In this study, a methodological basis is used to analyze the carbon economic effects of sawmill residue use. The usage of sawmill residues, which is classified in two main categories: energy source and base material for products, leads to different economic effects and benefits. When analyzing the economic effects of using wood as an energy source, the benefits stem from reduced carbon emissions and related costs. When sawmill residues are used as a base material, the primary usage relates to construction materials and household goods. The economic effects are analyzed and calculated in terms of the amount and interest rates of carbon retained in the base material. This study predicts the total economic effects of the carbon sinks stored within the system boundaries of construction materials and household goods until 99.9% of the stored carbon sinks are released. The results demonstrate that the economic benefits of sawmill residues are substantial, but differ based on the type of use. The economic benefits of using sawmill residues as a base material increase with time and match the benefits of using the residues as an energy source—when used for construction purpose, the economic benefits reach that of using wood as an energy source in 13 years and for household goods purpose in 16 years. More specifically, the dollar value per ton of sawmill residues is USD 9.85 when used as an energy source, USD 15.94 as a construction material (for 33 years), and USD 10.95 as a base material (for 30 years) for household goods. The economic benefits of the base material use eventually surpass the economic benefits of energy use. The findings illustrate that base material usage of sawmill residues leads to more economic benefits from a long-term perspective; the specific numbers may differ by country, but our methodology provides an appropriate guideline for other countries and situations.
Journal of Cleaner Production – Elsevier
Published: Apr 20, 2018
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