Report: Biorefineries Have Minimal Effects On Wood Products, Feedstocks

A new report from researchers from IIASA, Luleå University of Technology (LTU), and RISE Research Institutes of Sweden has shown that more biorefineries, which produce bio-based fuels and chemicals, will have only a small effect on the availability and pricing of wood products and feedstocks. The products from biorefineries can be used to replace some […]

A new report from researchers from IIASA, Luleå University of Technology (LTU), and RISE Research Institutes of Sweden has shown that more biorefineries, which produce bio-based fuels and chemicals, will have only a small effect on the availability and pricing of wood products and feedstocks.

The products from biorefineries can be used to replace some fossil-based equivalents. Biorefineries can make better use of available biomass, for example using waste products like bark, and there is potential for the development of completely new products. IIASA researcher Sylvain Leduc and the team focused on Sweden to prepare their briefing notes, large-scale implantation of biorefineries, where the development of commercial biorefineries is central to the country’s plan to develop into a bio-based economy. They set out to better understand the potential effects of a large-scale biorefinery sector in Sweden and its role in a sustainable energy system, as well as to optimize the use and production of woody biomass. The research was funded by Formas, the Swedish research council, and the IIASA National Member Organization (NMO) representing Sweden.

Their results show that there is likely to be a much stronger demand on forests in the EU as a whole, however the total production of wood is not likely to increase as a whole. There will, however, be differences between different sectors. Some material-producing industries are likely to see profitability increase due to demand for their byproducts. The pressure to use roundwood for energy may increase without the use of fast-growing plantations.

As the demand for biofuel increases in Sweden, it will be important to use biomass resources more efficiently, so other, so-called “fringe feedstocks” could be introduced into the fuel mix. This includes various waste products and byproducts such as forest residues like tree stumps and logging residue, waste bark, wood chips, and sawdust. Waste and byproducts like bark, sawdust, and wood chips are likely to be the most economic as they will incur no extra transport or handling costs. However, it should be pointed out that there could be technical limitations, efficiency decreases or added cost from using, for example, bark in certain biorefinery processes.

Read more on this from Canadian Biomass at https://www.canadianbiomassmagazine.ca/sustainability/biorefineries-have-minimal-effects-on-wood-products-and-feedstocks-markets-6948.

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