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B. O. Akinnuli
Everrising prices of kerosene and cooking gas in Nigeria has drawn attention to the need to consider alternative sources of energy for domestic and cottage level industrial use in Nigeria. Such energy sources should be renewable and accessible to the poor. A transition to a sustainable energy system is urgently needed in developing country such as Nigeria. Wood combustion is one of the sources of energy for fuel generation for both domestic and industrial use. Wood species have different moisture retention even at dryness which also affect or determine energy release on combustion. This study seeks to identify the wood with high energy value as well as determination of its water resistance ability. Saw dust generated from six wood species namely Obeche, Araba, Eku, Ayo, Obodo and Afara were evaluated for their potential energy production. Wood briquettes were produced from the airdried sawdust samples collected from saw mills and prepared starch was used as binder for each wood sample in the briquettes. Fuel related properties of the briquettes, viz: ultimate analysis, proximate analysis, water resistance test, compression strength and the heating values were determined. The moisture content of the briquette samples ranged between 1.33% and 7.34%. The compression strength ranged between 980 kN/m2 and 245 kN/m2. Briquette produced from Eku had the highest water resistance, while that of Ayo was the lowest. The highest calorific value, 34.86 MJ/kg was recorded for Ayo while the least, 18.75 MJ/kg was recorded for Obeche. From the results of the experiments carried out, it could be inferred that briquette made from Eku was the best of the six samples from the vantage point of energy value and high resistance to water.