Fuelwood characteristics of some Indian mountain species

Fuelwood characteristics of some Indian mountain species

Fores~Ecelogy andManagenwnt, 47 (1992) 363-366 363 © 1992 - Elsevier Science Publishers BN. All rights reserved. 6378-1127192/$05.00 Short Communic...

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Fores~Ecelogy andManagenwnt, 47 (1992) 363-366


© 1992 - Elsevier Science Publishers BN. All rights reserved. 6378-1127192/$05.00

Short Communication

Fuelwood characteristics of some Indian m o u n t a i n species B.P Bhatt and N.P. Todaria Departw,~nt of Forsstry, H..]V.B. Garhwal University, Srinagar Garhwal-246174 U.P., India

(Accepted 21 November 1990)

ABSTRACT Bhatt, B.P. and Todaria, N.P., 1992. Fuelwood characteristics of some Indian mountain species. For. Ecol. Manage., 47: 363-366. Qualitative analysis of 20 indigenous mountain taxa of Garhwal Himalaya proved that temperate species are best suited as firewood as they contain high density wood, low ash and moisture fractions, high biomass to ash ratio and low nitrogen percentage. Our results showed that Anogeissus latifolia (a tropical taxa) had an average calorific value, high density and comparatively low ash content and thus has the highest Fuelwoed Value Index (FVI). Morus serrata, Rhus javaniea, Viburnum spp.,Symplocos spp.,Rhamnus triqueter, and Salix spp., have premising fuelwood properties. INTRODUCTION Fuelwood is t h e only source of e n e r g y in t h e m o u n t a i n villages of G a r h w a l H i m a l a y a ; c o m m e r c i a l e n e r g y is beyond t h e r o a c h of o r d i n a r y people d u e to poor socio-economic conditions, lack of c o m m u n i c a t i o n facilities, s k y - r o c k e t i n g prices a n d limited supply. People of t h e region h a v e b e e n fulfilling t h e i r e n e r g y d e m a n d a l m o s t solely from forests. Because of t h e irratiowal u s e s of n a t u r a l resources, fuel s h o r t a g e h a s become a c u t e with s u b s t a n t i a l increase in h u m a n a n d bovine population on t h e one h a n d a n d decreasing forest a r e a s on t h e other, r e s u l t i n g in all k i n d s of p l a n t s being u s e d as fuelwood (Badoni a n d B h a t t , 1989). Therefore, to overcome t h e fuelwood crisis, a basic a p p r o a c h would be to r e v e g e t a t e t h e H i m a l a y a n w a s t e l a n d s a s m u c h a s possible w i t h p l a n t t a x a h a v i n g high calorific v a l u e s as well as f a s t g r o w t h r a t e a n d h i g h s u r v i v a l p e r c e n t a g e u n d e r field conditions.



Although the fuelwood characteristics of some trees and shrubs have been documented in India (Krishna and R a m a s w a m y 1932; Singh and Khanduja 1984; Singh et al., 1984), only recently has information on the firewood properties of some mountain taxa been published (Purohit and Nautiyal, 1987; Bhatt and Todaria, 1990; Bhatt and Badoni, 1990). More information is required in this context so that energy plantation of indigenous fast growing tree/shrub species can be taken into consideration. As part of our continuing documentat.ion of suitable taxa for fuelwood falruing in these hills,the present communication deals with firewood properties of 9 tropical and 11 temperate indigenous mountain taxa. MATERIALS AND METHODS Branch cuttings of each species were collected and made into 5 samples of 10 cm long pieces, weight and volume of each sample was measured and dried in an electricoven at 105 ± 3°C to constant weight to assess moisture contents. Basic density was measured by water displacement technique. Samples were ground in an electric mill and pelleted. Energy of each sample was calculated by burning the sample in an 02 bomb calorimeter. 2 g of ground material was burnt in a muffle furnace at 6O0°C for the determination of ash. Nitrogen was estimated by Macrokjeldahl method (Humphries, 1956). Fuelwocd Value Index was calculated after Purohit and Nautiyal (1987). Fuelwood Value Index (FVI) =

Calorific Value (KJ/g) x Density (g/cm 3) Ash content {g/g) x Water content{g/g)

RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS Our data for calorific values fall within the range of values reported by earlier workers from this part of the country (Purohit and Nautiyal, 1987; Bhatt and Todaria, 1990; Bhatt and Badoni, 1990). Table 1 shows that Anogeissus lati/blia,a tropical taxa, has the highest Fuelwood Value Index of all the screened fuelwood taxa. However, Viburnum mullaha and Rhusjavanica have m a x i m u m calorificvalues. Anogeissus latifoliaseems a promising fuel taxa on account of its high density wood, average calorificvalue, low moisture as well as ash contents. Morus serrata (temperate taxa) is another taxa having high Fuelwood Value Index. Biomass to ash ratio of all the taxa remained below 100 because of high ash contents. Ash percentage was comparatively at the higher level (Table 1) over other fuel taxa reported earlier from this part of the country (Purohit and Nautiyal, 1987; Bhatt and Todaria, 1990). Moreover, tropical taxa have higher ash percentage than that of temperate species. In general, woods having high calorificvalues, high density, low fractions of ash and moisture are known as ideal firewood species. Therefore, temperate ta~v~ fulfilall the fuel characteristics which seem to be in agreement with the




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findings of e a r l i e r w o r k e r s ( B h a t t a n d Todaria, 1990; B h a t t a n d Badoni, 1990). I n g e n e r a l t h e t e m p e r a t e species h a v e c o m p a r a t i v e l y h i g h e r calorific v a l u e as well as Fuelwood V a l u e Index, t h u s being m o r e s u i t a b l e for firewood production in t h e s e hills. E m i s s i o n of nitrogen oxide d u r i n g combustion f r o m wood reduces its acceptability as a suitable fuelwood (Purohit a n d N a u t i y a l , 1987), however, p r e s e n t d a t a show low contents of nitrogen, not a d v e r s e l y affecting t h e firewood properties. Among 9 tropical taxa, calorific values and densities of oven dried woods r e m a i n e d average except t h a t of Anogeissus latifolia. Moreover they h a v e high a s h a n d moisture percentages a n d thereby low Fuelwood Value Indexes, which m a k e t h e m least beneficial for the purpose. According to the present data, Caseasiagraveolens, Streblus asper, a n d Olea spp. possess high a s h a n d moisture contents. T h e y are, however, still used as fuelwoods because of the fuel scarcity. O u t of 20 species studied, Anogeissus latifolia, Morus serrata, Rhusjavaniea a n d Viburnum spp. h a v e p r o m i s i n g fuelwood characteristics. Q u a l i t a t i v e a n a l y s i s of Rhamnus triquetra, ~alix spp., Neolitsea pallens, Litsea elongata and Terminalia beleriea proves t h a t t h e s e t a x a c a n also be e m p l o y e d for fuelwood f a r m i n g in t h e s e m o u n t a i n s . ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

One of t h e a u t h o r s (BPB) is gratefully i n d e b t e d to t h e Council of Scientific a n d I n d u s t r i a l Research, N e w Delhi, for t h e direct a w a r d of Senior R e s e a r c h F e l l o w s h i p a n d (NPT) to t h e D e p a r t m e n t of N o n - C o n v e n t i o n a l E n e r g y Sources, G o v e r n m e n t of India, N e w Delhi, for financial assistance. T h a n k s a r e also due to Dr. K.C. B h a t t for help in collection of p l a n t m a t e r i a l s . REFERENCES

Badoni, A.K. and Bhatt, B.P., 1989. Aspects and prospects of energy Plantation in Himalayan wastelands. A case study of Garhwal Himalaya. In: Paper presented in National Workshop on Economicsof Energy Plantation on Wastelands 7--8Aug., 1989, Raj. Agric. Univ. Bikaner, India. Bhatt, B.P. and Badoni, A.K., 1990. Fuelwood characteristics of some mountain firewood shrubs and trees. Energy, 15:1069-1070. Bhatt, B.P. and Todaria, N.P., 1990. Fuelwood characteristics of some mountain trees and shrubs. Biomass, 21: 233-238. Humphries, E.C., 1956. Mineral components and ash analysis. In: K. Peach and M.V. Traeey (Editors), Modern Methods in Plant Analysis, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Germany, pp. 468-501. Krishna, S. and Ramaswamy, S., 1932. Calorific values of some Indian woods. Forest Bulletin No. 79. Chemistry series, Central Publication Branch, Govt. of India, Calcutta. Purohit, A.N. and Nautiyal, A.R., 1987. Fuelwood Value Index of Indian mountain tree species. Int. Tree Crops J., 4:177-182. Singh, B. and Khanduja, S.D., 1984. Wood properties of some firewood shrubs in northern India. Biomass, 4: 235-238. Singh, B., Khanduja, S.D. and Srivastava, G.S., 1984. Qualitative analysis of some firewood shrubs. Biomass, 5:317-320.