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Climate change effects of forestry and substitution of carbon-intensive materials and fossil fuels
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Built Environment and Energy Technology. (SBER)
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Built Environment and Energy Technology. (SBER)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. (Department of Soil and Environment)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. (Department of Forest Resource Management)
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2017 (English)In: Renewable & sustainable energy reviews, ISSN 1364-0321, E-ISSN 1879-0690, Vol. 67, p. 612-624Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We estimate the climate effects of directing forest management in Sweden towards increased carbon storage in forests with more land set-aside for protection, or towards increased forest production for the substitution of carbon-intensive materials and fossil fuels, relative to a reference case of current forest management. We develop various scenarios of forest management and biomass use to estimate the carbon balances of the forest systems, including ecological and technological components, and their impacts on the climate in terms of radiative forcing. The scenario with increased set-aside area and the current level of forest residue harvest resulted in lower cumulative carbon emissions compared to the reference case for the first 90 years, but then showed higher emissions as reduced forest harvest led to higher carbon emissions from energy and material systems. For the reference case of current forest management, increased harvest of forest residues gave increased climate benefits. The most climatically beneficial alternative, expressed as reduced cumulative radiative forcing, in both the short and long terms is a strategy aimed at high forest production, high residue recovery rate, and high efficiency utilization of harvested biomass. Active forest management with high harvest levels and efficient forest product utilization will provide more climate benefit, compared to reducing harvest and storing more carbon in the forest.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017. Vol. 67, p. 612-624
Keywords [en]
Biomass residues ; Forest management ; Climate change ; Radiative forcing
National Category
Forest Science
Research subject
Technology (byts ev till Engineering)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-57660DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2016.09.056ISI: 000389088900046OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-57660DiVA, id: diva2:1040655
Available from: 2016-10-28 Created: 2016-10-28 Last updated: 2018-01-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Climate impact of the sustainable use of forest biomass in energy and material system: a life cycle perspective
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Climate impact of the sustainable use of forest biomass in energy and material system: a life cycle perspective
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Human society releases greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere while providing housing, heat, mobility and industrial production. Man-made greenhouse gas emissions are the main causes of climate change, coming mainly from burning fossil fuels and land-use changes. Sustainably managed forests play an important role in climate change mitigation with the prospect of sustainably providing essential materials and services as part of a low-carbon economy, both through the substitution of fossil-intensive fuels and material and through their potential to capture and store carbon in the long-term perspective.

The overall aim of this thesis was to develop a methodology under a life cycle perspective to assess the climate impact of the sustainable use of forest biomass in bioenergy and material systems. To perform this kind of analysis a methodological framework is needed to accurately compare the different biological and technological systems with the aim to minimize the net carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere and hence the climate impact. In such a comparison, the complete energy supply chains from natural resources to energy end-use services has to be considered and are defined as the system boundaries.

The results show that increasing biomass production through more intensive forest management or the usage of more productive tree species combined with substitution of non-wood products and fuels can significantly reduce global warming. The biggest single factor causing radiative forcing reduction was using timber to produce wood material to replace energy-intensive construction materials such as concrete and steel. Another very significant factor was replacing fossil fuels with forest residues from forest thinning, harvest, wood processing, and post-use wood products. The fossil fuel that was replaced by forest biomass affected the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, with carbon-intensive coal being most beneficial to replace. Over the long term, an active and sustainable management of forests, including their use as a source for wood products and bioenergy allows the greatest potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Linnaeus University Press, 2018
Series
Linnaeus University Dissertations ; 306/2018
Keywords
forest residues, fossil fuel substitution, forest management, radiative forcing, land use change, climate change, bioenergy
National Category
Energy Systems Civil Engineering
Research subject
Technology (byts ev till Engineering), Bioenergy Technology; Technology (byts ev till Engineering), Civil engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-69561 (URN)978-91-88761-11-8 (ISBN)978-91-88761-12-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-01-18, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-01-05 Created: 2018-01-04 Last updated: 2018-05-17Bibliographically approved

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Gustavsson, LeifHaus, SylviaSathre, RogerTruong, Nguyen Le

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