Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Moisture content of stumps for energy in Finland

Moisture Content of Norway Spruce Stump Wood at Clear Cutting Areas and Roadside Storage Sites

Jussi Laurila and Risto Lauhanen

Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) stump wood is a potential source of bioenergy in Finland. The heating value of stump wood depends on, among other things, the moisture, carbon and ash content of the wood. In this study the moisture content of Norway spruce stump wood was examined immediately after harvesting at the clear cutting area and after different drying times at the roadside storage sites. Immediately after stump harvesting the average moisture content (wet basis) was 53%. The stump wood dried fairly fast during spring and summer. One month after stump harvesting, the average moisture content was about 31%. If the stump wood had dried well once, water absorption became very weak and the moisture content increased only slightly in the late autumn. Each spring and summer the moisture content of the stumps was lower than during the previous year. Annually the lowest moisture content was observed at the beginning of July and the highest at both the beginning and the end of the year. The moisture content of stump wood followed an upwards opening parabola over a one year period and was repeated each year. Three years after harvesting the heating value of the stump wood was still 5.241 MWh/ton. Overall, when harvesting took place in the spring or early summer, the stump wood was combustible after a one month drying period immediately after harvesting.

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