Approximate distribution of genus Prosopis Juliflora from place of origin
About.. The Prosopis Juliflora provides many of the needs of populations living in tropical dry zones the world over. Over time, Prosopis Juliflora exhibits the ability to improve soils via biological nitrogen fixation, leaf litter addition and incorporation, nutrient pumping, changes in soil structure and in soil fauna and microbial populations. Wood of Prosopis Juliflora is a very important source of domestic fuel for millions of people in many arid and semiarid zones of the world.
About.. Prosopis Juliflora wood burns evenly and hot. Goel and Behl (1992) stated that the good heat of combustion of Prosopis Juliflora wood is due to its high carbon content and high levels of lignin. The wood has a high calorific value, estimated at 4216 kcal/kg by Khan et al (1986). The positive qualities as firewood are present even in juvenile wood, and Prosopis Juliflora wood burns well even when green. This is a benefit as firewood does not require storage and drying, avoiding losses from theft and decay. Charcoal is consumed mostly in urban areas and is often produced considerable distances from the point of consumption.
Vicious Cycle Climate change / variability Groundwater use Contribution of salts -Use of complex fertilizers -Surfacing of natural salts from deep inside the ground through groundwater Decrease in rainfall High temperatures Increase in intensity of cultivation + ALKALINE SOILS SEMI-ARID ENVRIONMENT Poor germination, Non-availability of soil minerals Decrease in yield Fallow landsSuitable for growth of Prosopis Juliflora -Energy Needs -Charcoal Making - Wood for agricultural implements / funiture -Pods / leaves as livestock feed
Selling the wood Prosopis Juliflora wood sold @ Rs. 80 paise to Rs. 1 Per Kg. (0.02 USD)
Charcoal Making – Additional livelihoods during lean agriculture season 20 to 25% charcoal production from 100 kgs of Prosopis Juliflora Market retail value @ Rs. 14 per KG
Traditional earth kiln charcoal production method.. The process is explained below in steps for better understanding the charcoal production: Cut wood Select the thick wood and trim the wood to the required length. Bring wood, straw and earth to a point Prepare the earth mound kiln Sort and arrange the wood vertically in the shape of a mound with little void spaces Cover the mound with straw Cover the straw with clay (leaving the small portion at the top open)
Traditional earth kiln charcoal production method.. Lit the mound at the top Once the fire is started cover the top of the mound with earth Create opening for escape of some volatiles and wood vinegar on the sides of the mound against wind ward direction Monitor the mound to prevent accidental fires – use fresh wood / soil to prevent such accidental fires. Remove the charcoal from outer side towards inner side slowly Sort the charcoal and pack in bags and remove un-burnt wood. Unburnt wood is burnt again for charcoal – a small earth mound kiln is prepared for this.
Positive aspects of Prosopis Juliflora... Prosopis Juliflora is playing a vital role in sustaining the livelihoods of the rural poor, including the landless, small farmers and artisans. These groups of people also want a means to increase the value of this tree. Prosopis Juliflora is the major source of fuel wood and dry season fodder, and provides additional income for some of the families. The wood does nor spit, spark or smoke excessively, and the smoke is never unpleasant. Its popularity is linked to its ubiquity, i.e. that where trees are present they are generally present in large numbers and are often found on common land and are, thus, freely available to all sections of society. Large branches and trunks yield a high quality timber, comparable in colour, finish and physical attributes to Indian rosewood and other commercial hardwoods. Also used for posts and poles, the wood is also called ‘wooden anthracite’ in some areas. Useful to build cattle sheds with the big size poles.
Positive aspects of Prosopis Juliflora... Fruit pods are high in sugar, easy to digest, high protein content and are a rich food source for livestock like sheep, goats and cattle. The yield of milk is relatively high if consumed by cattle. Prosopis products have added value if processed, by turning firewood to finished timber, and even more if manufactured into furniture. It is useful as vegetative fencing to protect the lands. Additional employment opportunities are created and livelihoods are sustained during agriculture lean season. Charcoal is used for cooking, iron boxes, etc. Charcoal + amendments help in reclaiming degraded acidic or alkaline soils.
Recent demands for Prosopis charcoal Increased consumption of charcoal in hotels for making traditional dishes. The commercial cost of LPG is high and also often there is shortage. There is a demand from factories and industries for various purposes. Demand from sponge iron plants for production of steel. Consumption for cooking, iron boxes, etc.
Negative aspects of Prosopis Juliflora.. In India, Prosopis Juliflora is an exotic plant, native to a region from Mexico to Peru. There, the people have developed local economies based on this tree and its products. They use the timber and the pods stored year-round for fodder and are an important item of trade. The tree has been introduced in parts of India, but the ‘indigenous knowledge’ surrounding its use has not percolated. Difficult to walk on the tank bunds because of the presence of Prosopis Juliflora. Covered fully in tank water storage area, therefore the storage capacity of the tanks is gradually decreasing. Removing trees is very costly i.e., @ Rs. 10000/- per acre as a JCB should be used for extradition, because it is almost impossible to eradicate Prosopis Juliflora manually, as it has a deep root system.
Negative aspects of Prosopis Juliflora.. It spreads in all conditions, due to deep roots leads to depletion of local groundwater resources. The thorns of Prosopis Juliflora cause lots of pain when accidentally people get pierced by them and sometimes some people were hospitalized. Under the shade of Prosopis Juliflora tree no other plant thrives well, therefore no other biomass is cultivated under this tree.It is a deep rooted plant depletes soil moisture and makes water less accessible to other shallow water plants. This biomass does not create a micro-environment to attract rains. WHAT NEXT……
CHARCOAL + AMENDMENTS MANAGEMENT AND RECLAMATION OF DEGRADED SOILS
Spread of Prosopis Juliflora in Kothur Village, Mahabubnagar District, India. Prosopis Juliflora has occupied almost all the fallow lands covering about 30% of the land
Alkaline soils Fallow Alkaline soil lands occupied by Prosopis
Use of Charcoal in Soil Creates space for soil microbes Activates the mycorrhizae Protect roots of seedlings The use of charcoal prevents the leaching of nutrients out of the soil, increase the available nutrients for plant growth, enhance nutrient uptake from soil, provide minerals like Ca, K, Mg etc., Reduce the amount of fertilizer required. Improves water permeability, water retention potential Decreases N2O and CH4 emissions from soil, thus further reducing GHG emissions. Charcoal addition in soil helps in carbon sequestration. Reduced soil bulk density Increased soil respiration
Enhancing soil microbes using charcoal and spreading in the fields Farm yard Manure + Charcoal Addition of soil microbes and culturing
Results of application of Charcoal Paddy Cotton Through use of Charcoal+ Amendments to soil, Reclaimed alkaline soils Increase in yield by 30 to 40 % Other wise left fallow by Farmers.
Charcoal from Good Stoves a source for application to soils Charcoal producing stoves Magh series Designed by Dr. N. Sai Bhaskar Reddy
Good Stove – source of charcoal Aspects Traditional stove (three stone stove, chullah, etc.) Charcoal Producing stoves (eg. Magh-1 Woodgas stove) Efficiency5 to 15%About 40% Biomass conservation About 5 times less consumption as compared to traditional stoves. SmokeVery high smoke releaseNo smoke Cooking timePerformance close to LPG TemperatureAbout 300 deg centigradeAbout 700 deg centigrade SafetyLess saferHighly safer due to enclosed combustion chamber CombustionBurning of biomassGeneration of woodgas and combustion Price range (in Rs.)200 to 500200 to 1000 PortabilityMostly fixedFixed / Mobile MaterialClay / bricks / etc.Metal / clay / fan BiomassWoodLeaves / wood shavings / sticks / chips of wood / pellets / (any other small pieces of biomass rather than cutting big trees). TechnologySingle source of airPrimary and secondary air Sooth / particulate matter HighVery low