By Rubina Obaid
Eucalyptus is native to Australia but they are planted worldwide, because of the value of its wood that is comprised of energy-rich cellulosic biomass and makes it a perfect candidate for biomass energy crops. It can withstand different kinds of climatic conditions and extremely adaptable to produce high-quality biomass production and bio-based fuels.
For the sake of moving towards more renewable and green energy sources, eucalyptus is considered as one of the most efficient crops for generating biomass. Eucalyptus contains the incredible capability of absorbing a large amount of carbon dioxide and acts like a lung for our ecosystem. In addition to these benefits, it also allows the resourceful use of water and avoids the feared forest fires. International environmental organizations are actively promoting eucalyptus forest plantation for a more sustainable and eco-friendly source of energy and raw material for the industry. Moreover, it has got wide industrial versatility that makes it outshine as a viable source of renewable energy that requires less surface area and greatly compatible with other activities such as agriculture and livestock.
In order to better understand the business of growing eucalyptus for biomass, researchers have developed a simulation model that consists of a forestry division supplying a conversion facility. Thus, it has been identified through simulated delivered cost of eucalyptus biomass may range from $50 to $60 per delivery BDT within thirty miles. However, through an efficient supply chain process, the cost can further be curtailed. Apart from bio-based energy sources, it is supplied to many different industries as its application goes beyond the energy sector such as the paper industry, timber industry for construction purposes, automobile industry, chemical industry, pharmaceutical industry, and agro-food industry.
The fibers of this unique crop are joined together by lignin and the substance is extracted from the fiber in the cooking stage and it can be reused as fuel for the production of energy. The process is done in a recovery boiler and the heat generates steam is transferred to a turbine that processes it to produce electricity. Moreover, the forest waste together with the bark is separated from the tree, goes to another biomass boiler for the generation of further electricity. The surplus energy can be exported to the national grid as renewable energy that can be an additional source of income for the industry. The essence of the whole process is to have the right equipment and boilers to convert biomass as a sustainable fuel.
Eucalyptus is native to Australia but they are planted worldwide, because of the value of its wood that is comprised of energy-rich cellulosic biomass and makes it a perfect candidate for biomass energy crops. It can withstand different kinds of climatic conditions and extremely adaptable to produce high-quality biomass production and bio-based fuels. Its Complex traits are associated with its genome and other large perennial that offers new opportunities for accelerating breeding cycle for sustainable biomass productivity and optimum wood quality. Eucalyptus revealed the greatest diversity of genes for specialized metabolites such as terpenes, these hydrocarbons serve as chemical self-defense against pests as well as medical industries and industrial processes.