Calorific values and flammability changes during a year for forest waste originating from silviculture task in Galicia (NW
Spain) are reported. These waste materials are becoming to be used as alternative fuels.
The present study was made on several hardwood forest species. These forest species occupy nowadays approximately 30% of the
total forest surface of Galicia.
Calorific values were measured by static bomb calorimeter in an oxygen atmosphere. Flammability was determined using a standard
epiradiator. Simultaneously, some other parameters such as elementary chemical composition, heavy metal contents, moisture,
density, ash percentage after combustion in the bomb, and main bioclimatic characteristics, were also determined.
From the peak reaction temperatures as a function of heating rate, the activation energies were obtained for a system consisting of an epoxy resin (Badgen=0) and a curing agent (isophorone diamine), using a Perkin Elmer DSC7 operated in the dynamic mode. At the same time, the Arrhenius law was used to calculate rate constants.
Summary The European policy on energy focus on the search for alternative and renewable sources of energy where forest biomass plays a significant role. In this article, calorific values of different kinds of forest residues (leaves, thin branches, barks, etc.) are reported. These values were measured by combustion bomb calorimetry with the objective of understanding, through different risk indices, the behaviour of forest waste in the case of wildfires, and also to study the use of forest residues as raw materials to be used as energy sources. The study was complemented with determination of elemental analysis, flammability using a standard epiradiator, thermodegradation analysis, and different mechanical tests trying to get relationships between thermal behaviour and some physical properties. The study was carried out on Eucalyptus globulus Labill and Pinus pinaster Aiton, because these forest formations have both high economical and ecological interest in Galicia (NW Spain).
Summary Soil productivity and health were analyzed using an experimental procedure designed for this kind of studies. The continuous loss of fertile soil obliged the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to declare soil as an item to be protected as a support of the world society welfare. The procedure here described is in accordance with the premises necessary for a rational and sustainable development of soil and the resources it contains and can be used to study any soil all over the world. The study was carried out using soil microbial population as a bioindicator of soil health. Microbial activity was followed using the microcalorimetric technique. The microcalorimetric study can be complemented through a deep analysis of soil physical, chemical and biological properties together with a study of the environmental properties that have a strong influence on the afore mentioned properties and, thus on the microbial activity in soil. The different properties follow different ASTM, ISS/FAO, USDA, etc. well defined standards. The experimental procedure reported in this work could be very helpful to create a data basis that could be useful to quantify and control soil potentiality or design soil decontamination and recovery systems.