Peat, also known as turf, is an accumulation of organic matter or decayed vegetation that is found in natural areas such as mires or peatlands. Soils that contain significant amount of peat are referred to as a histosol. It is generally formed in wetland temperatures, where flooding slows down the rates of decomposition by obstructing the flow of oxygen from the atmosphere. Peat is harvested as a vital source of fuel in different regions of the world. Different types of peat materials such as sapric, hemic and fibric are majorly consumed in agriculture, freshwater aquaria, water filtration, and generating electricity.
The global market for peat has been witnessing noticeable growing owing to its reputation as a renewable source of energy, where the extraction rate has exceeded its slow re-growth rate in industrialized countries. Due to this, peat has been gaining significant importance in the fuel industry following which the UNFCCC, and other organizations affiliated with the UN have classified peat as important source of fuel.
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Growing demand for electricity generation on account of growing population has been one of the major factors driving the peat market. Growing industries of alcoholic beverages, water treatment and horticulture are also anticipated to contribute to the growth of the market. However, owing to its classification as a “slow renewable fuel” by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and many other manufacturers, peat industry is expected to experience a slowdown in the next few years. Increasing popularity for bio-fuels and focus on development of bio-based peat products are expected to provide new opportunities for the growth of the market.
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North America and South America were some of the largest producers for peat, followed by Europe. Cocogreen, T & J Enterprises, Global Coirs, Global Peat Ltd., and SMSCOCO are some of the major peat manufacturer in the industry.