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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/197

Title: Bamboo as a Source of Bioenergy Feedstock in Ghana
Authors: Sarfo, Dora
Issue Date: 13-Jul-2008
Abstract: Bamboos are used for several purposes for both domestic and industrial uses. They are used for making handicrafts and furniture, building, decorating, paper making and as firewood in many parts of the developing world. However, its potential as an energy crop has not received much attention. Its ability to grow on nutrient poor soils, little requirement of silvicultural management, easy harvesting characteristics, vegetative propagation, fast growth and a host of other desirable characteristics make it a good candidate as an energy crop. Energy crops are cultivated solely for use as sources of energy either through their conversion into gases, alcohols or direct burning (combustion). Among several other criteria, the basic ones for choosing a good energy crop includes ash content, calorific value and moisture content of the crop at harvest This study set out to determine the potential of some bamboo species found in Ghana to be used in the combustion process for the production of energy. The three bamboo species were collected from Subri Plantations in the Western Region of Ghana; Bambusa v. vulgaris and Bambusa v. vittata which are native bamboo species in Ghana and Bambusa heterostachya, an exotic species that has been introduced into Ghana, and tested for their fuel properties. Tests carried out were combustion in a furnace at 500oC for ash content, bomb calorimeter for determination of gross calorific value and oven method was used for moisture content. Analysis of the ash was done as well to test for the proportion of Carbon, Nitrogen, Sulphur, Chlorine and some metallic elements as well. Other tests done included determining proportion of cellulose, lignin, hemicellulose and extractives present in the bamboo. All three species proved to have good fuel characteristics that are suitable for combustion processes in bioenergy production especially when compared with energy crops such as Miscanthus x giganteus and Panicum virgatum (switchgrass). They all have gross calorific values (17.24-17.84 GJ/kg) that fall within the range for woody biomass which is of 15-20 GJ/kg. Their very low ash contents (0.9-2.90%) and average moisture content (16.30 - 11.41%) in addition to characteristic lignin, cellulose, hemicellulose and extractives content gives them desirable fuel properties that make them potentially suitable plant species for the reliable production of energy through the combustion process. Out of the three however, Bambusa heterostachya proved to be the most viable with a higher gross calorific value, very low ash content and the lowest moisture content.
Description: A thesis submitted to the Department of Wood Science and Technology Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master Of Science Wood Technology and Industrial Management, November 2008
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/197
Appears in Collections:College of Agric and Natural Resources

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