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Utilization of the Mangrove Forest for Sustainable Renewable Energy Production

Aroloye O Numbere
Progress in Petrochemical Science , Volume 3, pp 1-6; doi:10.31031/pps.2020.03.000561

Abstract: Aroloye O Numbere* Department of Animal and Environmental Biology, Nigeria *Corresponding author: Aroloye O Numbere, Department of Animal and Environmental Biology, Nigeria Submission: April 09, 2020;Published: May 06, 2020 DOI: 10.31031/PPS.2020.03.000561 ISSN 2637-8035Volume3 Issue3 The tropics are generally evergreen and have large tree populations that make up the bulk of plant biomass. The Niger Delta is rich in biodiversity and has the largest mangrove system in Africa and the Atlantic. Above ground biomass (ABG) is a good indicator of stand productivity in mangroves, and can be calculated with allometric method using tree structural characteristics of dbh and tree height. Red mangroves are the most dominant species, and the species mostly used for making firewood and charcoal. The carbon stock estimates was higher in locations with more red mangrove trees (66.1 ± 15.1 Mgha-1) than locations with fewer red mangrove trees (36.0 ± 12.8 Mgha-1), which indicates that they are excellent carbon sequesters. Mangrove forest therefore supplies low cost renewable energy and also reduces global warming through carbon sequestration. Already, utilization of firewood and charcoal for cooking is a booming business in many communities in the Niger Delta. But the issue is that deriving sustainable energy from mangrove forest requires modern technology. Energy production from mangrove raw material will reduce the burden of energy generation from petroleum. This will thus, save the environment from pollution from oil and gas exploration which has led to ozone layer depletion. Nonetheless, mangrove-derived biomass energy will thus save the environment from sulphur and radioactive contamination. Keywords: Goniopsis pelii; Rhizophora; Heavy metals; Bioaccumulation; Niger Delta; Hydrocarbons; Biomass; Calories; Carbon; Charcoal; Energy; Firewood; Mangrove; Rhizophora; Energy; Pollution Mangrove forest are found in the interface between the land and the sea where most negative impact of nature and humans are being felt the most because of the actions of hurricanes, and tsunamis [1], and crude oil spillages [2]. Mangroves are at the frontlines of the battle to recapture the environment from the jaws of anthropogenic devastation. They are naturally found in laborious terrain where they face onslaught from high velocity hurricanes, which break their branches and fall their stems. They are also battered by tidal surge from cyclone which sweeps through the entire forests and levels the trees [3]. Despite this natural attack by hazardous environmental phenomenon they still stand their ground defiantly and remain resilient [4]. This resilience can be attributed to their tough and flexible stems, which makes them elastic to pressures. Their stems have high recoiling ability to tidal pressure and keep them standing after hurricanes and tsunami had come and gone [5]. Mangroves forest therefore, absorbs and disorganizes high velocity winds and tidal surge, which is capable of wiping out a whole generation of plant community. Although, bad for the trees, this action protects human community from utter destruction. The stems don’t only serve as wind and water breaks but also serve as biomass energy for producing renewable energy through firewood and charcoal manufacture for cooking in rural communities. Wood from trees and other plant material make up the traditional sources of biomass energy in rural areas [6]. Biomass is solar energy stored in organic matter via photosynthetic process where energy from the sun reacts with carbon dioxide to form food material. Biomass can produce solid fuel, liquid fuel, gas and electricity [7], but out of these forms of energy the solid fuel (i.e. fire wood and charcoal) are the most utilized in Africa and other third world countries. This is because these countries most often lack the needed technology to convert biomass to liquid, gaseous or electrical energy. Globally, biomass is the fourth source of energy, but in Nigeria it is the second source of energy after petroleum [8,9]. Nigeria is the highest producer of crude oil and has the largest mangrove vegetation in Africa [2]. Therefore, the energy potentials of biomass in Africa and other developing countries of the world are great if it can be efficiently utilized. For instance, 96% of rural dwellers in Tanzania [10] and 90% of rural dwellers in Nigeria utilize firewood and charcoal for cooking and heating. Solid biomass fuel typically includes: Figure 1: Ecosystem services of mangroves forest. Timber and fuel are produced from mangrove stem and branches. (Source: [13]. There are over 150 species of mangroves globally, but the most dominant species in most parts of the world are the red mangroves (Rhizophora spp). In the Niger Delta there are three major species: the red (Rhyzophora racemosa), white (Avicennia germinans) and black (Laguncularia racemosa) mangroves and their percentage occurrence are 62.5%, 25% and 12.5% respectively [14,15]. All these three species are used to produce fire wood, but the most commonly used is the red mangrove because it has the highest potential (Table 1). This is followed by Sonneratia species. Rhizophora species is the best source of biomass energy because the stems are resilient and can catch fire and burn faster than stems of other species. They are thus used in producing firewood and charcoal, which are used for cooking, barbecue, heating of homes, drying of fish, baking, brick making, earthen pot making, casting of metal and ceramics. Red mangroves are used to produce firewood and charcoal. Similarly, Bruguiera, Ceriops, Conocarpus, Heritiera and Laguncularia can also be used to produce firewood and charcoal. Table 1: Potential of using different mangrove species to produce firewood and charcoal. Source: [15]. Figure 2: Conversion of red mangrove stem (Rhizophora spp) to charcoal log, which is further broken into smaller pieces for local cooking and roasting [17]....
Keywords: Africa / Nigeria / mangrove forest / Niger Delta / Dominant species / species are used / energy will thus save

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