Basic and Technological Properties of Borassus Palm and Broussonetia papyrifera in Ghana

Project Team

Appiah, J.K., Ofori, J., Wilson Owusu, F. and Essien C.

Background

Most of the primary timber species in Ghana are dwindling in numbers and facing possible extinction from the Ghanaian forests due to over-exploitation. Some lesser-used species have therefore been promoted to replace those species that are being over-exploited. In the forests of Ghana, wood from non-traditional sources like the palmae species including Borassus palm and Broussonetia papyrifera are in abundance but unutilized. It is therefore important that Borassus palm and Broussonetia papyrifera be effectively promoted and utilised as raw materials in Ghana’s wood industry. This requires knowledge of their physical and drying characteristics to provide information concerning their suitability for specific end-uses.

Borassus palm (Borassus aethiopum) is a monocotyledonous palmae species of economic importance that serves as a potential source of raw material for the furniture and construction industries. It is also used in areas like medicine, food, beverage and for industrial products. Broussonetia papyrifera (Paper mulberry), regarded as an aggressive, invasive weed, is used for household energy production while its leaves are used as feed for domestic ruminants. Processing and utilisation of these species would help reduce pressure on the traditional tree species and again promote conservation of Ghana’s dwindling forest estate.

Objective

To determine the basic and technological properties and develop appropriate processing techniques for the efficient utilization of Ghana’s wood resources.

Specific objectives

  • To determine shrinkage, basic density, and moisture content distribution for the wood of Borassus aethiopum (from Nkoranza) and Broussonetia papyrifera (from Pra-Anum)
  • To monitor drying behaviour of the wood of Borassus aethiopum and Broussonetia papyrifera
  • To propose kiln schedules for Borassus aethiopum and Broussonetia papyrifera.