Paulownia as a renewable bioenergy resource
Within the framework of the project for the development of renewable energy and bioenergy.
Paulownia is a genus of fast-growing plants, the Paulownia family. Homeland – the Far East. The tree was named after Anna Pavlovna, daughter of the Russian Tsar Paul 1. The image of the tree is adorned with the coat of arms of the imperial family of Japan.
Paulownia wood is valued all over the world as a building and decoration material. Drying fresh wood in the air takes about 30 days. Paulownia wood is the choice of many craftsmen due to its strength, smoothness and lack of defects. It is used as a raw material for a wide range of products – house building, furniture, accessories, souvenirs and even musical instruments. Products made from paulownia are moisture resistant, does not rot. Low flammability. The wood is light and at the same time extremely durable, capable of withstanding heavy loads (there are many videos on the Internet about testing the strength of this tree). Average weight of one cubic meter m about 250 kg, which is 4 times lighter than oak wood and 2 times lighter than pine wood.
Renewable high-performance energy crop.
Paulownia grows at an amazing rate, faster than a poplar seedling, gaining up to 3-5 m in height per year under optimal conditions. And produces up to hundreds of tons of biomass per hectare after 3 years.
The average annual growth of paulownia in regions with an average annual temperature of +3 – +8 C is from 2 to 2.5 m per year, at temperatures from +5 to +14, in the southern regions the increase will be from 3 to 5 m per year. The diameter of the trunk under favorable growing conditions in the first year or two can reach from 10 to 15 cm. The lifespan of a tree is from 70 to 100 years. The trunk regenerates itself after each felling, while the growth rate does not slow down. Paulownia can withstand up to 5-9 such log cabins. This property of the tree is advantageously used by logging enterprises and woodworking enterprises, as it significantly reduces the cost of planting a tree from scratch and caring for it. The growth of timber is 1 cubic meter in 7-8 years.
There are paulownia plantations in the USA, Australia, Japan, China, Great Britain, Spain and Bulgaria. Paulownia can grow with other crops, especially during the first 2-3 years. If you are growing paulownia for wood, the best planting pattern would be 3m by 3m.This would be about 1050 seedlings per hectare. However, with this scheme, in the 4th year it is necessary to cut down the trees in a checkerboard pattern so that they do not interfere with each other in the future. Many agricultural plants can be grown between the rows of paulownia, the tree is friendly to such neighbors.
However, if you are serious about growing this valuable tree, you need to weigh all the risks in advance, assess the suitability of your climatic conditions, get all the necessary information about the necessary tree care, perhaps also visit existing paulownia plantations to see everything in practice.
The tree trunk can be cut down several times. At the same time, such a saw cut can be made at any time of the year. The tree will continue to grow further. Thanks to this feature, paulownia received a second name – the phoenix tree.
Paulownia grows most intensively in the first years of life, with age after the 5th year of life, the growth is no more than 20-30 cm per year, the trunk diameter increases only by 0.5 – 1 cm.
Considering this property of a tree, it is reasonable to cut it down every 4 years, and then plant young trees in the first 4 years of its life.
A tree with the ability to accelerate biomass growth is a treasure trove of wealth for mankind, a supplier of durable and light wood, a source of green energy with high heat transfer and a greener for cities, regenerates and protects the soil from erosion, and is also a high-protein animal feed and an excellent honey plant. The large size of the leaves, about 30-50 cm long and more, make it an oxygen production factory. With this size, it is not surprising that one tree absorbs 22 kg of CO2 and gives off 6 kg of oxygen.
Renewable high-performance energy crop, rapid growth, large size of the tree, lush flowering, absorption of CO2 – determines the choice of this tree for landscape design and landscaping of the city, decoration of parks and squares.
Using paulownia as biofuel.
With the constant development of biofuel consumption, Central European countries have long lacked their forest resources. Therefore, Germany, Spain, Great Britain and Holland are planning to increase the consumption of pellets. Today, when technological progress is measured by the degree of environmental protection, more and more attention is paid to biofuels and environmentally friendly technologies.
Paulownia is beneficial to use for heating houses and greenhouses. When burning 1 ton of wood, I have the same energy as burning 480 cc. m of gas.
The use of paulownia in the form of energy raw materials seems to be the most promising due to the ability of the tree to rapidly build up biomass and resume growth, as well as the high heat transfer of wood.
Paulownia wood processing waste can be used to produce pellets as raw materials for heating both private houses and enterprises, power grids. Such pellets give 3 times more heat energy in comparison with other tree species when burned. In addition, they are less harmful to the environment than those produced from other biomass. When they are burned, the level of CO2 emissions is 10-50 times lower. The level of sulfur emissions is 15-20 times lower. Due to the low flammability of wood, pellets do not spontaneously ignite spontaneously when stored at high temperatures. They also do not absorb moisture from the air, so their high thermal conductivity does not decrease over time.
And also pellets from compressed biomass can be used as raw material for the production of high quality charcoal with a given amount of carbon. For this purpose, our equipment is perfect – the BIO-KILN carbonization furnace.
The BIO- KILN is specially designed for the carbonization of vegetable raw materials with a diameter of 5 to 40 mm. The carbonization process in the BIO- KILN is 100% environmentally friendly, only water vapor and carbon dioxide are released. At the same time, there are no liquid pyrolysis products, they completely burn out, leaving no traces, and form thermal energy, which is spent on ensuring the process itself and is distributed to heating nearby houses and enterprises.
The creation of plantations of fast-growing trees in combination with modern methods of obtaining heat energy can become an important part of the policy of saving resources and solving the problem of energy consumption without harming the environment.
In a short time, you can get a larger amount of high-quality wood, which according to its indicators is the optimal source of green energy, which in general is a favorable indicator for the development of mankind in an ecological way.