Journal news feed- SJFR Volume 29, Issue 4, 2014

The journal news feed presents the editors’ condensed summaries of key findings from selected scientific papers from SNS’ two scientific journals Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research and Wood Material Science & Engineering.

Journal news feed from Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research (SJFR) Volume 29, sovaldi Issue 4, 2014  is devoted to the bio-based economy in the forest sector. Twelve articles cover the fields of biomass production, industrial innovation and social and economic challenges. Here are five examples.

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Intensive fertilization HAS great potential

A review of fertilization in northern forests concludes that extensive fertilization with nitrogen applied in mature forests gives a high return to the forest owner, but has a small and transient effect on the environment. However, the national scale biomass increase as well as the impact on the bioeconomy is small. Intensive fertilization in young forests may, in contrast, considerably increase the biomass supply and value to the industry. The economic and environmental risks may, however, be greater.

Read more in Hedwall, P-O. et al. 2014. Fertilization in northern forests – biological, economic and environmental constraints and possibilities. Scand J For Res 29(4), 301-311.

Scaling up is the top challenge for nanocellulosic products

The potential of nanocellulose as a wet-end strength additive in papermaking has been known for decades, but it has not been incorporated into products because of the high-energy costs of producing such materials. This review highlights some of the key features of nanocellulose, its applications and technical challenges.

Read more in Lindström, T. & Aulin, C. 2014. Market and technical challenges and opportunities in the area of innovative new materials and composites based on nanocellulosics. Scand J For Res 29(4), 345-351.

The value of wood is greatly increased BY the wood mechanical industry

A review of the role of the wood mechanical industry in Sweden argues for upgrading sawn timber production. Today, sawmills are responsible for 70-80% of the forest owner’s profits, despite a low degree of refinement. If sawn products were further processed, their value would increase considerably. Joinery products and furniture can provide 15-20 times the return compared to sawn timber.

Read more in Sandberg, D. et al. 2014. The role of the wood mechanical industry in the Swedish forest industry cluster. Scand J For Res 29(4), 352-359.

Still barriers TO USING timber in multi-storey buildings

Steel and concrete still dominate in multi-storey buildings, although timber has been used increasingly since the 1990s. This study investigated why multi-storey timber constructions have increased in number so slowly in Finland, despite promotional efforts. Key individuals were interviewed about the most important barriers and how timber can compete against established solutions. The study concludes, inter alia, that it is necessary to utilise, and increase, the benefits of timber construction, such as lightness and opportunities for prefabrication.

Read more in Riala, M. & Ilola, L. 2014. Multi-storey timber construction and bioeconomy – barriers and opportunities. Scand J For Res 29(4), 367-377.

EU Bioeconomy Action Plan fails to recognize the forest

The European Union has launched a Bioeconomy Action Plan. This paper examines the meaning and content of the plan, and concludes that it fails to link bioeconomy to the core idea of the green economy. The plan hardly links actions to climate policies and entirely omits the issues associated with land-use changes between agriculture and forestry. The plan recognizes only very vaguely the role of the forest sector as a high-tech biomass utilizing sector. Instead, it is more focused on agriculture and Common Agricultural Policies than forestry.

Read more in Ollikainen, M., 2014. Forestry in bioeconomy – smart green growth for the humankind. Scand J For Res 29(4), 360-366.