Evaluation of Yield Characteristics Cum Determinant Factors in Earth Mound Method of Charcoal Production using Billet of Acacia NiloticaAuthor(s): Adewole NA and Oladejo KO
Tree residues are generated in large quantity in our environment. Nowadays, adding value to these residues could make them become item of economic importance. The aim of this study is to adapt a traditional method of charcoal production (Earth Mound) in order to add value to the tree residues generated in University of Ibadan with a view to enhance the benefit derived from them. The billets of Acacia nilotica were converted from both wet and dry wood samples. The billets were then grouped into six different parts. Moisture content to some extent has a great influence on the use of charcoal produced from traditional method as the billets of wood with a high moisture content of about 22.5% have the highest yield of 22 kg of the total input of 9.83 x 10-4 m3. Nature of covering material also contributes to the charcoal yield for wet billets covered with grasses and asbestos (WGA) has the highest charcoal yield of 22 kg followed by dry billets covered with grasses and asbestos (DGA) with 4 kg yield and the least is the dry billets covered with only grasses (DG) of 0.13 kg yield. The study was able to detect that duration of burning has a great influence on the yield of charcoal produced from traditional method with WGA (Wet billets covered with grasses and asbestos) having the lowest duration of burning of 8 days but produced the highest charcoal yield of 22 kg, DGA (Dry billets covered with grasses and asbestos) burnt for 12 days with 4 kg charcoal yield while DG (Dry billets covered with grasses only) has the highest burning duration of 13 days with the lowest charcoal yield of 0.13 kg. The result of the experimental test shows that the charcoal produced from traditional method is a very good source of fuel for cooking for every household but the total recovery or yield of the traditional method is considerably moderate which is about 60-89%, hence an improved mother kilning methods is recommended to compliment the traditional method.