Latest News on Wood fuel April-21

[1] Storage and drying of wood fuel

Some of the available techniques for the storage and drying of various types of woody biomass, and how they affect dry matter loss, fuel quality and working environment are discussed. These include field trials of ventilated storage with arable coppice and logging residues and experiments testing the effect of particle size on the storage of wood fuel. The development of a mathematical model for describing the drying of wood chips in bulk, and experiments to validate the model are discussed.

[2] Wood fuel consumption in Maputo, Mozambique

The population of Mozambique’s capital Maputo relies to a large extent on wood fuel to meet its energy needs. The paper, based on a sample of 168 non-domestic and 240 domestic consumers, shows that domestic households constitute the most important wood fuel users in the city. Domestic consumption is now between 0.9 and  of woody biomass per capita, an increase of more than 10% compared to data from the 1980s. This increase occurs despite a growing importance of alternatives such as paraffin, gas and electricity, and can be explained by the substitution of firewood by charcoal. The paper also shows a strong correlation between fuel consumption and socio-economic factors such as household size, area of residence and income. A striking feature is that similar to poorer families higher income households tend to use charcoal in combination with non-woody fuels, contradicting FAO’s (1993) “fuel ladder”. The paper argues finally that the importance of social economic factors inflicts a dynamism on fuel consumption patterns, which makes it necessary to monitor them on a regular instead of an ad hoc basis, as is the case now.

[3] Storage as a tool to improve wood fuel quality

This work analysed the influence of storage in the quality of forest biomass for energy generation in the region of Lages, Brazil. Logs of Pinus taeda L. and Eucalyptus dunnii Maiden were harvested and piled during the four different seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter. The analyses were performed immediately after harvesting (without being stored), after two, four and six months of storage. The evaluated properties were: moisture content, gross and net calorific value, ash content and solubility in cold water, hot water and sodium hydroxide. The species composition, storage span, harvesting season and storage season influenced the forest biomass characteristics. In general, eucalyptus presented better results than pine, losing moisture faster, having less alteration in the chemical composition and producing greater energetic gain over storage time.

[4] Fuel and Physiochemical Properties of Cashew (Anarcardium 1 occidentale) Nut Oil, Its Biodiesel and Blends with Diesel

The aim of this study is to measure the fuel and physiochemical properties of cashew nut oil, its biodiesel and blends with diesel fuel. The oil was extracted by soxhlet extraction method and transesterified with methanol using sodium hydroxide as catalyst. The resulting biodiesel was washed, dried and blended 20% (B20) and 10% (B10) with diesel. They were characterized following the ASTM and EN protocols and the fatty acid profile was determined by chromatography analyzer. The result obtained shows that the properties of the biodiesel are close to those of diesel and can thus be used as alternative fuel for diesel engines.

[5] Oxygen Saturation Status and Prevalence of Respiratory Symptoms among Female Bakery Workers Using Fossil Fuel in Benin-City, Nigeria

Background: Flour dust is a respiratory sensitizer and chronic exposure to it and to Carbon Monoxide as a result of burning fossil fuel could affect the pulmonary functions and stimulate allergic responses. This study is designed to determine occupational related respiratory symptoms and oxygen saturation level of bakery worker exposed to flour dust.

Objective: Our objective is to compare the respiratory symptoms and oxygen saturation status of bakery workers with those of office workers not exposed to flour dust; compare dust concentration and carbon monoxide levels in the bakery and office environments.

Materials and Methods: Ninety healthy non-smoking adult female workers (test group) from 23 bread bakery industries participated in this study and age and sex matched with 90 healthy adult non-smoking female civil servants not exposed to such an occupational hazard were taken as controls. Pulse Oximetry was performed in all the participants who also completed questionnaire to assess demographic characteristics and prevalence of respiratory symptoms, The results were analyzed using Microsoft Excels, (2013) in percentages, mean ± standard error, student’s t-test for cross group comparison and Chi-square test to assess the association between categorical variables.

Results: The study revealed that the mean oxygen saturation status (SpO₂) of bakery workers was significantly (P < .05) lower than that of the control group.  Also, respiratory symptoms were found to be significantly more prevalent among bakery workers compared to the control group. Dust concentration and Carbon Monoxide (CO) levels were significantly higher in the baking environments compared with the control environments.

Conclusion: In conclusion, workers exposed to flour dust have sensitivity to allergens of flour protein and the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning which can lead to the increase in respiratory symptoms.



[1] Jirjis, R., 1995. Storage and drying of wood fuel. Biomass and Bioenergy9(1-5), pp.181-190.

[2] Brouwer, R. and Falcão, M.P., 2004. Wood fuel consumption in Maputo, Mozambique. Biomass and Bioenergy27(3), pp.233-245.

[3] Brand, M.A., de Muñiz, G.I.B., Quirino, W.F. and Brito, J.O., 2011. Storage as a tool to improve wood fuel quality. Biomass and Bioenergy35(7), pp.2581-2588.

[4] Bello, E.I., Akinola, A.O., Otu, F. and Owoyemi, T.J., 2013. Fuel and Physiochemical Properties of Cashew (Anarcardium 1 occidentale) Nut Oil, Its Biodiesel and Blends with Diesel. Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, pp.1055-1069.

[5] Oko-Ose, J.N., 2017. Oxygen Saturation Status and Prevalence of Respiratory Symptoms among Female Bakery Workers Using Fossil Fuel in Benin-City, Nigeria. Journal of Advances in Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, pp.1-8.

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