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Energy requirement and environmental impact in timber transport

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Transportation of timber from forests to industrial sites consumes more fossil fuels than any other part of the Swedish wood supply chain. This paper compares the environmental performance and energy requirements of a range of possible long-distance transport strategies involving lorry or lorry-and-train combinations using a variety of potential fuels/energy carriers, including diesel-oil, coal, hydropower, nuclear fuel and biofuels. The total efficiency of the complete system (i.e. “well-to-wheel” efficiency) is considered. The results indicate that transport alternatives including railway transport require less process energy than options relying exclusively on road vehicles. However, calculations showed that by using biofuels instead of fossil fuel in a lorry, it is possible to replace 96% of the fossil energy.

Keywords: Biofuel; FTD-fuel; energy efficiency; ethanol, fossil energy; methanol; process energy

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: The Forestry Research Institute of Sweden, Uppsala, Sweden

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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