Analysis of the Feasibility of Generating Solid Biofuel from Ulex Europaeus Plants

Main Article Content


Alejandro Núñez-Moreno
Giacomo Barbieri, Ph. D.
Gerardo Gordillo


The Ulex europaeus (also known as Common Gorse) represents a threat to the native ecosystems of different Colombian regions. Recently, the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development introduced protocols for its prevention and management. Even though the Ulex europaeus has a high calorific value, a wide-spread solution for its post-processing is not yet available in its affected areas. In Colombia, the most common method for the disposal of the harvested plant is incineration, given that this is the suggested method by Resolution 684 of 2018. Due to the importance of the problem, this investigation is focused on studying the viability of creating solid biofuel alternatives derived from the plant. Grinded material and briquettes were produced with different log/foliage ratios in order to investigate both the domestic and industrial applications of the plant; e.g. heating, cooking and cogeneration, respectively. A proximate and ultimate analysis was performed on the produced samples. The generated solid biofuel presents 75% of the carbon heat value, a high volatile material content (83.3%), and low ash and Sulphur residues (1.41% and 0.15% respectively). These results applied to both dry and humid samples, demonstrated that the produced solid biofuel is adequate for applications oriented towards heat generation. However, further analysis and process optimization is required in order to establish the generation of solid biofuel as an appropriate use of the Ulex europaeus remnants. By further analyzing the overall process; from plant removal, through residue disposal, and finally remnant conversion, the investigations value chain can be better established and possibly established for real world implementation.


Article Details


Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

All articles included in the Revista Facultad de Ingeniería are published under the Creative Commons (BY) license.

Authors must complete, sign, and submit the Review and Publication Authorization Form of the manuscript provided by the Journal; this form should contain all the originality and copyright information of the manuscript.

The authors who publish in this Journal accept the following conditions:

a. The authors retain the copyright and transfer the right of the first publication to the journal, with the work registered under the Creative Commons attribution license, which allows third parties to use what is published as long as they mention the authorship of the work and the first publication in this Journal.

b. Authors can make other independent and additional contractual agreements for the non-exclusive distribution of the version of the article published in this journal (eg, include it in an institutional repository or publish it in a book) provided they clearly indicate that the work It was first published in this Journal.

c. Authors are allowed and recommended to publish their work on the Internet (for example on institutional or personal pages) before and during the process.
review and publication, as it can lead to productive exchanges and a greater and faster dissemination of published work.

d. The Journal authorizes the total or partial reproduction of the content of the publication, as long as the source is cited, that is, the name of the Journal, name of the author (s), year, volume, publication number and pages of the article.

e. The ideas and statements issued by the authors are their responsibility and in no case bind the Journal.


[1] P. Bingelli, Woody Plant Ecology, 1997. Available at:

[2] S. Lowe, M. Browne, S. Boudjelas, and M. De Poorter, 100 de las especies exóticas invasoras más dañinas del mundo. Una selección del Global Invasive Species Database, 2004. Available at:

[3] Ministerio de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sostenible, Resolución 0684, 2018. Available at:

[4] S. Clavijo, “Desafíos del mercado energético de Colombia,” La República, 2018. Available at:

[5] Redacción, “Sin fracking, el país tendría un dólar a 5.000 pesos: Ministra de Minas,” El Heraldo, 2019. Available at:

[6] M. J. Lizarazo, Caracterización de Retamo Espinoso por Medio de Termo Gravimetría para uso Como Biocombustible, Graduate Thesis, Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia, 2017.

[7] D. F. Osorio, Análisis Estadístico de las Partes Funcionales de Ulex Europaeus Respecto a la Altitud y Caracterización del Retamo Espinoso (Ulex Europaeus) y Retamo Liso (Genista Monospessulana), Graduate Thesis, Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia, 2018.

[8] H. A. Milquez-Sanabria, "Production and Characterization of Activated Carbon of Gorse (Ulex Europaeus)," Publicaciones e Investigación, vol. 11 (2), pp. 89-97, 2017.

[9] J. Taylor, Introduction to error analysis, the study of uncertainties in physical measurements, 1997.

[10] J. I. G. Romero, Briquetas y Carbon - Las Briquetas más que un sustito de la leña, 2016. Available at:

[11] T. Onuegbu, I. Ogbu, N. Ilochi, U. Ekpunobi, and A. Ogbuagu, “Enhancing the Properties of Coal Briquette Using Spear Grass (Imperata Cylindrica),” Leonardo Journal of Sciences, vol. 17, pp. 47-58, 2010.

[12] Ministry of Agriculture, Proximate Analysis of Biofuels - Biomass Burn Characteristics, Ontario, 2019.

[13] N. Kaliyan, and R. Vance, "Natural binders and solid bridge type binding mechanisms in briquettes and pellets made from corn stover and switchgrass," Biorsource Technology, vol. 101 (3), pp. 1082-1090, 2010.

[14] A. Valderrama, H. Curo, C. Quispe, V. Llantoy, and J. Gallo, "Briquetas de residuos sólidos orgánicos como fuente de energia calorifica en cocinas no convencionales," in XVII CONIMERA, Lima, 2007.

[15] M. C. G. Garcia, Blusterpellet-Living Territoriweb, 2019. Available at:


Download data is not yet available.