ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0244.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: wood combustion; sawdust pellets; solid woods; heat calorific value; ash content; bio-energy; Papua New Guinea
Online: 21 February 2022 (03:23:34 CET)
Burning woody biomass for energy is gaining attention due to environmental issues associated with fossil fuels and carbon emission. The carbon released from burning wood is absorbed by plants and is carbon neutral. The purpose of this study was to investigate the combustion characteristics (heat calorific values and ash contents) of three timbers: Araucaria cunninghamii, Instia bijuga and Pometia pinnata and recommend for fuelwood. The test samples were sawdust particles (treatment) and solid woods (control) extracted from the heartwoods. The sawdust particles were oven-dried, sieved and pelletized into pellets using a hand-held pelletizing device, thus, forming cylindrical dimension (volume 1178.57 mm3, oven dry density 0.0008 g/mm3). While the solid woods were cubed and oven-dried (volume 1000.00 mm3, oven dry density 0.001 g/mm3). Prior to combustion in a semi-automatic bomb calorimeter, 90 test specimens (15 replicates per treatment and control per species) were conditioned to 14 % moisture content (at temperature 105 ºC) and weighed to a constant (unit) mass (1.0 g). The heat energy outputs and ash residues (of treatments) were analyzed statistically. The results indicated variability in heat energy outputs and ash residues between test specimens of the three species. Comparatively, the treatment specimens of A. cunninghamii produced higher calorific value (18.546 kJ/g) than the control (18.376 kJ/g) whilst the treatment specimens of I. bijuga and P. pinnata generated lower heat calorific values (17.124 kJ/g and 18.822 kJ/g) than the control (18.415 kJ/g and 20.659 kJ/g), respectively. According to ash content analysis, A. cunninghamii generated higher residues (6.3%) followed by P. pinnata (4.5%) and I. bijuga (2.8%). The treatment specimens of the three species could not meet the standard heat energy requirement (20.0 kJ/g) and thus, were unsuitable for fuelwood. However, the control specimens of P. pinnata generated equivalent heat energy (20.659 kJ/g) and could be a potential fuelwood.