick kiln is expected to last for five years or more with an initial investment of PhP 4,100 while the drum kiln has a serviceable life span of six months to one year, with each drum costing PhP 500.

One problem encountered by the charcoal workers with the drum kiln is its difficulty to operate.  Since metals are strong conductors of heat, the drum kiln becomes difficult to handle as it turns very hot during the process.

Moreover, the smoke being emitted under the drum becomes a nuisance to the workers.  As such, the brick kiln was designed to be user- friendly.

Bricks being resistors of heat makes the charcoal brick kiln easier to operate.  The kiln was also designed in such a way that it will suppress the heat pressure inside and prevent it form leaking outside the kiln.  In this way, the kiln will be convenient for the operators as they will no longer have trouble with the heat coming from the kiln.  Also, the smoke coming from the kiln not be a problem for the workers since a ‘nose’ for the emission of smoke is included in the structure which is strategically placed at the top of the kiln.  This way, it will be easier for the operators to recharge the kilns.

Time saving
The proper procedure for making good quality charcoals only requires 16 percent of the total time to produce charcoals with the brick kiln as compared to the drum kiln which requires 90 percent operation time.

With the charcoal brick kiln, 74 percent time more will be saved in charcoal making.  For a farmer who needs to attend to his farm and his family, and his other chores, the 74 percent time that can be saved means more time to attend to his tasks.

In general, this implies that the kiln is not only designed to increase the capacity of charcoal produced but also for the benefit of the worker. end

This article was based on ‘A comparative study between batch type brick kilns and drum kilns using decision tree analysis’ by Engineer Rose B. Villaruel and Mr. Kalvin Mesias Balucanag of the Philippine Coconut Authority in Region XI.  The Batch Type Brick Kiln was funded by the Philippine Coconut Authority and the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology.


Luz Oliveros-Belardo – Filipino Scientist

Dr. Belardo spend five decades f her life studying the chemistry of natural products and essential oils from Philippine plants. She has extracted 33 new Philippine essential oils and studied their chemical and physical properties. results of her work found application in the creation of new flavors and in herbal medication.

Her consistent work on phytochemical research brought her honors and 32 awards among which are: The Lunsford-Richardson Award in Pharmacy, USA, 1956; Philippine Pharmaceutical Association Outstanding Pharmacist 1963;   Federacion International de Abogadas Award 1979; Waseda University Plaque of Recognition, Japan, 1981; Professional Regulation Commission Award in Pharmacy, 1983; National Research Council of the Philippines Award in Phytochemistry, 1984; Distinguished Leadership Award in Chemistry, USA, 1985; El Consejo Cultural Mundial Award Mexico, 1988.

Source:  Directory of academicians and outstanding young scientists

Tito Mijares – Filipino Scientist

As researcher , Dr.  Mijares conducted studies concerning multi-variate theory and analysis which were published in “The Annals of Mathematical Statistics”, an international journal.

As Deputy Director-General of the National Economics Development Authority (NEDA) and Executive Director of the National Census and Statistics Office (NCSO) for a number of years, Dr. Mijares had the responsibility of overseeing the overall development and direction of the statistical system in the country.

For his achievement in statistics, Dr.Mijares was elected to membership in international statistical groups such as the Statistical Institute of Asia and the Pacific, International Statistical Institute, and the Institute for Vital Registration and Statistics.

source:Directory of Academicians and Outstanding  Young Scientist