Puun pienkäytön T&K:n tarpeiden kartoitus: PUUT26

Translated title of the contribution: Survey of the R&D needs of small scale wood use

Heikki Oravainen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientific


VTT has, in co-operation with a number of organisations operating on small-scale production and use of firewood, carried out a survey of research and development needs in this field. Ten information seminars were organised in different locations of Finland, to which enterprises as well as research and development organisations in this field were invited. Local polytechnics, TTS Institute, Satakunta Polytechnic, Elomatic Papertech Engineering Oy, JP Management Consulting Oy, and Jyväskylä Science Park Ltd carried out surveys in specific fields. This report includes the most essential results. The specific surveys concerned small wood production techniques, development needs in pellet technique, development work in district heating sector, export potentials, and applications of ICT technologies. As results, the most important development needs for each sub-field are presented. The competitiveness and export potential of technology are also evaluated and the level of Finnish technology is compared with that of potential export countries. The increasing small-scale use of wood will contribute to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions in Finland. The aim of the Action Plan for Renewable Energy Sources launched by Ministry of Trade and Industry is to increase the use by 45% from 12.8 TWh in 1995 by the year 2010. However, this increase involves a possible increase of other emissions to the environment. If the small-scale use of wood is increased in Finland by employing the present technology, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon and particle emissions will increase. Emissions from wood combustion should be reduced from the present level especially in densely populated areas. Emissions can essentially be reduced by developing both batch-type fireplaces and boilers and continuous-burning stoker and pellet burners. The greatest challenge is related to the development of batch-type wood-combustion appliances. The control of the combustion process can be improved, i.a., with the aid of modern measuring and control technics. Use of catalysts may also be possible in future wood-burning equipment. Significant new innovations are needed to reach targets of wood small-scale use. Small changes in present equipment are insufficient for this target. After developing new-generation technology, nearly unlimited export markets will be opened in the neighbouring areas of Finland and in the whole area of Europe. Significant growth targets have been set for the use of wood nearly in all countries. It is anticipated that the share of self-driven wood supply will reduce, even if its share will further be significant. In addition to increasing fuel sales, the sales of heat from wood are also estimated to increase. The market of wood products is significant in Europe, and the exports are estimated to grow. The total volume of this business in 2010 is estimated to be 800 million, the largest part being equipment manufacture. The total fuel and heat business is expected to exceed the limit of 170 million Small-scale use of wood has traditionally involved households and farms, where the users themselves acquire the major part (about 70%) of wood or do not pay any price for the fuel. This situation is changing, and there are wood fuels of different type on the consumer market. The selection of products expanded, when pellets and briquettes were launched on the market. If the market volume continues to increase up to about 235 million by the year 2010, the employment may increase as much as to 9000 man-years. Fairly many operators engaged in small-scale wood production work part-time to get additional income, and hence this sector will employ a significantly higher number of workers. Small-scale production and use of wood fuels involve many development needs, to reach the targets set. This will involve, i.a., creation of operation rules for fuel and energy business, standardisation of fuel quality, further development of equipment and systems, etc. The fuel should be economically competitive with other energy forms. As regards the development of combustion equipment, the greatest challenge is to reduce emissions and simultaneously keep a competitive price level of equipment. Training and information activities are also required alongside technology development (Helynen & Oravainen 2002).
Translated title of the contributionSurvey of the R&D needs of small scale wood use
Original languageFinnish
Title of host publicationPuuenergian teknologiaohjelman vuosikirja 2002
Subtitle of host publicationPuuenergian teknologiaohjelman vuosiseminaari
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
ISBN (Electronic)951-38-5733-6
ISBN (Print)951-38-5732-8
Publication statusPublished - 2002
MoE publication typeB3 Non-refereed article in conference proceedings
EventPuuenergian teknologiaohjelman vuosiseminaari - Joensuu, Finland
Duration: 18 Sept 200219 Sept 2002

Publication series

SeriesVTT Symposium


SeminarPuuenergian teknologiaohjelman vuosiseminaari


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