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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Evaluation of primary wood processing residues for bioenergy in British Columbia Kehbila, Atenkeng Taku


The growing energy demand in the world emphasizes the need for a more reliable energy source. To this end, a "fundamental” re-think is critical for an effective sustainable bioenergy production in the 21st century. BC has traditionally been the largest lumber and residue producing province in Canada, thus advancing bioenergy production in BC holds the potential to utilize residues from primary wood processing mills. The main objectives of this study were: (1) to develop a database using important physical characteristics of residues from sawmills, and plywood mills in BC. (2) to estimate the total production, utilization and surpluses of primary residues within each forest region; and (3) to create a Dijkstra logarithm model partnered with a vector-based geographical information system (GIS) to investigate the optimal location of bio-based industrial plants using the available residues from BC’s mills. Laboratory analysis of primary mill residues indicated that the higher heating values (HHV) ranged from 17 – 21.5 MJ/kg with a mean of 18.9MJ/kg. Ash contents were quite small for whitewood (0 – 2%) and higher for bark and hogfuel (2 – 6.5%) with a mean of 1.6%. The moisture content (MC) on wet mass basis ranged from 5 – 317% with a mean of 105%. The basic density ranged from 120 – 1151 kg/m³ with a mean of 352 kg/m³. The average particle size (Dp₅₀) of the residues ranged from 0.2 – 49.7 mm. Analyses of the availability of primary mill residues revealed that due to the demands of the pulp and paper industry, there were no available residues in BC for bioenergy production in 2006. Consequently, an artificial situation was created in order to demonstrate the potential benefits of the GIS-Dijkstra integrated modeling framework to determine the most preferred locations for bioenergy plants. Under this hypothetical scenario surplus residue generated in the Southern forest region had the lowest residue cost for bark at $15/BDt followed the coastal forest region at $46/BDt and the Northern forest region at $51/BDt. While the Southern interior forest region still had the cheapest whitewood residue cost at $31/BDt followed the Northern forest region at $78/BDt and the coastal forest region at $84/BDt.

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