briquetting plant ladder

belavi wooden plant ladder stand | aldi reviewer

If youve shopped at Aldi for any length of time, youve probably noticed its a good place to get inexpensive plants both indoor houseplants and outdoor garden plants. But especially indoor houseplants. The discount grocer seems to stock various houseplants as frequently as once a month, and sometimes more often depending on the season. Aldi houseplants Ive collected over the years include orchids, a fiddle leaf fig, lucky bamboo, snake plants, succulents, pothos, crotons, umbrella plants, a Venus fly trap, and more.

I used to be able to fit all of my houseplants in my greenhouse-style kitchen window. When that got crowded, I turned an Aldi laundry cart into a houseplant stand in my living room, and it drew several compliments from visiting friends. The laundry-cart-turned-plant-stand is now filling up as well, and its shelves are narrow and only fit my smallest pots.

I started browsing Amazon for larger dedicated plant stands or plant shelves. Then Aldi came through for me and sold a wooden plant ladder stand this spring that is similar to many of the stands I was already looking at. Aldi has sold various metal plant stands in previous years, but this is the first time Ive seen Aldi sell a large wood stand like this.

The Belavi Wooden Plant Ladder Stand (product code 15122) cost $39.99 at the time of publication. Belavi is a new Aldi house brand that encompasses a range of garden and outdoor supplies. The price for this stand is competitive compared to wooden plant stands on Amazon, and its on the lower end of the price range for other stands Ive seen there.

This is an Aldi Find, which means its only in stores for a short time, and stock may be limited. Aldi does not offer online ordering for its specials, so after this sells out at your local store, its gone.

The plant ladder stand comes with a three-year warranty serviced by Protel, a German-based after-sales service company that services several Aldi products, including the Gardenline Walk-In Greenhouse as well as Adventuridge backpacks and Visage bathroom scales. For service, call 1-855-754-8297 or email [emailprotected]

The stand is easy to assemble and requires only a crosshead or Phillips screwdriver (not included). When you open the box, there are three primary components: the main A-shaped frame with a moving hinge at the top, and the three shelves of varying sizes. Theres also a bag of screws, a warranty card, and an instruction sheet.

To assemble, open the stand to an angle where the bottom shelf can be fitted onto the bottom treads of the stand. Then fit the middle shelf and top shelf onto their respective treads. It takes a little experimentation to find the ideal angle to open the stand, and to figure out how to position the shelves. Then youll secure each shelf to the stand with screws (four for each shelf). Look for the holes to insert the screws to get started. The wood is soft and the screws easily twist through to fasten the shelves on.

There were a few things I noticed while unboxing the stand. First, it has a strong wood smell that Im guessing is pine. (Many similar stands on Amazon are made of either pine or bamboo.) The packaging doesnt indicate what type of wood it is, but it does bear a Forest Stewardship Council seal indicating the wood is 100% from well-managed forests.

Also, I saw a fine white dust on a few parts of the shelving. It brushed off easily with my hand, and I wiped most of it off with a slightly damp cloth. The instructions state the stand can be wiped clean with a damp cloth, and you can use a mild detergent (no aggressive cleaners) if there is a stubborn stain, and then let all parts dry completely.

Im never sure what Im going to get with furniture or mid-sized items such as rolling carts or storage carts from Aldi, so I was curious to see how this plant stand turned out. Ultimately, it came together well.

Its a good-looking stand, and it has a lot more space for my plants compared to the old rolling laundry cart I had been using. It also looks more sophisticated than my rolling cart because its an actual piece of wooden furniture.

Its not a highly finished-looking stand. It has some exposed screws and hinges, but I think thats the case with most wooden hinged plant stands like this one, and the natural wood color is a popular choice among plant stands on the market now.

The Belavi Wooden Plant Ladder Stand measures 39.4 x 13.8 x 43.1 and has three shelves that hold a good number of potted plants. The stand feels sturdy and goes together easily with a crosshead screwdriver. If you need a place to put all of the plants youve purchased at Aldi, this is worth a look.

the 9 best attic ladders for 2021 according to 4301+ reviews

Welcome to the Thomas guide to the best attic ladders. Thomas has been connecting North American industrial buyers and suppliers for more than 120 years. When you purchase products through our independent recommendations, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Many houses conserve space by utilizing a folding attic ladder to lead up to their attic, as opposed to constructing static stairs. This makes lots of sense if the attic is going to be rarely visited and mainly just used for storage.

If you are looking to purchase one (or several) for a new construction project, or are looking to replace an old attic ladder that has started to show its age, you'll have a few different considerations to make.

For safe and convenient entry into your loft or attic, you'll need the best attic ladder for your particular space. Loft ladders are not one size fits all, and care needs to be taken when measuring the attic opening, ceiling height, and surrounding areas. We've found nine of the best attic ladders for every budget and need.

Attic ladders come in an array of materials, such as wood, aluminum, and steel. Wood ladders have the obvious aesthetic appeal but may not be as hardwearing as steel or aluminum attic ladders. Aluminum ladders are notoriously lightweight and could be the best option if your attic ladder is not permanently affixed.

In addition to the fixed type, attic ladders can come in the popular extendable telescopic style, extendable scissor-type, tri-folding section, sliding section, or multi-purpose folding styles. Heights can range from around 8 to 16 feet, and weight load capacity is usually about 200 to 300 pounds, with some heavier-duty ladders holding up to 375 pounds.

Thomas has been connecting North American industrial buyers and suppliers for more than 120 years. When you purchase products through our independent recommendations, we may earn an affiliate commission.

As mentioned above, before buying an attic ladder, first make sure you've measured the area, including ceiling height, and attic opening or door width. Decide which material best suits your needs, i.e. aluminum is durable and long-lasting but can be on the expensive side, whereas wood ladders could be cheaper and nicer to look at too. Maximum load capacity is another important factor to consider to avoid any accidents.

Affixed attic ladders need more than one person to install so make sure you have help or hire a professional to do it. At the end of this article, you will find a helpful video on how to safely install a pull-down attic ladder. Finally, it's important to make sure that the installation of your attic ladder meets the building code standards in your area.

This economical aluminum telescopic ladder from WolfWise, and Amazon's choice for compact ladder, is great if you need a quick and easy way to get in and out of your attic, without requiring an arduous installation process. If the 8.5 ft version is too short for your needs, it also comes in 10.5 and 12.5-foot versions which weigh 19.84 and 24.69 pounds respectively. "For the price it's unbeatable," reads one review. "So compact, so light. Great mechanism, very sturdy."

For particularly high ceilings, the Telesteps 16-foot reach tactical telescoping extension ladder is just the ticket. This OSHA-compliant (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) ladder has an automated operation with a one-touch release mechanism, silicone pivoting feet for a safe and sturdy grip, and weighs just 23 pounds. What's more, its black color makes it a discreet addition to any space. One reviewer describes, "Amazing ladder for my office loft. It is streamlined, with a somewhat shallow profile so that the ladder does not define my 10x12 office."

As the most expensive ladder on this list, you'd expect great things from the FAKRO scissor steel attic ladder, and it doesn't come up short (unless, of course, your ceiling is over 9.6 foot). This easy-to-install ladder comes with an insulated wooden door frame, and modern-looking S-shaped strings that double as handrails for safety and ease of use. One happy reviewer explained that this ladder is"well worth the money. The ladder can be installed in a very small opening and pulls down with ease... Because of the quality of construction, it is very sturdy."

With over 1,000 positive reviews, and as Amazon's choice for telescoping ladders, the Ohuhu 12.5-foot aluminum extension ladder, with its one-button retraction design and spring-loaded locking mechanism, ticks all the boxes when it comes to ease-of-use and safety. Certified by the American National Standards Institute, and with a large 330-pound capacity, one user reports this ladder as being "so worth the money." The review continues, "This ladder is so user-friendly. I just unpacked it, read simple directions, and used it to get to my loft storage space while feeling safe on the sturdy ladder. What took my breath away was how easy it was to collapse the ladder safely and tuck it away in one of my closets."

The LuisLadders 7-in-1 multi-purpose aluminum folding extension ladder is a heavy-duty combination ladder that is safe and reliable. It uses a click and lock system with six security locks that open and lock to change the shape of the ladder according to your needsfrom A-frame, extension, and staircase ladders, to wall ladders, and scaffold frames, this product provides many options and has anti-slip foot straps and rubber feet that provide the user with stable support. "Easy to use as well as store," reports a satisfied customer. "Great value. Sturdy, as well (I weigh over 200 pounds)!"

Made from anodized aluminum, the Youngman telescopic loft ladder is fairly easy to install (no cutting is required), and its automatic lock and release system makes it easy to operate. It has rubber feet for safety and floor protection, and is adjustable to three lengths. "This telescopic ladder is so easy to fit," reads one of the 5-star reviews. "It is sturdy and is easy to both extend and retract... Highly recommended, quality ladder."

This Werner aluminum attic ladder was one of the lightest attic ladders we came across and is perfect for users who prefer a ladder that isn't fully collapsible as it has just three adjustable sections, making it a breeze to open and close, as well as store. Even though it weighs in at just 15.47 pounds, it still has an impressive 250-pound weight load capacity, with one user reporting feeling safe on it even at the maximum capacity. "Very compact and light, but strong," the reviewer added.

Whereas most attic ladders have an approximate weight load capacity of 200 to 300 pounds, the Louisville elite aluminum attic ladder has a whopping 375-pound weight capacity, with a wider clearance to easily transport larger boxes thanks to its mechanism which utilizes gas cylinders instead of traditional springs. It's Amazon's choice for pull-down attic ladder and has many rave reviews. "Do NOT use your current ladder if you are over the weight rating," warns one customer who learned this lesson the hard way. "This Louisville Ladder is an excellent product and is worth every penny to ensure safe usage and to prevent catastrophic accidents. Lesson learned!"

Though known for being less durable and hard-wearing than their aluminum counterparts, wood attic ladders have come a long way, and the Louisville wooden attic ladder is proof. As well as being nicer to look at than aluminum versions, this wooden ladder is well made, safe, and sturdy up to 250 pounds. The length is easy to adjust by sawing, and it has a quick and easy hand strap installation system, but, like most fixed attic ladders, is still a two or more person job. Users report this ladder as being "great value", "good quality", and a "solid product".

The LuisLadders 7-in-1 multi-purpose folding ladder is a great, mid-range all-rounder for an array of needs, and at an impressively low price too, and the Louisville aluminum attic ladder, with its 375-pound capacity, is a safe and sturdy heavy-duty attic ladder for those who prefer a fixed option. For more attic ladders, including folding attic ladders, wood attic ladders, and fixed attic ladders, consult ouradditional guidesor visit theThomas Supplier Discovery Platform.

Copyright 2021 Thomas Publishing Company. All Rights Reserved. See Terms and Conditions, Privacy Statement and California Do Not Track Notice. Website Last Modified July 9, 2021. Thomas Register and Thomas Regional are part of Thomasnet Is A Registered Trademark Of Thomas Publishing Company.

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step-by-step instructions to diy a ladder planter stand

Take your stepladder and, starting at the second rung down from the top, measure and mark a piece of batten so that it will fit across the full width of the ladder inside the frame, directly opposite the rung. Cut the batten to size with a handsaw. Hold a bubble level against the top edge of the rung and mark this point on the opposite side of the frame.

Measure and cut to size four to five battens to create a slatted shelf. They should extend 7 3/4 inches (20cm) beyond each rung with an extra 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches (3 - 4 cm) of excess wood on both sides; this excess will be cut off later for a finished look. Arrange the battens so that they are evenly spaced, then screw them in place to both rungs.

Cut along the guidelines to remove the excess wood, then sand the cut ends smooth. Repeat steps one to five to make further planting shelves. Position the shelves on alternate rungs to allow enough growing space for plants.

Paint the shelves and ladder with an exterior wood paint and leave to dry. If preferred, paint your tiered planter with a final coat of marine varnish for extra protection against the elements. The vintage crates would also benefit from a coat of varnish.

Add a thin drainage layer of gravel, then half-fill the crate with potting mix. Arrange your plants, fill around them with more soil mix, firm in, and water. If you are using galvanized buckets, there is no need to line them, but drill drainage holes if they dont have any.

jacob's ladder buying & growing guide

Jacobs ladder gets its unique name from a Biblical reference and its pinnate leaf pattern, which resembles a ladder. There are two common species of this plant. Polemonium reptans is a threatened species that grows natively in the Northeastern U.S., and is not ideal for gardening. However, Polemonium caeruleum, s in Europe, is popular in home gardening for its pretty foliage and flowers, and relatively low-maintenance care routine. Other notable Jacobs ladder plants facts include:

As this perennial plant is native to temperate woodlands, Jacobs ladder does best in locations that mimic that environment. It prefers relatively neutral or slightly acidic soil that is rich in organic materials. Good drainage is more essential than soil pH, as soggy soil can cause root rot. Jacobs ladder also does better in shady or semi-shady locations. Choose a spot in your garden with a canopy cover, or where light does not easily reach. When planting from seed, sow seeds directly into soil after the final frost. Cover seeds loosely with soil, and keep moist until seedlings sprout.

The most important rule about watering Jacobs ladder plants is staying consistent. They do not respond well to sporadic waterings, but instead like their soil to be consistently moist. However, waterlogged soil can lead to root rot, so make sure it is planted in well-draining soil. How often you water your Jacobs ladder plant depends on how much light it receives. Plants in darker locations need less watering, because moisture does not evaporate as quickly. Feed Jacobs ladder plants with a fish emulsion fertilizer with an NPK of 4-1-1 once in early spring and again after flowers have bloomed. Plants benefit from a boost of nitrogen in the spring or early in the plants life cycle.

Jacobs ladder attracts many common pollinators, including bees, butterflies, moths, and even hummingbirds. Their bell-shaped flowers, which come in various shades of blue, purple, pink, yellow, and white, attract the insects and birds that visit to drink the plants nectar and spread pollen between the plants. Once flowers are pollinated, they become capsules that produce seeds. These seeds then drop to the ground below, where they germinate, or are dispersed by wind and water.

Pruning is not a necessity for the health of Jacobs ladder plants, but an occasional trim will keep it looking neat and attractive. Pruning leggy stems can maintain a uniform shape, and thinning out the plant will encourage airflow, which prevents fungal diseases. As Jacobs ladder is a self-seeding plant, deadheading may be necessary if you do not want additional plants to grow in your garden. After the flowers are spent, cut stems back to the base, so they do not drop their seeds. In the spring, cut away any brown or dead stems to make way for new growth.

The most common diseases that affect Jacobs ladder plants are fungal leaf spot and powdery mildew, both of which are caused by humid environments and too much moisture on the plants foliage. This is common among plants that live in shady conditions, because water on the leaves does not evaporate quickly. Avoid these issues by watering the plant at soil level, keeping leaves as dry as possible, and pretreating the plan for powdery mildew with a fungicide or home remedy. Some of the pests that affect Jacobs ladder plants are leaf miners, which can be treated with neem oil, and slugs, which can be eliminated with organic treatments. Jacobs ladder is resistant to deer and rabbits.

This plant grows best in partial shade or dappled shade. Ideally, plant it under the canopy of a tree with branches that arent too dense, allowing for dappled sunlight to come through and reach the Jabobs ladder plant. Alternatively, you could grow this plant in a shady corner or in a spot that receives a few hours of morning sunlight but is shaded by a fence or building in the afternoon.

The reason this plant likes shade is that too much sun or heat will scorch the foliage. However, the plant doesnt like to be in full shade as it requires some sun for the production of its flowers. This means partial shade is best, striking a good balance with some shade and some sun.

There are varieties of the plant that will cope with sunlight better than others. Generally speaking, the plants with dark green foliage fare better in direct sunlight, while the varieties with variegated leaves are more sensitive to sunlight and will require more shaded protection. The climate you are growing the plant in will also affect the amount of light it can handle; Jacobs ladder growing in warmer regions will need a higher proportion of shade throughout the day than those grown in cooler climates.

Jacobs ladder is a hardy plant that does well in a wide range of climates. It will grow best in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 8, but it can also be grown anywhere up to zone 12, though care requirements will vary slightly depending on your climate.

If grown in zones 8 to 10, Jacobs ladder will need to be grown in almost full shade. This will result in fewer flowers than those plants grown in dappled shade, but it will help to keep the plant cool. Jacobs ladder does not like to get too hot, and therefore relies on the shade to lower the temperature by a few degrees and keep the plant happy.

If the plant gets too hot, it can wilt and die, while too much sun exposure will scorch the foliage. In cooler climates, the plant will act as an annual rather than a perennial. If you grow the plant in zones lower than zone 6, you can expect the plant to die off in the winter, but new plants will appear the following spring, where the previous plant self-seeded.

The plant is a prolific self-seeder, so if you are happy for new Jacobs ladder plants to appear each year, then all you need to do is refrain from deadheading the spent flowers. Spent flowers that are left alone will develop and drop seeds, which will then provide new plants the following spring.

To prevent an overwhelming amount of new plants, you should deadhead most of the spent flowers but leave a few intact. If too many flowers do appear, you can simply thin them out to allow growing room. If you would prefer not to allow the plant to re-seed, you just need to deadhead all spent flowers.

You can also grow this plant from seed yourself, either directly in the ground, or get a head start by sowing the seeds indoors a few weeks before the final frost is expected. To sow the seeds outside, sprinkle them on moist soil after the last frost, and lightly cover with more soil.

Maintain moist soil, and once seedlings appear, they can be thinned out to around 18 inches between each new plant. The sow the seeds inside, follow the same process using a seed tray a few weeks earlier, and then transplant the seedlings outside once the risk of frost has passed.

The division is also a good method of propagating Jacobs ladder. Once a plant has reached maturity, carefully dig it up and tease the roots apart, separating the plant into two. Tangled roots can be cut with sharp scissors, but take care to keep as many of the roots intact as possible. Once separated, plant the two Jacobs ladders back into the ground.

One of the main reasons Jacobs ladder is popular is because it is an ideal choice for gardens with shady corners or lots of trees. The specific amount of light a plant can tolerate depends on the variety, and its growing location. Plants with dark green foliage tend to fare better than variegated varieties in direct sunlight. Also, in warmer climates Jacobs ladder plants will need more shade than in cooler climates.

Jacobs ladder is a hardy plant that can be grown in a range of climates. In USDA hardiness zones 6-10, Jacobs ladder plants grow well in partial shade, and return each year as perennials. In zones 11-12, the plant requires almost full shade to keep it from getting too hot. In zones 3-6, the plant acts as an annual, dying over the winter. In this case, allowing your Jacobs ladder plant to self-seed will guarantee you have new blooms each year.

Technically Jacobs ladder plant is perennial, but in certain climates it will act as an annual, dying over the winter if the roots freeze. However, in these circumstances, you can ensure you have Jacobs ladder plants in your garden year after year by allowing the plant to self-seed, so there are new plants to replace the ones that die. In more moderate climates, with proper care, Jacobs ladder can last several years.

Yes, within the species Polemonium caeruleum, there are many varieties of different colors and sizes. Some popular Jacobs ladder varieties are Bambino Blue, a compact variety that has delicate, light blue flowers contrasted with yellow stamens; Snow and Sapphires, a hardy variety that features blue flowers and variegated leaves; bressingham purple, that thrives in shade and features light purple flowers, and Stairway to Heaven, which has pink or cream tinged variegated foliage.

The easiest way to propagate Jacobs ladder plants is by letting the plant self-seed. Spent flowers will develop and drop seeds for new flowers the following spring. You can control the growth by deadheading most of the spent flowers, but leaving a few intact to drop seeds. To propagate by division, dig up a mature plant and tease the roots apart, cutting tangled roots if necessary. Replant the divided plants in the ground.

There are two species of plants that are referred to as Jacobs ladder plants; these are Polemonium caeruleum and Polemonium reptans. Polemonium caeruleum is native to woodlands in temperate regions of Europe and has been cultivated for use in gardens across the US. It is this Jacobs ladder plant that is commonly found in nurseries and home gardens. It is rare to find this plant growing naturally in the wild.

Meanwhile, Polemonium reptans is natively found in the northeast US and is a threatened plant species. As a means of ensuring this plants survival, transplanting wild specimens of this plant to home gardens is heavily discouraged. It is also not beneficial for the gardener to do so, as this species has a tendency to get very leggy and does not make a good garden plant. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

charcoal - an overview | sciencedirect topics

Charcoal making kilns developed by Appropriate Rural Technology Institute of India (ARTI) have been installed in sugarcane fields and the resulting charcoal/briquettes can be used as fuel in domestic stoves (ARTI, 2007).

Charcoal is the principal woodfuel in urban areas of many less developed countries. There are a number of reasons why people in dense urban settlements favor charcoal over wood. It has a higher energy density, it burns cleaner (reducing exposure to harmful pollutants), and it is easier to transport, handle, and store. In addition, many people favor charcoal because it is considered a more modern fuel than wood and is a kind of status symbol.

Domestic charcoal use in less developed countries is possible only with a thriving charcoal industry. Charcoal production is most prevalent in Africa, although it is also common in several other countries such as Brazil, India, and Thailand. Table I shows the 10 largest charcoal-producing, -importing, and -exporting countries. Brazil is a bit of an anomaly; it produces as much charcoal as do the next five largest producers, but charcoal is used mainly in the iron industry and is not a major household fuel in that country. In contrast, in many African and Asian countries, charcoal is an important urban household fuel. In addition, a small amount of international trade occurs, as the table indicates.

Note. Charcoal data are from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) online statistical database ( subset=forestry) with the exception of Kenya. Data for Kenya are from a recent domestic survey. This survey, based on household consumption data, is nearly 300% higher than the numbers given for Kenya in the FAO's database. Many other discrepancies exist in national-level charcoal data from other countries. The FAO is currently undertaking an effort to identify and correct these errors.

Note. Charcoal data are from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) online statistical database ( subset=forestry) with the exception of Kenya. Data for Kenya are from a recent domestic survey. This survey, based on household consumption data, is nearly 300% higher than the numbers given for Kenya in the FAO's database. Many other discrepancies exist in national-level charcoal data from other countries. The FAO is currently undertaking an effort to identify and correct these errors.

Charcoal is often derided as wasteful and destructive to the environment because traditional charcoal production methods can be inefficient. In an earth-mound kiln, the most common method of making charcoal in Sub-Saharan Africa, between 5 and 10tons of wood is needed to make 1ton of charcoala mass-based conversion efficiency of 10 to 20%. In these circumstances, between 60 and 80% of the wood's energy is lost in the production process. The process depends on a number of variables such as scale of production (production can range from <100kilos up to 30tons), moisture content and size of the wood, and time taken for the process (this also depends on the scale of production and can range from 2 to 10 days). Efficiency varies with the skill of the producers and the techniques they employ, which are likely to be a function of wood scarcity. Producers will adopt labor-intensive steps to conserve wood only if they perceive wood scarcity as a threat to their own livelihood.

More efficient methods of charcoal production using special kilns or retorts can reduce energy losses to between 30 and 40%. However, this equipment is expensive relative to traditional methods. It is not likely to be widely adopted without outside intervention, particularly in regions where wood is accessible for little or no financial cost. Nevertheless, the comparative efficiencies of charcoal and fuelwood should not be based solely on production. Cooking with charcoal can be more efficient than cooking with wood (typical efficiencies for charcoal stoves are 2030%, whereas those for three-stone wood fires are usually 1015%). If a person cooks a meal using a charcoal stove that is 30% efficient and the charcoal he or she uses was produced at 20% efficiency (based on wood-to-charcoal mass, this is high but has been observed in practice), that person uses less wood than does a person cooking the same meal with an open wood fire at 10% efficiency (a low but not uncommon efficiency). This simple comparison indicates that generalizations about the wastefulness of charcoal should be scrutinized carefully, particularly in light of charcoal's cleaner burn and other favorable attributes.

In addition to the question of energy efficiency, charcoal production is often considered environmentally destructive for two reasons: deforestation and pollution. The links between charcoal production and deforestation are stronger than the links between rural fuelwood consumption and deforestation because charcoal production involves cutting mature trees. However, rural land is often cleared for other purposes such as expanding cultivation, and charcoal is produced as a secondary activity following land clearing. In these situations, the cause of forest loss is not primarily charcoal because the land would have been cleared regardless of whether charcoal was produced, although charcoal can make the activity more lucrative. Furthermore, when land is cleared specifically for charcoal production and is not subsequently used for cultivation or grazing, trees can grow back. Permanent damage is limited to the area underneath the charcoal kiln, usually 2 to 3% of the cleared woodland. However, not all ecosystems are equally resilient. When trees are cleared from moist tropical forests, they might not recover as readily as do wooded savannah.

Although woodfuel demand in urban areas does not have a dominant influence in the overall loss of a nation's tree cover, it can have severe impacts on specific locations. This is especially true in nations with weak regulatory mechanisms governing the harvesting of forest resources, where outsiders can clear large tracts of woodlands on which rural communities rely without offering rank-and-file community members any compensation for their lost resources. Devolving control to local communities can ensure that they benefit from the exploitation of forest resources, although the benefit stream is very sensitive to the structure of institutions that usually does not favor local control.

While the National Fuelwood Conservation Programme is clearly essential, it must be recognized that even an aggressively promoted cooking stove programme does not address the long-term problem. Indeed, a detailed analysis (see Figure 12.7 in Chapter 12) shows that the breathing space afforded by a fuelwood conservation programme over the next few years must be used to put in place a plantation programme of at least 10,000 ha per annum, in addition to the programmes already under way (that provide for about 5000 ha per annum). The long-term foreign exchange consequences of a depleted forest resource are extremely serious, quite aside from the impact on rural families whose household budgets would then face the cost of commercial fuels. In 1985, fuelwood is estimated to have produced some 4300 tons of oil equivalent of energy; even when one takes into account the much higher efficiencies at which petroleum-utilizing devices operate, this still represents an avoided foreign exchange cost of US$200 million.

Despite the central importance of fuelwood to Sri Lanka's energy sector, data on the patterns of consumption remain poor. Until recently, the generally accepted figure for 1980 consumption was some 5.2 million tons per year, which was based mainly on theoretical calculations. In 1979, Bialy conducted what appears to have been the first scientific survey of fuelwood consumption in a village near Anuradhapura. The results indicated an average consumption of 50kg per household per week, which he extrapolated on the basis of 2 million fuelwood-using households, to 5 million tons per year. Bialy recognized the hazards of such extrapolations based on the results of a very limited survey of a single village, but his estimates were consistent with earlier studies.

Wijesinghe (1984) conducted a more extensive survey of 518 households in a stratified random sample that covered the entire island. Figure 12.2 shows the locations of the sample households, and the zonal definitions. The results indicated a much higher consumption figure than suggested by the earlier studies, with a 1981 island-wide usage estimated at 7.3 million tons (based on the 1981 population census results). Despite some limitations in the sampling design, these survey results are the best available, and could be used as a basis for planning.

Estimates of future consumption are subject to a number of uncertainties. The procedure adopted in this report is to base future consumption on a projection of total households (based on population growth), the assumption that the fraction of households using fuelwood remains at the 1981 level (based on the 1981 population census), and Wijesinghe's estimate of unit consumption per household (adjusted, as noted below, for the introduction of higher efficiency cookstoves).

Retreating forests have always been viewed as threats to fuelwood availability in rural areas and, hence, to women's time and labor. Social forestry to grow trees for fuelwood has been a commonly pursued solution. Despite evidence that the fuelwood availability issue is more complex than a simple gap theory implies, and that most of the wood produced through afforestation practices is destined to become timber rather than fuel, considerable resources have been directed to these activities. Community-based forestry is encouraged as a source of revenue where fuelwood is traded for urban consumption. Women have been promoted as managers in such projects. In these community-based projects, men's and women's groups, with assistance from the forest departments, sell firewood as a source of income. Projects target women as producers and potential beneficiaries. However, not all of the community-based forestry benefits women. In a 2001 report, Sarin noted that in Uttra Pradesh, India, women were worse off after the introduction of village joint forest management because they could no longer get jobs as forest guards and had no control over decisions relating to forest use.

The validity of afforestation programs aimed at providing fuelwood has been challenged. Using data from dry tropical areas of Niger and Mali, Foley in 2001 raised serious doubts regarding the woodfuel scarcity problem and the solutions proposed, which have been mainly planned interventions on use of improved stoves and tree planting. There have been considerable efforts, through projects and programs, to involve women in tree planting for fuelwood. Various community-based resource management projects targeting women, on account of the suffering they encounter in gathering fuelwood, have been implemented. However, these efforts are not justified given that communities naturally undertake the necessary activities without external intervention. Findings from rural Rajasthan, where 47% of households in the study used fuelwood gathered from their own farms, support this thinking.

Within the context of afforestation and tree management for fuelwood, some works have differentiated men's trees from women's trees. The former are defined as straight-stemmed species useful for timber and poles, whereas the latter are defined as trees that yield a broad range of products such as fruit, fodder, and firewood. The aim of such works has been to influence the choice of trees planted under social forestry programs and, hence, to protect women's interests. Poor access to fuelwood by women is also blamed on their lack of land tenure, implying that women are reluctant to plant trees because the trees would be hijacked by men. In a 1995 report, Kelkar stated that a group of men invited to jointly plan a community forestry project told the foresters that they wanted to plant hardwood tree species to make furniture and wood carvings for sale. When women were consulted, they indicated a preference for softwood fast-growing species for fuel and fodder. The Regional Wood Energy Development Program (RWEDP) of the FAO, in a 1996 report, also noted that women prefer trees for fuel, fodder, and fruit, whereas men prefer timber trees. In addition, the RWEDP noted that women prefer trees that yield shorter term returns and smaller returns spread over a long period (e.g., fruit trees rather than timber trees). Women's unique responsibility for day-to-day care of their families was given as the reason for the different preferences.

It has also been claimed that men, as primary owners of land, have better access to fuelwood and are in a better position to dominate decisions about tree species in forestry projects at the expense of women. However, it is worth noting that ownership of land does not guarantee access to fuelwood given that the competition for land for food and outputs more beneficial than fuelwood has meant that farmers (including women) give low priority to the latter. Increased demand for cash necessitates trading most farm products, and in communal lands most of the forested land has been cleared, so that even if women owned the land, their access to fuelwood might not necessarily improve.

In Australia, medicinal products containing ingredients such as herbs, vitamins, minerals, nutritional supplements, and homoeopathic and certain aromatherapy preparations are referred to as complementary medicines and are regulated as medicines under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (the Act) (

A complementary medicine is defined in the Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990 (the Regulations) as a therapeutic good consisting principally of one or more designated active ingredients mentioned in Schedule 14 of the Regulations, each of which has a clearly established identity and traditional use:

While inclusion of one or more designated active ingredients is required to be considered a complementary medicine under the Regulations, it does not necessarily mean a good is a complementary medicine. Depending on various factors such as the intended purpose or presence, absence, or nature of therapeutic claims, a good can include one or more of the foregoing ingredients and be considered to be another type of product, such as a food, cosmetic, medical device, or other product.

Other potential domestic fuel sources are wood or charcoal, crop residues, and natural gas. Wood is eminently suitable, but in short supply within a reasonable radius determined by transportation costs. Its costs on a heat-content basis are already as high as those for petroleum-based fuels (see Table 13.6). Some formerly forested land unsuitable for general agriculture is available in the region, for the establishment of forest plantations. However, even fast-growing species require at least six to eight years until harvesting can begin. In any case, it appears unlikely that sufficient land can be found to satisfy the needs of both the tobacco-curing industry and the competing and growing demands of households, commercial, and other industrial enterprises.

Experience has shown that locally available crop residues, mainly rice straw, are not suitable for tobacco-drying, because of handling and temperature control problems. Natural gas cannot be brought into the area because pipeline costs from Bangkok would be prohibitive. Shipping uncured leaves to the pipeline terminals near Bangkok would be equally impractical because of added transportation costs, product deterioration in transit, the need for constructing completely new drying facilities on high-priced land near Bangkok, and the difficulty of getting skilled temporary labor to cure and sort the uncured tobacco leaves.

This leaves the seemingly qualitatively and economically inferior lignite as the only major alternative fuel source. However, the conclusions derived earlier about lignite's various disadvantages apply only because, as utilized at present, it is a low-quality, unreliable and difficult to manage fuel. But lignite does not have to be utilized as mined. Technological methods to upgrade raw lignite into a more uniform product are well known and have been in use in other countries for many decades. These upgrading methods usually consist of washing, cleaning, drying, milling, and briquetting. The resulting product (in the form of briquettes), is of uniform quality, allows controlled burning, and is widely used by industry and households in lignite-rich countries. Although once disdained as an inferior fuel when fuel oil prices were $3 to $4 a barrel, lignite briquettes look attractive for many uses, when compared with oil at $20 to $40 a barrel.

Lignite briquettes of uniform quality and size would overcome the major objections against lignite use for tobacco-drying ie., the lack of control over the burning rate and, hence, the rate of temperature increase. Transport, storage, and handling costs for briquettes would be higher than for diesel or fuel oil, but these differences are minor compared with the cost differential between lignite and petroleum-based fuels on a heat content basis.

Conversion of lignite into briquettes would increase the costs of the fuel. In 1978, a small-sized briquetting plant based on the Li deposit was under construction, with a target production date of summer 1979 (Derek Industry of Synthetic Coal Co., Ltd). Its design capacity was 12,000 tons of briquettes per year, destined mainly for an acetylene plant and other local users. Total capital costs of the plant were estimated at US$750,000 and projected sales prices for the briquettes were $70 per ton.

West German manufacturing sources of briquetting plants estimate that the total installed costs of a highly mechanized plant at Li, for an annual capacity of some 500,000 tons, would amount to about US$103 million. Assuming a life expectancy of 30 years, capital cost charges for such a plant would be $24/ton at a real opportunity cost of 11%, and $62/ton at a market discount rate of 30%. For such a highly automated plant, labor requirements would be only 30 men per shift.

These somewhat sketchy cost estimates nevertheless indicate that lignite briquettes are likely to be a competitive fuel for the tobacco-curing industry. This can be seen from the data in Table 13.8, which estimate a range of briquette prices that would make them cost-equivalent with diesel fuels in real economic terms. The main assumption underlying the analysis is that lignite briquettes, because of their uniform quality, would provide the same controllability of barn temperature changes as do wood or petroleum fuels at present. Two diesel fuel prices were assumed. The first, of US$20 per barrel, represents the delivered, shadow-priced 1978 fuel costs as used in Table 13.7. The second, of $32 per barrel, approximates the average 1979 world market price. Several ranges of potential lignite briquette requirements were used. At present, average raw lignite briquettes would have a higher heat rate per unit of weight because they would be free from impurities and moisture, and have superior burning characteristics. On a comparative heat content basis, 10,000 liters of diesel fuel are equivalent to 15 tons of dried and clean lignite from the Li deposit (6,200 kcal/kg dry). However, the burning efficiency of briquettes may be somewhat lower than those of diesel fuel burners that blow the generated combustion gases directly into the heat-exchanger pipes. How much lower this thermal efficiency would be can only be established through field trials. Such data are not available at present; hence, three ranges of briquette requirements per barn per year have been shown: 15 tons, 20 tons, and 25 tons.

At diesel costs of US$20/bbl., maximum allowable delivered briquette costs per ton in terms of border prices range from $49, if 25 tons are needed, to $82, if 15 tons suffice. In equivalent market prices they range from $61 to $102 per ton. At diesel prices of $32/bbl., which are more in line with post-1979 world market price levels, briquette costs per ton can range from $78 to $131 in border prices, and from $98 to $163 in market prices. At their lower bound these equivalent market prices are lower than the quoted market price of $70 of Derek Industry. However, a larger briquetting plant is likely to be more efficient so that, even in this extreme case, the briquettes are likely to be the more efficient alternative in both economic and financial terms. At all other prices, briquettes are clearly less costly than diesel fuel in economic terms. From a national point of view, therefore, every effort should be made to promote the use of lignite briquettes for tobacco-curing.

Unfortunately, the issue is not quite so clear-cut when the analysis is done strictly in financial terms, on the basis of market prices. Clearly, the results of the financial rather than the economic analysis will determine actual industry behavior, unless the government deliberately intervenes in the industry's decision process. Table 13.9 repeats the analysis of Table 13.8, in financial terms. At prevailing 1978 diesel fuel prices, maximum delivered briquette costs must be as low as US$53/ton if as much as 25 tons per barn per season are needed, or $88/ton, if 15 tons are found to be sufficient. The lower limit is below the quoted price of $70/ton from Derek Industries, the only existing briquette producer at present. At average 1979 diesel fuel prices of $33/bbl., however, the allowable briquette price range is more attractive -- from $83/ton for 25 tons per barn to $138 for 15 tons per barn -- substantially above the $70/ton Derek Industry price. Hence, if 1979 petroleum product world market prices prevail, and if domestic prices for lignite briquettes do not rise substantially relative to prevailing prices, briquettes are likely to be the more attractive fuel in strictly financial terms as well. This would obviously make it much easier for the government to persuade the tobacco-curing industry to switch to lignite briquettes; provided of course, that the technical assumptions about their suitability can be proved and that the needed investment capital and know-how for the production of qualitatively acceptable lignite briquettes can be found.

With an estimated demand by the tobacco-curing industry alone of between 120,000-200,000 tons of briquettes per year, this would result in a new industry with a value of output of some US$8 to $14 million. It would increase local employment, provide an opportunity for other users of heating energy to tap a new source of supply, reduce pressure on dwindling supplies of firewood and charcoal, and best of all, decrease dependence on hydro-carbon imports by approximately US$14-16 million per year.

For the Thai economy, this specific use of the lignite deposit at Li would mean that for a period of over 30 years a locally-produced energy product would replace $14 to $16 million of hydro-carbon imports per year. The present value equivalent of this switch-over would be between $122 and $139 million, evaluated at an estimated 11% opportunity cost of capital for Thailand. Considering that the foreign exchange costs of starting a briquetting plant to serve the needs of the tobacco-curing industry is likely to be in the $10 to $15 million range, this appears to be a worthwhile investment, indeed.

Household surveys undertaken in rural Africa have demonstrated that fuelwood remains the predominate fuel for rural household energy use throughout the continent. However, the determinants of fuel switching or movements up or down the energy ladder may be somewhat difficult to predict in the rural context. A rural household survey undertaken in Kenya in 1981 shows that fuelwood is by far the single most important fuel used by households for cooking. When it was unavailable, households would be forced to switch either to crop residues or kerosene. Fuelwood availability is an extremely localized phenomenon and may be linked to diverse factors, such as land tenure, population density, settlement density, and crop types. On the national level, income may prove less useful as a predictor of household energy use patterns than might be other factors such as level of engagement with the cash economy. Subsistence farmers showed a relatively heavier reliance on firewood and a lesser consumption of kerosene, LPG, and electricity than did cash-crop farmers or even farm workers or schoolteachers. As most of rural Kenya remains unelectrified, the final rung in the energy ladder was occupied by a very small fraction of households. Rural household energy use patterns remain somewhat problematic and difficult to predict given the wide range of other confounding variables found to influence household fuel choice.

A survey undertaken by Davis in several South African rural areas again confirms that fuelwood is the predominant fuel of choice for all households at all income levels. There is a tendency to shift from collecting firewood to purchasing it as incomes increase, but firewood remains relatively constant as the most important cooking fuel in rural areas. Kerosene again emerges as a transitional fuel for cooking. Candles, kerosene, and electricity are the predominant fuels used for lighting in rural areas. For households connected to the grid, there is a decline in expenditures on kerosene and candles for lighting. But there is also a tendency for the lowest income households to continue purchasing and using candles even after they have grid electricity. This is attributable either to limited indoor wiring or to limited cash-flows prohibiting the purchase of cards for pre-payment meters. What does emerge from the South African evidence is the relatively large number of households that use multiple fuels for a single end use. For example, 25% of the electrified households and 56% of the unelectrified ones used both kerosene and fuelwood for cooking. In short, the authors conclude that a household energy transition from traditional to modern fuels is taking place in rural South Africa. However, they express reservations about whether it will result in a simple transition to electricity use or an increase in the use of multiple fuels for a single end use.

In urban areas across Africa, the situation appears to be more predictable. Hosier and Kipondya present data from urban Tanzania showing that charcoal is the predominant fuel used in urban households across all income groups. Although this predominance of charcoal may vary according to the city, its role varies little per income category. Kerosene consumption demonstrates the role of a transitional fuel whose use rises with small increases in income and then decreases at higher income levels. Electricity use increases across all income levels. The urban household energy transition appears to be proceeding slowly in Tanzania, despite the country's rather sluggish economic performance during the period under examination. Policy effortsespecially cross-product subsidies to kerosene and artificially low electricity pricesmight have played an important role in ensuring that more urban households were able to move up the energy ladder than down during the period of examination.

A detailed ESMAP-sponsored survey of rural household energy use in six counties of China demonstrated that most households used fuelwood, agricultural residues, or coal for their domestic cooking needs. Households in the poorer counties tended to show greater reliance on firewood while those in the more industrialized counties used very little firewood and more coal. Coal was a major household fuel in four of the six counties, especially where fuelwood was scarce. In other locations where fuelwood was scarce, straw and crop waste were used. Electricity use was again positively related to income. On balance, income is seen to play an important role in driving households to use electricity, but fuelwood shortagesfrequently very locally determinedtend to drive households either up or down the energy ladder to other fuels.

From an ESMAP-sponsored analysis of surveys of household energy use in six states of rural India, the evidence shows that there is a slow transition to modern fuels brought on both by increasing economic status of households and by an increasing scarcity of fuelwood. In a cross-sectoral analysis, higher-income households clearly used more electricity and more LPG than did lower-income households. Upper-income households also spent a larger absolute amount of money on their household energy needs, but due to the higher incomes, this represented a smaller fraction of their total income. While a higher fraction of upper-income rural households also utilized electricity for lighting and other purposes, the utilization of biomass energy appeared to decline only at the highest income levels in the rural areas. However, the time devoted to collecting fuelwood in rural areas declined with income as wealthier households would tend to purchase firewood instead of gathering it. From 1980 to 1996, over 8% of rural households acknowledged switching from using firewood for their domestic cooking chores to using some other fuels. Over 60% of these households moved to kerosene and LPG for cooking. The remaining households acknowledged fuel switches either to biogas or down the energy ladder to crop residues or dung. In both urban and rural areas, kerosene is seen to fulfill the role of first step up the energy ladder as many households begin using it to cook with prior to moving on to LPG or other modern energy carriers. In urban India, LPG has become the fuel of choice for cooking and has begun to be widely utilized. This has been attributable not just to an increased supply of the fuel, but also to the breaking up of the near-monopoly on LPG distribution maintained by the national petroleum companies. In general, these data from India show that there is a movement among both rural and urban households to more sophisticated modern fuels from traditional, biomass fuels.

In a review of energy use surveys in urban areas in Asia, Sathaye and Tyler presented household energy consumption patterns from cities in India, China, Thailand, the Phillipines, and Hong Kong. While each country and indeed each city within a country demonstrated very different energy use patterns, their findings showed several tendencies. First, as incomes increased, households tended to rely less on biomass and more on modern fuels. Somewhat surprisingly, modern fuels may have been preferred over traditional biomass fuels not only because of their greater convenience but also because of they are cheaper when measured in terms of their cost per unit of energy delivered. Second, as incomes increased, households not only made use of a larger quantity of electricity, but they also made use of electricity for a larger set of end uses. Urban households at all levels of income began purchasing and using electrical appliances, from light bulbs to refrigerators to color television sets. This relatively rapid dissemination of appliances throughout urban Asia would indicate that household electricity demand is likely to grow in the same rapid way as it has in the more developed, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. It also poses an opportunity for electricity conservation: if these appliances can be made more efficient, then household standards of living can continue to rise with a less significant increase in electrical requirements. Finally, kerosene usewhich is considered to be an inferior modern fueldeclined in importance through time and as incomes increased. While not confirming the existence of a rigid, linear, and universal energy ladder, the evidence presented from urban Asia confirmed that households do move to more modern fuels across time and as income allows.

The most important sources of traditional energy are firewood and charcoal, which is produced from firewood. Local people harvest firewood by coppicing shrubs and cutting branches from mature trees. Rural people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America generally avoid felling whole trees for domestic firewood because of the time and labor required to cut the tree and split the logs.

In semiarid areas of Africa, women prefer the straight, moderately sized branches that coppiced shrubs produce. Rural people go out in the dry season and coppice (cut at the base) small shrubs (family Combretaceae). Women carry branches back to the village and let them dry. Just before the first rains, men and women cut a store of firewood for the rainy season. This serves, first, to avoid cutting wood that is wet and difficult to burn and, second, to complete a time-consuming and strenuous chore before the exhausting and rushed rainy season.

Coppiced shrubs resprout in the rainy season and regrow branches in a year. When shrubs become scarce, women pull branches from adult trees, sometimes using long-handled hooks. This harms the growth potential of a tree by removing shoot apical meristem tissues and can yield thorny branches that are difficult to handle. When branches are depleted, women in semiarid areas of Africa fall back on noxious, dead stalks of spurge (family Euphorbiaciae). The last resort is animal dung.

While women carry firewood for rural use, rural people also load beasts of burden and carts to transport wood for sale in urban areas. In this way, a town or city can generate impacts far beyond its borders.

Wood contains energy at a density of approximately 15GJt1, one-third the energy density of oil. The relatively low-energy density of wood renders its transport onerous relative to the energy gained. Conversion of firewood to charcoal creates a product with double the energy per unit mass, but emits up to two-thirds of the energy contained in the original wood as waste heat. Charcoal makers cut down live and dead trees, targeting sturdy tree trunks. They pile the wood, cover it with soil to form a kiln 14m in height and 13m in diameter, and ignite a slow burn. Over 36 days, the wood converts to charcoal by partially anaerobic pyrolysis.

If wood harvesting for firewood or charcoal exceeds the natural regeneration of shrubs and trees, then wood harvesting will reduce vegetative cover. Reduction of vegetative cover and conversion of forested or wooded land to savanna or grassland comprise the principal potential impacts of traditional energy on natural ecosystems. People's preferences for certain species for firewood can also create a risk of overharvesting preferred species.

In some areas of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, international development agencies have funded the massive plantation of nonnative tree species for firewood production. Plantations that replace native forest or woodland eliminate natural ecosystems. In general, the biological and structural diversity of natural forests makes an area more resilient to fire, wind, and insect disturbances.

Natural regeneration of local species can restore native forest cover in ecosystems changed by overharvesting. Natural regeneration is a traditional practice in which farmers and herders protect and promote the growth of young native trees. Traditionally, local people protect small trees that have germinated naturally or resprouted from roots, prune them to promote growth of the apical meristem and, if necessary, set a stake to straighten the small tree. In Africa, natural regeneration has expanded Acacia albida from an original restricted range along rivers in Southern Africa to an extensive range that reaches across the continent north to the Sahel. Natural regeneration requires no external inputs. It concerns species well known and appreciated by rural people. It focuses on young trees that have demonstrated their hardiness by surviving with no human caretaker, no watering, and no special treatment. Natural regeneration not only augments the supply of wood, poles, fruit, medicine, and other forest products, it puts trees where farmers and herders need them in fields to maintain soil fertility and in pastures to provide forage.

Photosynthetic activity converts only a fraction of total available solar radiation to wood. Nevertheless, the inefficiency of human tools for the conversion of wood to heat and light renders human end-uses even more wasteful. Table 5 shows this energy chain from sunshine to wood end-use in the West African Sahel.

Improved cook stoves with higher fuel efficiencies can help conserve vegetative cover in rural areas that depend on firewood. In many areas, women customarily cook with a kettle over an open fire. International development agencies have helped to develop stoves such as, in Senegal, the ban ak suuf, a horseshoe-shaped hearth constructed from local clay that provides an enclosed combustion space that more effectively channels heat to the cooking vessel. The lorena in Guatemala is another improved efficiency earthen stove. The jiko in Kenya and sakkanal in Senegal are enclosed metal or ceramic charcoal stoves that more effectively contain heat than traditional open charcoal burners.

For centuries, society has channeled water to mill grain and captured wind to move sailing ships and pump water. Small water and windmills comprise a form of traditional energy that generally requires only local materials and expertise for building and maintenance. The simplest water mills are run-of-the-river systems in which a water wheel is placed in the current of a perennial stream or river. A water wheel typically turns a circular stone for the grinding of grain. More advanced systems use water channels, pipes, Pelton wheels, or other devices to increase rotation speeds enough to turn a turbine to produce electricity. Small hydropower is most common in mountainous countries like Per. The simplest windmills have a fan with wood or metal blades erected on a tower 515m tall. The fan axis rotates on a horizontal axis, lifting a vertical rod connected to a plunger in a pipe well dug down to the water table. The movement of the plunger lifts water to the surface. This type of windmill is most common in flat grassland regions. Windmills in the Netherlands pumped water from extensive inundated areas that the Dutch enclosed with dikes, dried, and used for agriculture.

Biomass energy in its various forms and uses (firewood, charcoal, crop residues, alcohol fuels, municipal and animal wastes, electricity) accounts for one-seventh of the world's primary energy supplies and over 90% in some developing nations. The United States is the leading electric power producer, with 10.1GWe of capacity from biomass fuels (wood and wastes). Over half of this is cogenerated, mostly from the paper industry. This makes biomass the next largest source of renewable electricity in the United States after hydro power. The United States also has a significant (though subsidized) ethanol industry, which produced over 2 billion gallons in 2002, mostly from corn, with a refining capacity of over 3 billion gallons. Brazil has an even larger ethanol fuel program from sugarcane; production, which was subsidized, was between 3 and 3.5 billion gallons in recent years. Wood is a common source of biomass energy in Scandinavia, China, Pakistan, India, and sub-Saharan Africa. Unfortunately, much of the biomass energy data are incomplete or unreliable, rendering international comparison difficult. Consequently, most geographers working on this subject conduct case studies, especially of wood fuel use and sustainable development.

Solar energy has many applications. Most attention has been given to low-cost solar cookers, water and space heaters, and photovoltaic cells, though California also 384MW of solar power plant capacity. The price of photovoltaic modules declined a hundred old from 1972 to 1992. The module price had fallen further to $3.40/W and $2.46/W by 2001 for low- and high-volume purchases, which makes them cost-effective in limited applications. Japan and Germany lead the market for photovoltaics, with over 400 and 250 MW, respectively. Japan is also the world's leading user of household solar thermal collectors. Israel is even more dependent on solar energy. Over 80% of Israeli households have solar water heaters (more than 1.3 million installations), and solar energy accounted for 3% of its total energy use in 2001.

Globally, almost 3 billion people rely on biomass (wood, charcoal, crop residues, and dung) and coal as their primary source of domestic energy. Biomass accounts for more than one-half of household energy in many developing countries and for as much as 95% in some lower income regions (Fig. 1). There is also evidence that in some countries the declining trend of household dependence on biomass has slowed, or even reversed, especially among poorer households. Slow economic growth, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, lack of energy infrastructure in remote rural areas for delivery of alternative energy sources, and uncertainty about the price of alternative fuels are among the likely causes of the persistence of biomass fuels.

how to grow jacobs ladder flowers (polemonium caeruleum) - gardening channel

Jacobs ladder (Polemonium caeruleum) is a popular choice for beginning gardeners due to its hardiness and easy care instructions as well as its beautiful light blue to dark purple flowers. Jacobs ladder is a relatively pest-resistant and low maintenance plant.

Though known primarily for its colorful blooms, Jacobs ladder actually gets its name from the shape of its leaves. The plant forms a clump of tightly packed leaf stems, which each contain tiny leaflets. These leaflets rise along the stem somewhat like a ladder, and the full name is a reference to the ladder in Jacobs Biblical dream. This leaf formation is known as a pinnate and is relatively uncommon among flowering plants.

The first word of the official botanical name, polemonium, comes from the from the Greek name for the plant, polemonion, which is a reference to the Greek philosopher Polemos of Cappadocia. In Latin, the species name simply means most handsome, a title the flowering perennial has certainly earned. The genus name of Jacobs ladder is attributed to several namesakes, including King Polemon of Pontus and an early philosopher from Athens of the same name. The Greek word polemos also means war. A Roman scholar by the name of Pliny the Elder wrote that the name Polemonium caeruleum originally came from the war created by the rivalry between two kings who both claimed that they were the first to discover the Jacobs ladder plants medical value. The Native American name for Jacobs ladder translates to smells like a pine which doesnt describe the scent of the flowers themselves, but their roots.

There are two different types of Jacobs ladder: one common to gardening and one that grows in the wild. The wild one, Polemonium reptans, is considered a threatened species in some states. Therefore, growing it at home is discouraged as a way to keep gardeners from taking cuttings from wild plants to add to their collections. Polemonium caeruleum, also known as Greek valerian, was developed specifically for growing in the garden and is available in many different shades, sizes, and varieties. Here are a few of our favorites.

Polemonium Snow and Sapphires: Similar to the popular Brise dAnjou variety but hardier and more resistant to pests, the Snow and Sapphires variety is a no-brainer choice. The Snow and Sapphires plant shows off variegated leaves with bright blue flowers. Hardy in USDA zones 5 to 8, this variety grows to 24 to 30 inches in height.

Polemonium Album: Clusters of white bell-shaped flowers with long yellow stamens sit atop mid-green foliage. The Album variety is a wonderful standout flower for late spring and early summer blooms and is hardy in zones 3 through 8.

Polemonium Stairway to Heaven: Bright blue flower clusters sit atop variegated leaves that tend to blush pink in cooler weather conditions. The pink tint really brings the plant to life in zones 4 through 8. Stairway to heaven reaches only 12 to 24 inches in height.

Polemonium Bambino Blue: The Bambino Blue variety is sure to catch the eye of passersby because of its beautiful light blue flowerhead and big yellow central eye with elongated stamens. One of the most compact varieties, Bambino Blue is hardy in zones 3 to 9.

Polemonium Bressingham Purple: The Bressingham Purple variety tops out at two feet, with violet-blue flowers and brightly variegated foliage that forms clumps that range from one foot to a foot and a half wide. The foliage sets this variety apart from others with similar colors. Bressingham purple is hardy in zones 4 to 8.

Polemonium Boreale: This dwarf variety only grows as high as three inches to one foot. In late spring, it produces small purple or blue flowers. Native to areas near the Arctic circle, this smaller variety is hardy from zones 3 to 9 and flowers in late spring.

Jacobs ladder is a woodland perennial that generally prefers a shady to semi-shady spot, as the leaves tend to scorch and burn with too much direct sunlight exposure. Jacobs ladder thrives in soil that is rich in organic material and a consistently moist but not soggy environment, especially while it is establishing its root system. Once the roots are established, the plant is actually quite resistant to drought.

Moist soil doesnt mean boggy, though. The soil where you grow Jacobs ladder needs to be well-drained and never fully wet, as this flower will not live long in standing water. The plant is much more fussy about moisture conditions in the soil than it is regarding pH, but the best results will be seen in a loose, rich soil with a pH balance between 6.2 and 7.0, a nearly neutral range, which makes it a great planting companion for a ton of different springtime flowers.

Once you have located a spot that is suitable to the needs of Jacobs ladder and gotten the plants adjusted to their new homes, there are very few flowers that are easier to grow. Varieties with dark to mid-green leaves can handle more sunlight than varieties with variegated foliage.

Plant division is the recommended method for planting Jacobs Ladder, but you can have great results growing from seed as well. After all danger of frost has passed, sow the tiny brown seeds directly into the ground. Sprinkle some light soil over the seeds, and keep them moist until you start to see sprouts. Seeds tend to germinate very quickly and should be thinned until one plant stands every 18 inches or so. If youre planting from seed, you can expect to see a fine burst of foliage on the first year of growth, but you may not see any blooms until the second year.

Jacobs ladder care is simple to say the least. After blooming, the stems may become a bit leggy and could benefit from some light trimming. After a few years, some foliage will start to become discolored or unsightly. Simply trim away all unbecoming leaves, and you will start to see new growth sprout up almost immediately. Deadhead after the first blooms appear in late spring.

Division is the only laborious bit of care that gardeners may choose to invest in their Jacobs ladder plants, and it should be undertaken in the early spring each year, just as new growth starts to take place. At this point, carefully dig around the plant and remove the entire thing, roots and all, from the earth. The rosettes must then be separated by tearing the roots apart and replanting each plant separately. This is also a great time to add a bunch of organic material into the soil for the new blooming season. Water the divided transplants well, and keep them moist for a few weeks to give them ample time to recover from the shock and adjust to their new plots.

Though it is usually not an issue, larger varieties of Jacobs ladder can eventually start to droop or become leggy, and can benefit from staking. Judge for yourself whether you want a more upright plant or dont mind them bowing a bit. Staking is recommended especially in if your plants are in an area where theyll be exposed to lots of high-speed winds.

Jacobs ladder is resistant to most insect infestations and diseases. Its also deer and rabbit resistant, so you dont have to worry about nibbling wildlife snacking on your blooms. Sun scorch is actually the most common problem with the flowers foliage, as some mistakenly plant it in a location with insufficient afternoon shade. Too little water can also cause the leaves to brown at the tips. Possible issues gardeners occasionally encounter include leafminers, slugs, leaf pot, and powdery mildew.

Jacobs ladder starts to bloom around the same time as many other flowers. Therefore, alliums, bleeding heart, and Brunnera are wonderful companion flowers for it in the flower bedand their colors are also very complementary. The dainty, airy branches of Jacobs ladder plants are a nice textural contrast to the more substantial leaves of Brunnera. Hosta is another excellent companion plant, as its leaves may still be unfurling as Jacobs ladder starts to produce its first buds in late spring.

Check out this video for an in-depth guide on how to grow Jacobs ladder: This video from Garden Time TV features Jacobs ladder, a springtime favorite in the Pacific Northwest: This video contains detailed care instructions for dwarf varieties of Jacobs ladder: This short video gives you a close-up view of Jacobs ladder, in showy blue:

Sources: Angelfire covers Jacobs Ladder Better Homes & Gardens covers Jacobs Ladder Gardeners Path covers Jacobs Ladder: Regal Shade-Blooming Perennial The Garden Helper covers Polemonium Gardening Know How covers Growing Jacobs Ladder HomeGuide SFGate covers How to Care for a Jacobs Ladder Plant The Spruce covers Growing Spring Blooming Jacobs Ladder