EOS supporter in the communication campaign “European Bioenergy Day”

EOS has joined as “supporter” the communication campaign entitled the “European Bioenergy Day” organised by AEBIOM (European Biomass Association representing the bioenergy sector with the aim to develop a sustainable bioenergy market based on fair business conditions.) 

The “European Bioenergy Day” campaign has been designed as an awareness/media campaign targeting the European stakeholders and policy makers with the aim to present the actual role and commitment of the whole bioenergy sector to the EU energy mix.

According to scope of this campaign, from the 21st November to the 31st December, Europe could solely rely on bioenergy to fuel itself. Using timely comparisons, the campaign proposes also a number of sub narratives to pass clear and simple communications messages about bioenergy.

EOS has been invited to partner with AEBIOM and other Brussels based organisation, including EUSTAFOR (European State Forest Association) and CEETAR (European Organisation of Agricultural, Rural and Forestry Contractors), to spread the word on this campaign and/or contribute directly to it by proposing innovative success stories or statistics about bioenergy uses/production in our industry. 

The website campaign: http://www.europeanbioenergyday.eu

Taking part in this initiative, the European Sawmill Industry would like to explain its  role in the sustainable production of bioenergy. 

Sustainable sourced wood products are an excellent environmental choice. They are naturally renewable, recyclable and they store significant amounts of carbon from the atmosphere. Wood products also require considerably less energy for processing compared to other materials and at the end of the products’ life, these can be recycled and burned for the bio-energy production. Comparative studies reveal that there is virtually no waste during the manufacture of wood product. Firstly the European sawmill industries produce sustainable wood products and secondly they play an important role in the production of bioenergy. 

The production of bioenergy is an integrated part of the sawmill industries that gives value to low-quality wood, sawdust, bark or woodchips. Sawlogs are by far the most valuable tree parts which are only used to produce sawn-wood (such as wood construction products), followed by pulpwood where smaller diameter or lesser quality trees are used in the pulp and paper industries to produce paper-based products.  Tops, branches and stumps, together with the woody residues from forest industries, can be used for bioenergy production. In general, we can easily say that best quality by-product streams of mechanical wood products industry are directed to paper and/or wood based panels’ production and lower qualities to energy use as such (in general it can be assumed that about 90% of the wood chips are sold as raw material to the pulp industry while sawdust can be sold either as a raw material to the particle board industry or used as a fuel. Bark is normally used to fuel the heat production in the sawmill). However, this traditionally balanced situation might change depending on the market demand.

Depending on wood species (hardwood or softwood), it can be easily assumed that in a sawmills process on average about half of the entering timber becomes lumber (rough wood product), with the remainder considered as by-product (biomass). A part of this biomass – not sold on the market- is used for internal heat production, mainly for drying of lumbers in drying kilns.

Moisture content of wood and bark at the time of combustion is highly variable and dependent on many factors, including time since harvest, species, and section of tree from which the fuel originated. Nevertheless, the heat demand of the sawmill industry is almost completely covered by its own by-products: primarily bark and sawdust and in same cases wood chips.

Several sawmills in Europe are also active in the production of pellets: wood pellets are usually made from dry, untreated, industrial wood wastes like sawdust, shavings, or chip fines. The material is compressed into small cylindrical pellets under high pressure by the wood pellet making machine. Wood pellets are usually made from dry, untreated, industrial wood wastes like sawdust, shavings, or chip fines. The material is compressed into small cylindrical pellets under high pressure by the wood pellet making machine. 

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