Spain is one of the leading European countries, along with Sweden, in terms of wood production for paper paste, but this uses large amounts of energy. Spanish and Swedish scientists have compared the environmental load stemming from forestry operations, and have concluded that the Spanish sector uses more energy than the Swedish one. They are proposing improvements, such as the use of biofuels, in order to make forestry production more sustainable.
In order to predict the consequences of forestry operations, the scientists have studied the most important wood species used in making paper paste the eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) plantations in Spain, and those of the Norway Spruce and Scots Pine in Sweden.
The research study, published recently in the International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, shows that the Swedish system requires less energy than the Spanish one under the same environmental conditions, because of the type and amount of wood produced. Paper paste production and supply in Spain uses 7% more energy in Spain than in Sweden.
"There are large differences, but there are several problematic stages in both countries", Sara Gonzlez, lead author and a researcher at the University of Santiago de Compostela, who has worked in partnership with the Forestry Research Institute of Sweden in Uppsala, Sweden, tells SINC. The scientist says heavy fertiliser use, the stage of supplying wood to the factory, and the cutting and transport of the wood in the field contribute "considerably" to impacts such as acidification, eutrophication and global warming.
In Spain, the scientists suggest using more effective machinery for the cultivation and harvest stages, since energy consumption in these is higher than in the Swedish case. In Sweden, the researchers propose reducing the amount of wood imported (which comes predominantly from the Baltic states), and the use of trains to deliver wood instead of shipping, wh
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology