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Research & Development in Material Science

Wood Drying Industry in Nigeria: Present Status, Challenges and Prospects of Solar Kiln Drying Technology

Submission: December 06, 2023;Published: December 20, 2023

DOI: 10.31031/RDMS.2023.19.000972

ISSN : 2576-8840
Volume19 Issue5


Drying of wood is imperative towards improving its utilization potentials and service performance. However, it is no gainsaying that the wood drying industry in Nigeria is an obscure sector of the wood products manufacturing industries. Numerous timber species (indigenous and exotic) are available in Nigeria but utilization of properly seasoned timber for structural and construction application is at its lowest ebb. Out of few wood drying facilities available in Nigeria, a small percentage are operating to their expected capacity. This may be attributed to epileptic power supply, cost of operating and maintaining wood drying facilities, high energy consumption, and poor attitude of wood stockiest (or end users) to wood seasoning. Several local wood products manufacturers (small and medium scale) dry their timber by end racking them under the sun, or air drying. These two timber seasoning procedures undermine wood drying quality and increase susceptibility of wood-based products to deformation, biodeterioration, delamination, disjointing and poor service performance. Apart from the aforementioned timber drying procedures, wood products manufacturers in Nigeria are resorting to production of wood-based items from medium density fibre board (MDF). However, utilization of MDF is undermining the relevance of solid wood in the structural and construction industry. This article focuses on present status, challenges and prospects of Nigerian wood drying industry as it affects timber utilization for wood products manufacturing. Solar kiln technology was recommended as a viable method of addressing the challenges and improving the present status of Nigerian wood-based industry. Solar energy is relatively cheap, sustainable, ecofriendly, and involves the use of a renewable energy resource which is potentially cost effective. Due to its availability, affordability and applicability, harnessing solar kiln technology in wood drying industry will enhance the relevance of solid timber to wood products industry in Nigeria.

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