Biorefineries Will Have Only Minimal Effects on Wood Products and Feedstocks Markets
(International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis/Phys.Org) 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 biobased 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, using waste products like bark, for example, and there is potential for the development of completely new products. IIASA researcher Sylvain Leduc and the team focused on large-scale implementation of biorefineries, as the development of commercial biorefineries is central to the county’s plan to develop into a biobased 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.
Their results show that there is likely to be a much stronger demand on forests in the EU as a whole, but the total production of wood is not likely to increase as a whole. There will, however, be differences between 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 waste products and byproducts such as forest residues including 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 economical, as they will incur no extra transport or handling costs. READ MORE