Sustainble solar energy kiln to dry eucalyptus in Peru Alvarez, Mónica
The purpose of this report is to evaluate the suitability of producing value added products from eucalypts in Peru. Information from FAO and INRENA was used to analyse the potential that Peru has to plant, grow and produce good quality eucalyptus wood. The opportunities for eucalyptus wood in the market appear to be favourable especially for furniture and other interior products. While searching for sustainable solutions to process eucalypts to enhance the Peruvian wood industry, some problems were found during the manufacturing of this genus. The main problems during the processing of eucalypts occur during the drying process. Drying of eucalyptus requires care due to the tendency its wood cells have to collapse, which causes excessive shrinkage and fibre separation or checks. Eucalyptus wood needs to dry at low temperatures and in a high relative humidity environment at least during the first stages of the process. The drying of eucalyptus has been a challenge, and research has been done around the world to find the optimal method according to the needs and resources of the individual countries. Countries such as Australia, Argentina, and Brazil, have done studies to find the best trees, growing rates and drying methods to minimize the defects on the wood at the desired final moisture content. Recently there has been an increasing interest in using solar kilns to dry eucalyptus especially in developing countries. The drying of eucalyptus using a solar energy kiln in Peru can be the best alternative. The solar kiln for hardwoods designed by Dieter Steinmann in 2006 seems to be a good fit for the Peruvian Industry. Not only are the initial investment for construction prices low, but also the need for expertise and supervision during its performance is minimal. Many locations in Peru satisfy the environmental requirements that this kiln needs to be able to execute.
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