Source: James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished.
- Folk Medicine
- Yields and Economics
- Biotic Factors
Turnbull (1950) reflects that when Dampier landed on the Australian coast, no
one but the aborigines knew eucalypts. The aborigines used them for boats,
boomerangs, and spears. Presently Eucalyptus provides ca 25% of Australia's
peeler logs. Back in 1950, chemical industries used eucalypts mostly for
pulping and tanning. Many eucalypts are valued as firewood for fueling
waterpumps, rural power plants, bakeries, laundries, even mines in Australia,
the better species burning steadily, giving off much heat and little ash.
Initially grown as a timber tree in the US, it is now most widely used for
fuel, shelterbelts, windbreaks, and for hardwood fiber (Ag. Handbook 450).
Around 1950, Eucalyptus oils were produced at rates of 870,000 liters a year.
About 1/6 was used in Australia for industrial purposes 1/24 for medicinal
purposes, the remainder exported, the bigger half for medicinal purposes.
Eucalyptus are important honey trees. Quoting earlier works, Castillo-Borboran
(1981) states, "a eucalypt tree drives away mosquitoes from the vicinity it is
Reported to be anesthetic, anodyne, antiperiodic, antiphlogistic, antiseptic,
astringent, deodorant, diaphoretic, disinfectant, expectorant, febrifuge,
fumigant, hemostat, inhalant, insect repellant, preventitive, rubefacient,
sedative yet stimulant, suppurative, tonic, and vermifuge, eucalypts are a folk
remedy for abscess, arthritis, asthma, boils, bronchitis, burns, cancer,
catarrh, cellulitis, colds, colic, coughs, croup, diabetes, diarrhea,
diptheria, dysentery, encephalitis, enteritis, erysipelas, fever, flu,
gangrene, hemorrhage, inflammation, laryngalgia, laryngitis, leprosy, malaria,
mastitis, miasma, pharygnitis, phthisis, rhinitis, sores, sore throat, spasms,
trachalgia, tuberculosis, tumors, worms, and wounds (Duke and Wain, 1981).
Strangely, I find no proximate analysis data for the eucalypts, but a plethora
of essential oil analyses.
In large doses, eucalyptus oil can be fatal. The pollen is said to be
allergenic. The bark or wood of many species is said to induce dermatitis.
Some shrubs, but mostly tall trees, including some of the tallest in the world.
The bracteate infloresence consists of usually several perfect white, yellow,
or red flowers, often in axillary umbels, corymbose or paniculate clusters.
The ovary has 36 locules with many ovules. The fruit is a hemispherical,
conical, oblong or ovoid hard woody capsule, valvately dehiscent. Usually only
a few seeds are fertile in a given capsule. Seeds are usually wind-dispersed,
a month or two after the fruits ripen.
Reported from the Australian Center of Diversity, some eucalyptus species are
reported to tolerate alkali, clay, drought, fire, frost, fungi, heat, heavy
soil, high pH, insects, laterite, limestone, podzols, poor soil, salt, savanna,
slope, waterlogging, weeds, and wind. Under natural conditions, hybrids may
form between species of the same subgeneric grouping. In this book, I treat
only a few important energy eucalypts of the hundreds of species known.
(2n = 22, 20, 24, 28, etc.)
Mainly native to Australia, with a few species occurring naturally in New
Guinea, the Philippines, and Timor. Eucalypts have been planted to a limited
extent in Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, and Texas, to a greater extent in
California and Hawaii.
Ranging from Tropical Thorn to Moist through Warm Temperate Desert Bush Savanna
to Moist Forest Life Zones, eucalyptus is reported to tolerate annual
precipitation of 1.4 to 26.2 dm (mean of 28 cases = 9.8), annual temperature of
12.3 to 27.9°C (mean of 27 cases = 19.5), and pH of 5.0 to 8.3 (mean of 25
cases = 6.1) (Duke 1978, 1979).
Most eucalypt seed need no pretreatment, although a few (not treated here)
require stratification for 34 weeks at 35°C. In the continental US, seed
are rarely sown directly in the nursery, a practice common in Hawaii. Rather,
seeds are germinated in pots, boxes, or flats in porous light sandy loam,
covered with 23 mm of fine sand, peat, or sphagnum, best in a mist chamber, as
the seedlings are delicate. According to Castillo-Borboran (1981), the optimum
temperature for germination of most species is about a constant 25°C.
Hardened seedlings are lifted by the leaf tips into individual containers which
will be ready for outplanting in 4 to 5 months. Some species root better than
others; sapling twigs with juvenile leaves tending to root better.
Good seeds are produced by most species at 10 years or younger. Opened
capsules are vigourously shaken to remove seeds.
Yields of firewood may run from 170(-118)m3 /ha/yr
m3/ha/yr (Fenton et al., 1977; NAS, 1980a). With one third of the
world's population depending on wood for cooking and heating, the economic
importance of eucalyptus is vast. They are, of course, the most important
element in the Australian forests, making up 95% of the total flora (Mariani et
During World War II, producer gas attachments were fitted to trucks and cars in
Australia (over 5,000 trucks or cars engaged in essential transport). Charcoal
supplier had to be organized accordingly, wood being converted to charcoal at
the rate of 85%, consuming millions of "super feet" per annum, mostly in
portable charcoal kilns. In Australia, Stewart et al. (1979) note that
Eucalyptus sp. have a popular reputation for high growth rates, and high
intensity hardwood plantations have been successfully established in Brazil,
California, and elsewhere. Where not native, Eucalyptus feeders may be absent,
and annual yields up to 40 MT DM/ha (South Africa) and 33 (India) are reported.
In Australia, pulpwood production of 21 m3/ha (=1213 MT DM/ha)
annually are possible on short rotations in appropriate localities.
Conservationists becry the clear-felling of native Eucalyptus forests to export
woodchips to Japanese papermills, but opposing foresters see a higher level of
utilization by combining sawlog removals With chipping of poor quality material
which, if left standing, would inhibit regeneration. Clear-felling has been
allocated 2,440,000 ha (42,000 annually cleared). In 19751976, 2,330,000 MT
green chips were produced, which may be scaled up to 4,300,000. At an assumed
55% dry matter, this is 2,400,000 MT dry chips. Energy analyses suggest that
methanol could be produced from wood with an overall efficiency (i.e. gross
liquid fuel output/total energy and feedstock input) of 33% for methanol and
16% for ethanol. Assuming a wood cost of $40/MT, production costs would be
about $0.23 liter for methanol, $0.52 for ethanol. "The estimated cost of
production of methanol from coal is much lower than the cost from biomass."
Where coal reserves are large, it is not economically wise to consider biomass
as an alcohol base at present. The cost of ethanol from wood using the Rheinau
process is estimated at $650 MT, about twice the cost of producing methanol
from wood. Woodchips from Eucalyptus are estimated to yield 600 kg sugar or
275 kg ethanol per MT dry wood. As the process energy requirements are greater
than that which can be generated from the lignin residues, additional wood is
required as fuel (Stewart et al, 1979). The essential oil of Eucalyptus sp.
was tested in a small spark ignition engine. Performance was very good except
that there were problems starting a cold engine on straight Eucalyptus oil.
These could be readily overcome by adding 20 to 30% alcohol or gasoline.
Research octane rating of Eucalyptus oil was 100. Viscosity was higher than
for gasoline, but an oversize main jet nozzle in the carburetor overcame that
problem. Eucalyptus oil has,a lower calorific value per unit weight than
gasoline (41.2 vs 46.5 MJ/kg), but its higher specific gravity (0.9166 vs
0.735) results in higher calorific values per unit volume (37.8 vs 34.2
MJ/litre). Engine thermal efficency was slightly high for Eucalyptus oil (mean
14.9 MJ/HP compared with 16.1 MJ/HP for gasoline), but this may have been due
to better engine tuning as the gasoline engine gave 4 to 6% carbon monoxide
compared with around 1% for Eucalyptus oil. This type of Eucalyptus oil
appears to be a premium quality finished fuel for a spark ignition engine
(Stewart et al, 1982). Harwood's table (1981), reproduced below, certainly
suggests that eucalyptus is the way to go for energy plantation.
Nematodes affecting Eucalyptus include: Criconema, Criconemella,
Cryphodera, Helicotylenchus, Hemicyoliophora, Meloidogyne, Morulaimus,
Paralongidorus, Paratylenchus, Pratylenchus, Radopholus, Scutellonema,
Tylenchorhynchus, Tylodorus, and Xiphinema (Golden, p.c., 1984).
Agriculture Handbook No. 165 (1960) lists the following as affecting
Eucalyptus sp.: ?Actinopelte dryina (leaf spot), Agrobacterium
tumefaciens (crown gall), Armillaria mellea, Bagnisiopsis eucalypti,
Botryosphaeria ribis, Botrytis cinerea, Ceratostomella echinella, Clitocybe
tabescens (mushroom root rot), Coremium glaucum, Corticium ephiphyllum,
Cryptosporium eucalypti, C. eucalypti, Diaporthe medusaea, Didymosphaeria
eircinnans, D. epidermidis, Diplodia australiae, D, eucalypti, D. microspora,
D. tenuis, Fomes applanatus (heart rot), F. robustus, Fusarium oxysporum
var. aurantiacum (seedling blight), Gloeosporium capsularum,
Harknessia uromycoides, Hendersonia coryneoidea, H. eucalypti, H.
eucalypticola, Heterosporium eucalypti, Hypocrea consimilis, eucalypticola,
Heterosporium eucalypti, Hypocrea consimilis, Hypocrea consimilis, Hypoderma
eucalypti, Macrophoma mollerian, Melanconium globosum, Monochaetia desmazierii,
Mycosphaerella molleriana, Nectria eucalypti, Pestalotia truncate, Pezizell
carneo-rosea, P. oenotherae, Phragmodothidea eucalypti, Phyllosticta extensa
(leaf spot), Phymatotrichum omnivorum (root rot), Physalospora
latitans, P. rhodina, P. suberumpens, Polyporus gilvus (wood rot), P.
hirsutus (wood rot), P. vellereus, P. versicolor (wood rot), P.
schweinitzii (heart rot, butt rot, root rot), P. sulphureus (heart
rot, butt rot, root rot), Poria cocos, P. versipora, Scleroderris eucalypti,
Septobasidium curtisii (felt fungus), Septonema multiplex, Septoria
ceuthosporioides, S. mortolensis, Septosporium scyphophorum, Sphaeronema
eucalypti, Sphaeropsis macrospermum, Stereum hirsutum (wood rot),
Stomiopeltis sp., Valsa eucalypti, and Volutella coronata.
In addition, Browne (1968) lists the following as affecting Eucalyptus sp.:
(Fungi) Coltricia aureofulva, Cytospora australiae, C. eucalyptina, Fusarium
spp., Harknessia eucalypti, Helicobasidium compactum, Inonotus tabacinus,
Phytophthora cactorum, P. cinnamomi, Pleurotus lampas, Polyporus baudoni,
Pycnoporus coccineus, Pythium intermedium, P. irregulare, P. ultimum,
Readeriella mirabilis, Rhytisma eucalypti, Sclerotinia fuckeliana, Septoria
mortolensis, Thanatephorus cucumeris. (Angiospermae) Amyema miquelii,
Cassytha glabella, Cuscuta campestris, Phrygilanthus sp. (Coleoptera)
Alcidodes haemopterus, A. subvillosus, Analeptes trifasciata, Apate
monachus, Bostrychopsis jesuita, Callidiopste scutellaris, Chrysolagria
naivashana, Colasposoma amplicolle, Derolagria coriacea, Dicasticus mlanjensis,
Doliopygus chapuisi, D. serratus, Eucolaspis brunnea, Lema armata,
Lobotrachelus incallidus, Oemona hirta, Oncideres amputator, 0. canidida,
Orthorhinus cylindrirostris, Parapoderus fuscicornis, Paropsis obsoleta,
Peribrotus pustulosus, Phoracantha recurve, Platypus hintzi, P. omnivorus,
Rhadinosomus lacordairei, Scarites procerus, Steirastoma breve, Tetracyphus
odotomus, Triphocaris acanthocera, T. mastersi, T. solida, Uracanthus
triangularis, Xyleborus truncatus. (Hemiptera) Agonoscelis pubescens,
Aleuroclava eucalypti, Anoplocnemis curvipes, A. tristator, Aphis gossypii,
Apiomorpha duplex, A. munita, A. ovicola, A. sloanei, Cardiaspina albitextura,
C. vittaformis, Ctenarytaina eucalypti, Drosicha stebbingi, Dysdercus
superstitiosus, Eucalyptolyma maideni, Helopeltis anacardii, H. schoutedeni,
Icerya purchasi, Mietis profana, Ptyelus grossus, Scolypopa australis, Sephena
cinerea, Siphanta acuta. Hymenoptera. Perga affinis, P. dorsalis,
Phylaeteophaga eucalypti, Podomyrma adelaidae, P. gratiosa. Isoptera.
Allodontermes morogorensis, Ancistrotermes latinotus, Coptotermes
curvignathus, C. frenchi, Heterotermes platycephalus, Hodotermes mossambicus,
Kalotermes brouni, Macrotermes bellicosus, M. goliath, M. natalensis,
Microtermes spp., Neotermes insularis, Odototermes redemanni, Porotermes
adamsoni, Pseudacanthotermes militaris. Lepidoptera. Abantiades
labyrinthicus, Acathopsyche sierricola, Achaea catella, A. faber, Acrocercops
hoplocala, A. laciniella, Animula herrichii, Austrocaligula eucalypti, Busseola
fusca, Charagia lignivora, Chelepteryx collest, Chenuala heliaspis, Clainia
ignobilis, Crypsiphona occultaria, Ctenopseustis obliquana, Dasychira
georgiana, Declana floccosa, D. leptomera, Destolmia lineata, Doratifera
oxleyi, D. vulnerans, Endoclita undulifer, Epicoma melanospila, Eumeta
rougeoti, Eupselia carpocapsella, Gastrophora henricaria, Heliocausta
hemitelis, Heliozela prodela, Hippomacha callista, Hyalarcta huebneri, Illidgea
epigramma, Machimia tentoriferella, Metanastria latipennis, Metara elongata,
Nola lugens, N. metallopa, Ocinara lewinae, Oenetus paradiseus, Opsirhina
lechrioides, Piloprepes aemulella, Planotortrix excessana, Porela vetusta,
Pseudalcis trispinaria, Pseudocoremia suavis, Pyralis ocellaris, Pyrgotis
plagiatana, Sibine diplocyma, Sphaerelictis hepialella, spodoptera littoralis,
Strepsicrates holotephras, S rhothia, Suana concolor, Teara contraria, Tortrix
dinota, Trachydora musaea, Trichanua mejanesi, Trictena argentata,
Trigonocyttara clandestine, Wingia aurata, Xanthodule semiochrea.
Orthoptera. Brachytrupes membranaceus, B. portenosus, Caedicia simplex,
Eyprepocnemis plorans, Gryllotalpa africana, Gymnogryllus erythrocephalus, G.
humeralis, Kraussaria angulifera, Valanga irregularis. Phasmida.
Acanthoxyla spp., Didymuria violescens, Extatosoma tiaratum, Podocanthus
wilkinsoni. Aves. Calyptorhynchus funereus, C. magnificus.
Mammalia. Cephalophus rufilatus, Eidolon helvum, Hystrix africaeaustralis,
Lepus nigricollis, Mus musculus, Oryctolagus cuniculus, Papio ursinus, Pedetes
cafer, Potamochoerus porcus, Raphicerus campestris, Strepsiceros strepsiceros,
Sylvicapra, grimmia, Syncerus caffer, Thryonomys swinderianus, Thylogale
thetis, Tragelaphus scriptus, Wallabia bicolor, W. dorsalis, W. rufogrisca.
Castillo-Borboran (1981) discusses biotic problems with the nursery,
"Pathogenic fungi, insects and other injurious agencies can cause problems.
Leaf diseases including mildews and moulds can also spread quickly, hence,
treatment with Benlate spray or dusting with a sulphur powder can provide
satisfactory control. It was found better to prevent fungal problems through
adequate ventilation, heat sterilization of the potting mixes, and good hygiene
rather than fungicides. Pyrethrin-derived sprays and dusting powders, which
are not toxic to man, have been found most useful in controlling many insect
pests, particularly aphids, 2 to 3 months after transplanting." Though
described as aeroallergenic, eucalyptus is mostly pollinated by insects
(Agriculture Handbook No. 450).
|Plant ||Fuel ||MT/ha/yr ||kcal/kg ||Mcal/ha/yr |
|Eucalyptus ||Firewood ||1032.5 ||3000 ||3097.5 |
|Saccharum ||Alcohol ||2.52 ||6400 ||18.2 |
|Manihot ||Alcohol ||2.02 ||6400 ||12.9 |
|Dende ||Oilseed ||25 ||9516 ||19.047.6 |
Complete list of references for Duke, Handbook of Energy Crops
Agriculture Handbook 165. 1960. Index of plant diseases in the United States.
- Agriculture Handbook 450. 1974. Seeds of woody plants in the United States.
Forest Service, USDA. USGPO. Washington.
- Castillo-Borboran, L.V. 1981. Seedling production of eucalyptus. Canopy
- Duke, J.A. and Wain, K.K. 1981. Medicinal plants of the world. Computer index
with more than 85,000 entries. 3 vols.
- Fenton, R., Roper, R.E., and Watt, G.R. 1977. Lowland tropical hardwoods.
External Aid Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Wellington, N.Z.
- Harwood, H.J. 1981. Vegetable oils as an on the farm diesel fuel substitute:
The North Carolina Situation. RTI Final Report FR-41U-1671-4. Research Triangle
Park, North Carolina.
- Mariani, E.O., Mariani, C.E., and Lipinsky, S.B. 1981. Tropical eucalyptus. p.
373386. In: McClure, T.A. and Lipinsky, E.S. (eds.), CRC handbook of biosolar
resources, vol. II. Resource materials. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, FL.
- N.A.S. 1980a. Firewood crops. Shrub and tree species for energy production.
National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC.
- Stewart, G.A., Gartside, G., Gifford, R.M., Nix, H.A., Rawlins, W.H.M., and
Siemon, J.R. 1979. The potential for liquid fuels from agriculture and forestry
in Australia. CSIRO. Alexander Bros., Mentone, Victoria, Australia.
- Stewart, G.A., Hawker, J.S., Nix, H.A., Rawlins, W.H.M., and Williams, L.R.
1982, The potential for production of hydrocarbon fuels from crops in
Australia. CSIRO, Melbourne, Australia.
- Turnbull, R.F. 1950. The taxonomy, harvesting, processing, and utilization of
eucalyptus trees in Australia. Econ. Bot. 4(2):99131.
Last update Tuesday, January 6, 1998 by aw