Analysis of biofuel (briquette) production from forest biomass: a socioeconomic incentive towards deforestation

Abstract

Deforestation remains a major ecological problem in most developing countries especially Pakistan which has a very high deforestation rate. Fuel-wood consumption is a determining socioeconomic factor for deforestation and degradation. Agroforest biomass utilization for energy production is an extreme value socioeconomic incentive towards the reduction in deforestation and degradation in Pakistan. This study was conducted at Basho forest valley Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan, in 2019. In this study, dried and milled forest waste (FW) including tree leaves and branches were briquetted (biofuel) to be used as an alternate of wood fuel and determined its physical properties regarding quality of the briquette. The screw extruder briquetting technology was employed. Dried (<15%) forest biomass was briquetted at 4 mold temperatures (225, 250, 275, 300 °C) and grounded biomass sizes (2, 4, 6 mm). The briquette was 100 mm in length with 20 mm diameter. Briquettes were analyzed for physical and thermal characteristics. Results indicated that the mold temperature and biomass particle size have insignificant effect on the fracture resistance and endurance and fracture resistances, respectively. It is determined that the mold temperature and the particle size are markedly effective on examined other briquettes characteristics. The maximum moisture content and density of briquettes was 12% and 1092 kgm−3 respectively. Biomass briquettes showed ≥95% of durability, shatter, moisture, and compressive resistance which ensure sustainable handling. The maximum calorific value and ash content was 4339 kcal/kg and 7.23%, respectively, while the emission of flue gases was below the standard values. The economic and feasibility analysis proved to be a sustainable and profitable study with payback investment time (0.9) year and benefit-cost ratio as 1.39. The utilization of FW would contribute to the elimination of the energy deficit and reduce of control deforestation activities for fuel-wood while contributing to economic growth. Considering the benefits of the FW for environmental conditions, it will be understood that the issue is very comprehensive. Therefore, instead of using forest wood material for fuel, the conversion of FW into alternate energy source would be an economic and environmental positive behavior.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are thankful and acknowledged the Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, China, for their technical scientific support.

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Saifullah conceived the conceptualization of research study, design and development of the experiment, data collection, formal analysis, investigation, methodology, visualization, writing an original draft, reviewed, supervised, and write-up editing. Rana Shahzad Noor participated in data collection, formal analysis, investigation, methodology, visualization, writing an original draft, reviewed, and write-up editing. Sanaullah contributed in data collection. Tian Gang supervised the entire research work and contributed as internal reviewer for the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Tian Gang.

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Ullah, S., Noor, R.S., Sanaullah et al. Analysis of biofuel (briquette) production from forest biomass: a socioeconomic incentive towards deforestation. Biomass Conv. Bioref. (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13399-021-01311-5

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Keywords

  • Deforestation
  • Forest biomass
  • Briquette biofuel
  • Physio-thermal quality
  • Economic feasibility