The economics of lumber and charcoal production from logging residues

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Studies were conducted to determine the economics of conversion of logging residue into lumber and charcoal from December 2000 to May 2001. For lumber, the study was carried out at the workshop of the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana, Kumasi while for charcoal the study was conducted in the Pra-Anum Forest Reserve at Amantia, Eastern region from where the logging residue were obtained. The specific objectives of the studies were to determine (i) lumber recovery from logging residues of eight timber species using a petrol-operated horizontal mobile bandmill known as a “wood mizer” (ii) the efficiency of lumber production from logging residues and (iii) the profitability of converting logging residues into lumber and charcoal. The experimental setup was Completely Randomized Design and the eight species were Antiaris toxzcarza Engl. (Kyenkyen), Terminalia superba Engi. & Diels. (Ofram), Albizia frrruginea Benth. (Albizia), Nesogordonia papaverifera (A. chev.) R. Capuron. (Danta), Entandrophragma angolense (Weiw. Ex C. DC) (Edinam), Celtis mildbraedii Engi. (Esa fufuo), Pterygota macrocarpa K. Schurn. (Koto) and Turraeanthus africanus (Weiw. C. DC) (Avodire). Tapered bole-shaped residue recorded the highest input volume while the lowest was from the residue with triangular-pyramid shape. In descending order, the input volumes obtained from the four shapes was tapered bole> buttress flanges> central core stump> triangular pyramid. Among timber species, tapered bole residue had about 84.6% more input volume than triangular pyramid. While A. toxicaria had the significantly (P≤ 0.05) highest input volume and sawn lumber volume while the least was from P. macrocarpa. Antiaris toxicaria had the highest percent volume yield (64.5 %) among the different log shapes while the least was from A. ferruginea (31 .3 %). The rest of the species were in the range of 45.5-59.1 %. Several linear relationships were observed in the study which included input volume and lumber recovery, lumber recovery and volume yield, wood density and fuel consumption, frequency of saw wear and production rate per unit time. Generally, the less dense the species, the higher the rate of lumber produced per hour. Furthermore value yield was related to both lumber recovery and quality of the lumber. The study also showed that revenue from lumber was more related to quantity of lumber produced, a reflection of the wood density, rather than the market price. Conversely, charcoal revenue was related to both quantity produced and market price. Results also showed that the higher the wood density used in charcoal production the higher the calorific value of the charcoal obtained. The profitability analysis showed that the benefit-cost ratio was higher for lumber (2.78) than for charcoal (1 .89), an indication that it was more profitable to convert logging residue into sawn lumber than charcoal.
A thesis submitted to the School of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of master of Science degree in Wood Technology and Management, 2003