Student Work

Changing Something Old to Something New: Turning Palo Santo Tree Residuals into a Sustainable Commodity

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The wood of the palo santo tree of the South American Chaco is a dense hardwood with aromatic properties. The essential oil compounds within the tree are often extracted and sold to be used in perfumes, cosmetics, and for medicinal uses. This project addresses alternative uses for the sawdust byproduct for the company Nelixia, which is mainly responsible for the extraction of essential oils from palo santo. Through interviews, literature research, and technical experiments, the team gathered qualitative and quantitative data to offer suggestions for viable alternative uses for the factory. We determined that using the residuals for biofuel in the form of a compact briquette was the most viable option, though several other options were also determined to mitigate the residual accumulation.

  • This report represents the work of one or more WPI undergraduate students submitted to the faculty as evidence of completion of a degree requirement. WPI routinely publishes these reports on its website without editorial or peer review.
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Identifier
  • E-project-050122-121739
  • 66616
Keyword
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Year
  • 2022
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Sponsor
UN Sustainable Development Goals
Date created
  • 2022-05-01
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