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Professional paper

Development of a sustainable charcoal industry

Julije Domac ; Regionalna energetska agencija Sjeverozapadne Hrvatske
Zlatko Benković ; Ministarstvo regionalnog razvitka, šumarstva i vodnog gospodarstva
Tomislav Starčić ; Šumarska savjetodavna služba

Fulltext: croatian, pdf (412 KB) pages 555-561 downloads: 770* cite
APA 6th Edition
Domac, J., Benković, Z. & Starčić, T. (2008). Razvitak održive industrije drvenog ugljena. Šumarski list, 132 (11-12), 555-561. Retrieved from
MLA 8th Edition
Domac, Julije, et al. "Razvitak održive industrije drvenog ugljena." Šumarski list, vol. 132, no. 11-12, 2008, pp. 555-561. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.
Chicago 17th Edition
Domac, Julije, Zlatko Benković and Tomislav Starčić. "Razvitak održive industrije drvenog ugljena." Šumarski list 132, no. 11-12 (2008): 555-561.
Domac, J., Benković, Z., and Starčić, T. (2008). 'Razvitak održive industrije drvenog ugljena', Šumarski list, 132(11-12), pp. 555-561. Available at: (Accessed 08 August 2020)
Domac J, Benković Z, Starčić T. Razvitak održive industrije drvenog ugljena. Šumarski list [Internet]. 2008 [cited 2020 August 08];132(11-12):555-561. Available from:
J. Domac, Z. Benković and T. Starčić, "Razvitak održive industrije drvenog ugljena", Šumarski list, vol.132, no. 11-12, pp. 555-561, 2008. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 08 August 2020]

The single industrial charcoal producer in Croatia is located in Belisće, eastern Croatia. There are also several small to medium charcoal producers in Croatia using traditonal charcol production techniques. Na­mely, all producers apart from Belišće have traditional facilities and equipments with low productivity and conversion efficiencies. Thus, this sector require renovation and modernization in order become competitive with other international vendors. Croatia also has around 400 small-scale charcoal producers scattered in forest areas. Those producers are responsible for around half of the national charcoal production (approximately 3.000 tonnes per year). Outdated technology of charcoal production and low conversion efficiency of wood into charcoal is forcing both small and large-scale charcoal producers out from the market. They are losing competitiveness in both input (wood) and output (charcoal) markets on national and international scale due to rapidly increasing demand for biomass. The consequences are reduced incomes for people involved in this industry and increased number of unemployment in rural areas.
The demand for charcoal is fairly large and it is increasing rapidly. Worldwide consumption is estimated at 40.5 million tonnes annually, with 19.8 million tonnes just for Africa according to FAO statistics. Charcoal consumption in Croatia, used only as a barbecue fuel in households and restaurants, has been rising steadily over the last few years. Export possibilities for charcoal produced in Croatia are expanding but the price competition with producers from Asia, Latin America but also Bulgaria, Bosnia and Her­ze­go­vina and Serbia makes the export aspirations rather challenging. From the long term perspective, the key issue for a sustainable industrial charcoal production is the possibility of paying a higher price for feedstock (wood re­si­dues from wood processing industry and forestry waste). This can be achieved by increasing the price of charcoal sold on the market and by increasing the efficiency of charcoal production.
Project activities were divided into six modules. The Module on Infor­ma­tion includes the preparation of CROWEIS and WISDOM. The Module on National and International Market analyzed, examined and evaluated the costs of raw materials, production costs and prices for charcoal. The Module on Technology and Technical Aspects assessed the technical, economic, and environmental competitiveness of existing charcoal production technologies and industries. The Module on Economics and Environmental Aspects prepared technical, economic, environmental and socio-economic studies to de­ter­mine the viability of the different charcoal production options being pro­moted. The Module on Legal Framework and Institutions carried out the analysis of the roles to be played by different national organizations in the implementation of integrated charcoal and wood energy policies and programmes. The Module on Training and Extension consisted in the preparation of specific training and extension material and the organization of international study tour and training courses in the country.
The results and conclusions from the project and the identification of fu­ture action lead to the following recommendations:
• The State Office for Standardisation should draft out the charcoal quality standard according to relevant European norms implementing their positive effects into our standards.
• The State Office for Standardisation should form a Technical Committee for wooden biomass that would also be in charge for charcoal.
• The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management should provide translation of relevant EU norms (especially EN 1860-2:2005) within the FAO project and submit that to the producers of charcoal who could then be able to implement them in their own production.
• The Ministry of Regional Development, Forestry and Water Management should create legal framework to form market of wooden products (wood bourse) in order to make that raw material more available on the market. The Wood Processing and Use Act has been in the parliamentary procedure which will create a legal basis for formation of the said bourse.
• The Ministry of Regional Development, Forestry and Water Management should promote and organise inspection of wooden products trade to ensure transparent trading in accordance with marketing terms.
• The Ministry of Environmental Protection, Physical Planning and Con­struction should issue a legal obligation for deposing of biomass – wooden residual of wood processing industry and forestry in order to further incite energetic use.
• The Ministry of Economy, Labour and Entrepreneurship should implement the system to encourage new charcoal production technologies which will increase the efficiency of the production.
• The Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund, in cooperation with the respective ministries, in accordance to the operational programme for 2008, 2009 and 2010 shall carry out a tender for moder­nisation and expansion of the existing and starting up of the new charcoal production facilities.
• The Ministry of Environmental Protection, Physical Planning and Con­struction, should issue guidelines for selection of location of the new facilities in accordance with the existing legal regulations regarding building due to avoid misinterpretation of regulation by the local/regional self-governance units.
• Forestry Extension Service should organise education on advantages, possibilities and limitation of the charcoal producers associations and the possibilities to secure financing for modernisation of this production which would include the preparation of the guidebook.
• Charcoal producers should form regional cooperatives and establish the national association of charcoal producers at the Croatian Chamber of Economy or independently in order to gain easier and more quality market appearance. The Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts should definitely be included in this process.
• The referral centre should be formed either at the Forestry Extension Service or regional energy agencies that would provide information re­gard­ing new technologies, financial options, and mediate in the appearance of domestic producers on foreign markets.

Hrčak ID: 30760



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