Assessment of biofuel potential of dead neem leaves (Azadirachta indica) biomass in Maroua town, Cameroon
Dead leaves of neem trees in the Sahelian urban zone are among the wastes that are underutilized, since it is either buried or burnt, and thus, contribute to increased environmental pollution. Unfortunately, the lack of information on the biomass and energy potentials of these wastes empedes any initiative for its industrial biomethanization. This study was investigated with the aim of evaluating the biofuel potentials of dead neem leaves in Maroua town. The number of neem trees, as well as biomass produced by their dead leaves in the town was estimated. Different possible forms of energy which could be generated from biomass were determined. Results revealed the presence of 45500 neem trees in the whole town. In addition, averagely 1.2 kg of dead neem leaves was daily produced per tree. All the neem trees were able to generate 53.7 tons biomass/day, which can supply 756.538 m3 of biogas in 7 months of defoliation. This biogas volume was assimilated to 5.674 MWh/day of electrical energy, sufficient enough to support the need of 7565 householders. The biogas produced could be used as cooking energy source, or substitute the firewood demand of 3926 householders for 7 months, leading to the preservation of 567.45 ha land /year from destruction as the result of uncontrolled firewood collection in the sahelian zone.
Keywords: Biomethanization, biogas, biofuel, dead neem leaves, energy, Maroua town