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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2007

Fuel quality changes during seasonal storage of compacted logging residues and young trees

Pettersson M, Nordfjell T


Forest fuel procurement creates logistical problems, as large stocks are accumulated along the supply chain. The purpose of this study was to examine fuel quality (moisture content, ash content and calorific value) of compacted young trees (mainly downy birch) and both uncompacted and compacted logging residues (LR) (mainly Norway spruce). The materials were examined before and after storage, with and without cover, and effects of handling were considered. Dry matter losses from compacted LR during storage and handling were determined. Fuel quality and mass were determined before and after storage and handling. The moisture content of LR dropped to 28.6% when stored in small piles after fuel adapted logging at the clear felling site for 3 weeks in May. Drying continued after compaction into cylindrical bales (length 3.4 m, diameter 0.7 m) and during storage in windrows (9 and 12 months), the moisture content falling to 18.2-20.7% for the covered and 18.8-24.9% for the uncovered material. The windrow of loose LR remoistened to 40.8% (by snow contamination) resulted in a 6% lower net calorific value as received, compared to cylindrical bales. Ash contents were in the range 1.6-2.2% for LR and 1.0-1.2% for young trees. Dry matter losses ranged from 8.4% to 18.1 % on compacted LR. Remoistening during the winter is higher for loose than for compacted LR. Early summer in northern Sweden provides favourable conditions for drying forest fuels. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

Published in

Biomass and Bioenergy
2007, Volume: 31, number: 11-12, pages: 782-792