Fuel-wood energy properties of Prosopis juliflora and Prosopis pallida grown in Baringo District, Kenya

Tue, 06/18/2013 - 06:13

Kenya depends on fuel-wood for cooking and heating in most households. Over 80% of both rural and urban households in the country use fuel wood for cooking. These Prosopis plant species provide excellent fuel wood. These plants were introduced in the arid and semi-arid areas of Kenya in the early 1970s as a source of woodfuel and also for the rehabilitation of degraded lands. Prosopis is a prolific seeder and has invasiveness behaviour that results in a number of social, ecological and economic concerns to the local communities, and challenges to development partners. Now with the Kenyan Forest Policy 2005 which proposes strategies and actions to enhance sustainable and efficient production of wood-fuel, Prosopis species is a suitable candidate. The Kenya Forest Service is now issuing permits allowing charcoal burning of Prosopis species in an effort to manage and curb uncontrolled spread. There is a national ban on charcoal making from unsustainable wood sources which include the woodlands and natural forest reserves. The aim of this project was to determine the energy values from Prosopis fuel-wood. The moisture content, volatile matter, ash content, carbon content and calorific values were determined from Prosopis fuel-wood plants. The calorific values for Prosopis juliflora and Prosopis pallida wood are 4.952 and 4.862 Kcal respectively. The calorific values for P. juliflora and P. pallida charcoal are 7.854 and 7.797 Kcal, respectively.

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