Spanish and Swedish scientists have compared the environmental load stemming from forestry operations, and have concluded that the Spanish sector uses more energy than the Swedish one. They are proposing improvements, such as the use of biofuels, in order to make forestry production more sustainable.
In order to predict the consequences of forestry operations, the scientists have studied the most important wood species used in making paper paste – the eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) plantations in Spain, and those of the Norway Spruce and Scots Pine in Sweden.
The research study, published recently in the International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, shows that the Swedish system requires less energy than the Spanish one under the same environmental conditions, because of the type and amount of wood produced. Paper paste production and supply in Spain uses 7% more energy in Spain than in Sweden.
"There are large differences, but there are several problematic stages in both countries", Sara González, lead author and a researcher at the University of Santiago de Compostela, who has worked in partnership with the Forestry Research Institute of Sweden in Uppsala, Sweden, tells SINC. The scientist says heavy fertiliser use, the stage of supplying wood to the factory, and the cutting and transport of the wood in the field contribute "considerably" to impacts such as acidification, eutrophication and global warming.
In Spain, the scientists suggest using more effective machinery for the cultivation and harvest stages, since energy consumption in these is higher than in the Swedish case. In Sweden, the researchers propose reducing the amount of wood imported (which comes predominantly from the Baltic states), and the use of trains to deliver wood instead of shipping, which would reduce energy use by up to 40%.
In addition, introducing biofuels such as biomass from forestry itself, would be "an option in both of the cases studied for reducing the environmental impact associated with forestry operations", says González.
The European forestry sector is "extremely multifunctional and provides a broad range of materials, energy and other services used for a more sustainable society", underlines the researcher. According to the scientists, European forests account for 5% of the world total and cover 33% of the land area of Europe. The area covered by European forests is growing by around 0.5 million hectares per year.
González-García, Sara; Berg, Staffan; Feijoo, Gumersindo; Moreira, María Teresa. "Environmental impacts of forest production and supply of pulpwood: Spanish and Swedish case studies" International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 14(4): 340-353 junio 2009.
SINC | EurekAlert!
Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University
New findings about the deformed wing virus, a major factor in honey bee colony mortality
11.11.2016 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
18.01.2017 | Life Sciences