Friday, May 28, 2010

International Market for Wood and Wood Pulp Expanding Rapidly

In Sweden, biomass has surpassed oil to become the number one source of energy generation - now producing 32% of all energy needs. And, biomass-based energy consumption is projected to rise another 10% in 2011

A recent report by Wood Resource Quarterly notes that increased competition for logs and wood chips between the pulp industry and the energy sector has pushed wood fiber and wood chip prices to new highs. Signs of that competition are also increasing in the United States.

 Total energy consumption generated in biomass in the country has grown from 88TWh to 115TWh between 2000 and 2009, while the usage of imported oil-based products has declined from 142TWh to 112TWh during the same period, according to the Swedish Bioenergy Association, Svebio. Current projections are for biomass consumption to increase by a further 10 per cent in 2011. ___IFandP

Pulp mills are becoming more efficient in terms of water use and the productive use of waste heat.

GP Cellulose's multimillion-dollar overhaul of its Brunswick pulp mill has slashed the amount of water it uses and decreased pressure on the drinking water supplies for most of Southeast Georgia and Northeast Florida.

The reduced strain on the Floridan Aquifer reduces the risk of environmental harm, said a federal hydrologist, who monitors groundwater levels in the Brunswick area.

..."We've put in new equipment with new technology to make production more efficient," Morris said. "More efficient production makes us competitive in the worldwide market and ensures the longtime viability of our facility, and makes it more profitable."

The mill uses the water to process into pulp the 1,000 truckloads of yellow pines it gets each day. The mill reduces the logs to chips and uses the water to cook the chips into fiber....Morris said through a recycling process, the water is used to produce about 70 percent of the mill's electricity.

"We've seen a good rate of reduction in our use of groundwater from the aquifer since we've put in the new equipment," Morris said.

As private wood plantations become more sophisticated and efficient, the total amount of woody biomass available for conversion to energy and fuel should increase significantly.

An increase in the growth of salt-tolerant biomass crops in arid environments, and an increase in the use of both micro-algal biomass and macro-algal biomass, will add significantly to the total available biomass for energy and fuel purpose.

 New woody biomass fueled power plant in Finland



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