The recent blast of pollution which shrouded much of northern China during part of the now-concluded National Day holiday has once-again sparked debate about what authorities are doing to try to reduce straw-burning in China. Heavy smog again blanketed northern China during this past week’s National Day holiday, with straw burning mostly blamed. The state environmental protection bureau says they identified some 400 burning sites in nine different provinces in the north of China during the period, up over 16 percent from the same period last year…Full Article: Oct 2015

Key Point

  • In northern China, farmers generally burn leftover straw, also known as stubble burning, after the autumn harvest. Farmers then plough the land and use the burnt straw as a type of natural fertilizer. China banned stubble burning years ago, but the practice is still widespread.
  • Stubble burning is widespread in Taikang county, Henan province. The county was fined CNY 20 million (~US$3.16 million) for burning straw during China’s National Day holiday (1 to 3 October, 2015).

ChinaAg Comment

  • In December 2014, a local official from Heilongjiang was seeking to process 20,000 MTs of corn stalk into 10,000 MTs of industrial oil and 5,000 MTs of biochar (a type of “green” charcoal). In general, stalks can be processed into eco-fuel (e.g. biochar) or used to produce electricity. The burning of corn stalks typically produces black smoke, smog, and haze.

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