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Fuel quality of Norway spruce stumps - influence of harvesting technique and storage method

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The interest in using stump biomass as a biofuel has recently increased in Sweden. The uneven consumption of wood fuel during the year creates a need for storage. This study examined the properties of stump biomass and how they vary at two sites in Sweden depending on harvesting technique, storage method and storage period. Norway spruce stumps, extracted using three different stump harvesting heads (Pallari, Rotary Cutter and Aalto), were stored in windrows or heaps. After 3 months, stumps stored in heaps were gathered into windrows. The fuel quality parameters moisture content (MC), ash content (AC) and calorific value (CV) were evaluated on five occasions in the period May 2008-September 2009. After 16 months of storage, the MC in all treatments had decreased to <25% (wet basis). Average AC decreased from 3.8% to around 1% (dry basis), whereas CV marginally increased. Stumps split during harvesting dried better than those harvested in one piece. The influence of storage method was minimal, although initial storage in heaps allowed better drying in the stumps harvested in one piece. In general, fuel quality improved in all treatments after storage.

Keywords: Ash content; calorific value; moisture content; stump wood; wood fuel quality

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Energy and Technology, Swedish University of Agricultural Science, Uppsala, Sweden

Publication date: 2011-06-01

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