Haiti Reconstruction

Rebuilding Haiti must start from the ground up, with agricultural education

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 Have you heard of anyone using Terminalia spp. seeds as gasifier stove fuel? From what I can find the Haitian "almond" is Terminalia catappa, also known as the tropical, Indian or sea almond, apparently native to the South Pacific islands."The nuts are often not utilized or highly regarded as food because of the small size of the kernels and the difficulty of extracting them". The tree is widely grown and there has been some selection for larger nuts and lots of potential for "improvement". The tree can be propagated by seeds or cuttings.
 Sister Pat Dillon, who does ag/forestry projects in Haiti reports:
"The almonds just lay all over the ground under the trees. "
They would need to be sun dried.

 The closely related species Terminalia kaernbachii , "okari" has larger nuts.
T. kaernbachii (Fig. A5) are tall trees that can
produce more than 100 kg of very large fruits
(90–200 g) with a KIT ranging from 5 g to 15 g
and a K:N ratio of 5% to 10% (Table 10). Many
would consider okari nut to be the best tasting
indigenous nut in the Pacific.
T. catappa (Fig. A6) is a shorter, broader tree
that can produce more than 50 kg of much smaller
fruits (8–20 g) and sweet tasting KIT (0.5–2.0 g)
with a similar K:N ratio of 6% to 12% (Table
10). Intense selection of sea almond on certain
smaller islands has produced some large kernelled
cultivars with distinctive tastes.
The kernels of sea almond and okari nut contain
more than 50% and 60% oil respectively,
which consists of mostly palmitic and oleic acids
(Morton 1985, Clark et al. 1951).

Kernel-in-testa (KIT) The edible kernel (seed) and testa.
Testa The skin surrounding the kernel
K:N ratio The percentage of nut-in-shell that is kernel-in-testa, sometimes known as the
‘kernel content’
= weight of dry kernel-in-testa ÷ weight of dry nut-in-shell × 100%
(This reference is in my laptop which is in for repair)

Sister Pat also reports that she's pretty sure peanut shells are not used for anything. Peanuts are apparently a common crop.

There's also an abundance of Euphorbia lactea which is used as living fence. I think I've seen the closely related Euphorbia tirucalli "pencil bush".  I'm concerned about possible toxicity of Euphorbia smoke, and have emailed John Loke about it. No reply yet.

"2.2 Gasification
Dried ET can be compressed into pellets or briquettes or be used directly for gasification. Experiments by Mr. John Loke in Colombia have shown that 200 liters (about 100kg) of dried and cut ET pieces produce about 10kWh, equivalent to energy yields of 100kWh per ton dry ET. At 30 ton DS/ ha/ year this would lead to 3,000 kWh. This can be a bit higher with more advanced gasification systems."
Euphorbia tirucalli biogas, Author: Ywe Jan Franken
Date: 11 January 2011
FACT Foundation – www.fact-foundation.com

Table 1: Mean values for gasifier characteristics using coconut shells-husks, cassava stems, mulberry stems and branches of Cassia stamea(sic) as feedstock








Biomass, kg























Moisture, %







Density, g/litre







Duration, h







Output, kwh





















Biochar, g/kg biomass DM







# kg dry biomass/kwh; ## Assumes 15 MJ/kg biomass DM and 3.6 MJ/kwh of electricity

abc Means in the same row without common letter are different at P<0.95


Gasification of fibrous crop residues and live stock production; essential elements in establishing carbon-negative farming systems

Lylian Rodríguez and T R Preston

I'll bring some dried split bamboo. What length would be good? I have high hopes for bamboo as fuel. Have you seen my new page:




Aleurites moluccana 

Species identity


Current name: Aleurites moluccana

Authority: (L.) Willd.

Family: Euphorbiaceae


Aleurites javanica Gand.

Aleurites remyi Sherff

Aleurites triloba J. R. Forst. & G. Forst.

Camirium moluccanum (Ktze.)

Croton moluccanus L.

Jatropha moluccana L.

Common names

(Creole) : alèrit, nwa, nwazèt
(English) : belgian walnut, candle nut oil tree, candleberry, candle-nut tree, Indian walnut, varnish tree
(French) : aleurites, noisette, noix, noyer, noyer des Indes
(German) : Kerzennussbaum, Lichtnussbaum
(Hawaian) : kukui
(Indonesian) : kamiri
(Luganda) : kabakanjagala
(Portuguese) : calumbàn, noz da India
(Spanish) : arbol llorón, avellano, avellano criollo, nogal de la India, nuez
(Trade name) : tung

Botanic description
Aleurites moluccana is a medium-sized tree, up to 20 m tall, with wide-spreading or pendulous branches. Bark grey-brown, fairly smooth with fine vertical lines. Leaves simple, variable in shape, young leaves large, up to 30 cm long, palmate, with 3-7 acuminate lobes, shining; whitish above when young, becoming green with age, with rusty stellate pubescence beneath when young that persists on veins and petiole; leaves on mature trees ovate, entire, acuminate, long-petioled. Flowers in rusty-pubescent panicled cymes, 10-15 cm long; petals 5, dingy white or creamy, oblong, up to 1.3 cm long; ovary 2-celled. Fruit an indehiscent drupe, almost spherical, 5 cm or more in diameter, with thick, rough, hard shell making up 64-68% of fruit; difficult to separate from kernels; containing 1-2 hard-shelled black seeds. The generic name ‘Aleurites’ comes from a Greek word ‘aleuron’, meaning ‘floury’. The Hawaiians strung nuts on sticks and used them for lighting houses; this use of the kernels gave rise to the name ‘candle nut’.

Ecology and distribution

History of cultivation
A. moluccana is one of the great domesticated trees of the world with multiple uses; it has been adopted as the official tree emblem of Hawaii, where it was probably imported by Polynesian ancestors.
Natural Habitat
The striking A. moluccana is found on hillside forests of the Pacific and Southeast Asia, where its pale, mealy foliage stands out from darker tropical vegetation. The tree thrives in moist tropical regions, ranging from subtropical dry to wet through tropical very dry to wet forest life zones.
Geographic distribution
Native : Brunei, Cambodia, China, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Indonesia, Kiribati, Laos, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Myanmar, New Caledonia, Norfolk Island, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Tonga, Vanuatu, Vietnam
Exotic : Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Brazil, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Martinique, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Puerto Rico, Sri Lanka, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United States of America, Virgin Islands (US)

Biophysical limits
Altitude: 0-1 200 m, Mean annual temperature: 18-28 deg. C, Mean annual rainfall: 650-4300 mm Soil type: A pH of 5-8 is ideal for growth.

Reproductive Biology
In Sri Lanka, the flowering period is from April to May. In Uganda, flowering may be several times each year. Pollen vectors are honeybees and other hymenopteran species. Major dispersal agents of the fruits are birds.

Propagation and management

Propagation methods
Seed production is profuse and seeds are easily collected. Seedlings are derived from wildings, direct sowing and pot-sowing. It grows easily from seed and in Uganda has become invasive in the wetter parts of the country. Difficulty has been experienced in germinating the seeds of A. moluccana. The seeds are very hard-shelled, and untreated seeds have been known to stay in a seedbed for as long as 38-150 days before germination. The most satisfactory method of treatment is to place a single layer of seeds on the ground and cover them with dried leaves or grass. The grass is then burned. Immediately after burning and while seeds are still hot, they are thrown into cold water, which results in the cracking of the hard shells. The results of this kind of treatment showed an average germination of more than 30%. For even faster germination, the seed can be cracked. Kernels adhere to sides of the shell and are difficult to separate. A. moluccana tree can also be grown from cuttings.

Tree Management
Seedlings are planted at a density of 300/ha. Once established, trees require little to no attention. Bears 2 heavy crops each year; harvested when mature. In plantations nut yields are estimated at 5-20 t/ha nuts, each tree producing 30-80 kg. Oil production varies from 15 to 20% of nut weight. Most oil produced in India, Sri Lanka and other tropical regions is used locally and does not feature in international trade. Coppices when young and responds to pollarding when old.

Germplasm Management
Seed storage behaviour is orthodox, 79% germination following 79 years of storage. There are about 345 seeds/kg.

Functional uses

Food: Kernels when roasted and cooked are considered edible; may be strung as candle nuts. After removing the hard outer coat, the seed is pounded and eaten as a sauce. Per 100 g, the seed is reported to contain 626 calories, 63 g fat, 19 g protein, 8 g total carbohydrate, 7 g water, 3 g ash, 200 mg phosphorus, 80 mg calcium, 2 mg iron, and 0.06 mg thiamine. Fuel: Seed oil is suitable, with modification, for use as a substitute for diesel, the residues for conversion to alcohol or pyrolysis. In Uganda, it is planted as a backyard tree for firewood. Timber: Wood whitish and soft and suitable as a timber species. Tannin or dyestuff: Bark contains about 4–6% tannin. Lipids: Seed yields 57-80% of inedible, semi-drying oil, liquid at ordinary temperatures, solidifying at -15 deg. C, containing oleostearic acid. The oil, quicker drying than linseed oil, is used as a wood preservative, for varnishes and paint oils, as an illuminant, for soap making, waterproofing paper, rubber substitutes and insulating material. Oil is painted on bottoms of small crafts to protect against marine borers; also prevents feeding by striped cucumber beetle. The oil is inferior to tung oil, extracted from a related Chinese species, A. fordii, and used mainly for varnishing wood. Commercial production of oil yields 12-18% of the weight of the dry, unhulled fruits, the fruits being air-dried to about 12-15% mc before pressing. Oil yields as high as 300 kg/ha have been reported. Poison: Seeds are moderately poisonous. The oil cake, containing about 46% protein, is said to be poisonous. Medicine: Bark used to treat tumours in Japan. The oil is purgative and sometimes used like castor oil. Kernels are laxative, a stimulant and a sudorific. The irritant oil is rubbed on scalp as a hair stimulant. In Malaya, the pulped kernel is used in poultices for headache, fevers, ulcers and swollen joints. In Java, the bark is used for bloody diarrhoea or dysentery. Bark juice with coconut milk is used for sprue. Malayans apply boiled leaves to the body for headaches and gonorrhoea.

Shade or shelter: The leafy rounded crown provides shade. Soil improver: Seed press cake is suitable as a fertilizer. Ornamental: A. moluccana is an attractive tree with its cream white flowers that may appear more than once a year.

Pests and diseases
The following fungi are known to attack A. moluccana: Cephalosporium spp, Clitocybe tabescens, Fomes hawaiensis, Gloeosporium aleuriticum, Physalospora rhodina, Polyporus gilvus, Pythium ultimum, Sclerotium rolfsii, Sphaeronema reinkingii, Trametes corrugata, Ustulina deusta and Xylaria curta. Nematodes include Meloidogyne spp.


Hong TD, Linington S, Ellis RH. 1996. Seed storage behaviour: a compendium. Handbooks for Genebanks: No. 4. IPGRI.
Katende AB et al. 1995. Useful trees and shrubs for Uganda. Identification, Propagation and Management for Agricultural and Pastoral Communities. Regional Soil Conservation Unit (RSCU), Swedish International Development Authority (SIDA).
Noad T, Birnie A. 1989. Trees of Kenya. General Printers, Nairobi.
Perry LM. 1980. Medicinal plants of East and South East Asia : attributed properties and uses. MIT Press. South East Asia.
Timyan J. 1996. Bwa Yo: important trees of Haiti. South-East Consortium for International Development. Washington D.C.
Young JA, Young CG. 1992. Seeds of woody plants in North America. Dioscorides Press, Oregon, USA.




Common Name

Botanic Name


Qty/$10 pack

100 seeds

Candle Nut

Aleurites moluccana

Aug- Sept, Nov-Dec




great site for biomass energy for rural electricy greenfueltech.net 



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