Given an almost complete lack of indigenous fossil fuels, high per-capita energy consumption and an abundant amount of forest, Finland is currently investing in biomass and biofuels in a big way as it seems to define our country’s future energy mix. Wood-based energy plays a key role in the activities planned to meet the 2020 climate and renewable energy targets.
To achieve the goal of reducing CO2 emissions and replacing fossil fuels, biofuels are one way to turn to. Biodiesel, manufactured from the by-products of forest industries, is a renewable and carbon neutral substitute for petroleum fuels. It also has higher energy density compared to other wood-based biofuels, such as wood chips.
Energy density of different fuels
- Pine oil 9.72 kWh/l
- Diesel 10.03 kWh/l
- Light fuel oil 11.9 kWh/l
The sawmill industry produces by-products, such as chips and sawdust, which can be processed into wood pellets and larger briquettes. The manufacturing process is based on compression and therefore one m3 of pellets contains almost four times the amount of energy than an equivalent amount of woodchips. Woodschips are processed from branches, treetops and damaged stems that are harvested during thinnings and fellings.