Energy from the forest
Forest fuel has a central position in our energy system today and Swedish forest fuel handling is in the forefront. Strong continued development is required to attain a future sustainable and durable energy system. At the end of 2011 Linnaeus University started a new three-year interdisciplinary R&D project within the area of forest fuel, “Energy from the Forest”. The project covers the whole forest fuel chain from felling to ash recycling and has a total budget of approximately 15M SEK. The province of Småland has large forest resources and is the region of Sweden which has the highest forest growth rate. Forest fuel plays an important role in the region’s energy supply and there is potential for further increased production and use. The project “Energy from the Forest” covers research within three areas: 1. Supply (forest projects); 2. Energy conversion (combustion gas and cleaning); and 3. Sustainability (ash recycling).The project aims to increase the energy supply from forest resources in a sustainable and durable manner. The project is carried out at three departments within Linnaeus University: Forest & Wood Technology, Bioenergy Technology and Environmental Science. A Reference Group is connected to the project and includes representatives from supporting industry, the Swedish forest agency and other experts with special competence from within the University. Supply / Forest projects The department Forest & Wood Technology at Linnaeus University is investigating what volumes of forest fuels can be extracted from the forest, both at national level and at regional and community level. Additionally it is investigating how large the energy losses are - from the handling process after felling to the fuel feeding stage at the combustion plant, where these losses occur, and where these losses can be reduced. In connection to the studies on energy losses the quality of the fuel and how to increase its quality are also being investigated. Simultaneously how to improve the measuring of quality and energy content of the different forest fuels are being strived after. The overall goal is to increase the production of forest fuel in a sustainable manner. Energy Conversion / combustion, gas cleaning Within this work package the goal is to develop combustion and gas cleaning technologies to facilitate the transition to new fuel fractions, such as green fractions and stumps. Three areas of research form this work package: • Fuel analysis and combustion properties • Combustion tests in commercial plants • Investigation of measuring and control technology Sustainability / Ash recycling Within this work package the goal is to increase and improve ash recycling in an environmentally friendly manner and, if possible, integrated with forestry and rejuvenation activities. A sustainable system with increased extraction of fuel, i.e. whole tree utilisation, requires that the nutritive content is recycled back into the forest through ash recycling. Today this occurs on a far too limited extent – new methods and systems are needed, for example ash recycling in conjunction with extraction of tops and branches. An interesting method is granulation of ash, giving an ash product with suitable mechanical and chemical properties. This work package concentrates on packing, distribution and unloading of agglomerate - developing and optimising the final part of the recycling process.
Funding: The project “Energy from the Forest” is financially supported by the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth
Contact: Göran Gustavsson
Institution: Energikontor Sydost
Geographic Contexts: Rural
Forest Types: Boreal forest