Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
International Journal of Chemical Engineering
Volume 2017, Article ID 4531686, 13 pages
Research Article

Physicochemical Characterization of Representative Firewood Species Used for Cooking in Some Colombian Regions

Grupo de Manejo Eficiente de la Energía (Gimel), Departamento de Ingeniería Mecánica, Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad de Antioquia (UdeA), Calle 70 No. 52-21, Medellín, Colombia

Correspondence should be addressed to Juan F. Pérez; oc.ude.aedu@bpnauj

Received 5 January 2017; Revised 4 March 2017; Accepted 12 March 2017; Published 18 April 2017

Academic Editor: Sankar Chakma

Copyright © 2017 Hernán E. Díez and Juan F. Pérez. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Socioeconomic conditions and the main firewood species used for cooking in three Colombian regions are studied in this work. The species collected were Cordia alliodora, Guazuma ulmifolia, Eucalyptus grandis, and Pinus patula. The used patterns of biomass and socioeconomic conditions of the selected regions were defined by means of secondary information. Firewood was physicochemically characterized and the species are compared with fossil fuels with regard to emissions of CO2, energy density, and costs. The studied regions require solutions to use firewood in eco-efficient systems, since in these rural regions people use biomass as an energy source. Studied firewood species are suitable to be gasified in fixed bed reactors due to their high volatile matter content (>80%) and low ash content (<1.8%). Pinus patula is the one with the highest fuel value index, mainly due to its low ash content (0.4%). The firewood consumption in advanced stoves has environmental advantages resulting from its low CO2 emissions: a cubic meter of Eucalyptus could replace 113 liters of kerosene or 120 m3 of natural gas for cooking applications.