A Brief History of Wood Vinegar
For those of you with green fingers out there looking for a complete 100% natural fertiliser for plant growth, look no further than wood vinegar. Wood vinegar helps your garden plants obtain better nutrients and enhance their water intake via their roots. Curious to find out about how this naturally formed liquid came about? Read on to learn more about the history of wood vinegar!
What is wood vinegar?
Wood vinegar goes by various names, such as pyroligneous acid, mokusaku, liquid smoke, wood distillate or even smoke water. This amber liquid that is known as wood vinegar is naturally produced from carbonization during the making of renewable diesel and biochar and has been for many years the source of methanol, acetic acid and other compounds. With the rising popularity of plant-based products, the demand for wood vinegar has also increased.
Image: Wood vinegar goes by various names, such as pyroligneous acid, mokusaku, liquid smoke, wood distillate or even smoke water.
Ancient Uses Of Wood Vinegar
The agricultural use of wood vinegar has its origins over two millennia ago in ancient civilizations of China, Greece, India and Egypt. Historians have claimed that the ancient Chinese already conducted the pyrolysis (decomposition with high temperatures) of wood whereas the ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians also knew how to produce charcoal by the process of wood carbonization. Our ancestors used the resulting by-products from carbonisation for various purposes, such as replacing joints in ships as well as for the embalming of dead bodies. Also, owing to various health claims about wood vinegar, people in Japan were recorded to have used the product daily for their well-being.
Wood Vinegar In More Recent Times
In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, many factories commercially manufactured wood vinegar with creosote as a form of acetic acid. At the turn of the twentieth century, manufacturers heated wood in closed retorts (devices for distillation) for commercial purposes and produced pyroligneous acid and tar.
While wood vinegar has been widely used as a replacement of man-made agrichemicals, this natural liquid has also been used for various non-agricultural purposes in more recent times.
Image: Wood vinegar has been widely used as a replacement of man-made agrichemicals for various non-agricultural purposes in more recent times.
For instance, wood vinegar has been used in wastewater treatment, as additives to maintain freshness in food, as deodorisers, as intestinal medicine as well as sterilising agents. Furthermore, people utilised wood vinegar as a growth promoting substance and fertilizer from the 1930s. In some parts of the world like in Japan, wood vinegar has been touted to have efficacious beauty and health properties. For years, wood vinegar has typically been the natural ingredient used in lieu of expensive and unsustainable fossil-derived agricultural products. In more recent times, wood vinegar is increasingly being used as an ingredient in household products and plant pest repellents in addition to fertilisers.
Get Top Quality Wood Vinegar Products from ONEV
With the supply of wood vinegar growing and becoming more sustainable due to increasing renewable fuel and biochar production, the demand for this natural biostimulant as an eco-friendly solution to expensive agrichemicals has increased. The ingredients that go into the manufacturing of wood vinegar would determine its quality, and we at ONEV use purpose-planted Oak, Pine & good quality hardwood trees in the US to consistently generate top quality wood vinegar for our products.
Perhaps we can take a leaf out of the history books and our ancestors’ appreciation of wood vinegar and continue to propagate its use in and beyond our gardens, for the present and the future!
Check out ONEV’s wood vinegar products here!