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Porsö, Charlotta, 2010. The effect of new raw materials on pellet prices. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Energy and Technology



As demand for renewable energy is increasing rapidly, the market for biomass pellets
is expected to continue to grow in the near future. Most of the new raw materials that
are discussed for pellet production have one thing in common; the production costs
will increase compared to using traditional raw materials such as sawdust and planer
shavings. The aim of this thesis is to investigate to what degree increased use of new
raw materials for pellet production will affect the general pellet prices in Sweden and
to survey what plans Swedish pellet producers have concerning new raw materials.

To investigate the raw material situation of the Swedish pellet producers an industry
survey was performed. Literature studies were also made on previous research in the
subject field. Calculations of the production costs for pellets were done for the raw
materials sawdust, wet sawmill chips and energy wood respectively.

New raw materials are already used by the large-scale pellet producers in Sweden. It
is mainly the large-scale producers that have started to use new raw materials such as
energy wood, wet sawmill chips and dry chips. Around 65% of the respondents of the
survey were planning for new raw materials. Most commonly planned for was energy
wood. Most of the pellet producers in the survey were planning for raw materials that
give high quality pellets.

The minimum price for pellets is in the long run set by the production costs. The raw
material costs are the most important part of the production costs and according to
results from the survey they also affect the pellet prices most. For pellets made of
sawdust the raw material costs were typically 2/3 of the total production costs in
2009. In calculations of production costs, wet sawmill chips resulted in a decreased
cost by 4% compared to sawdust, mainly because of less expensive raw material.
Energy wood also resulted in decreased production costs by 4% compared to sawdust,
assuming that the thermal energy needed for drying could be entirely produced with
the bark from the debarking process. Both energy wood and wet sawmill chips could
hence decrease the production costs and thereby the price for pellets. Even though
there is a much greater maximum pellet production potential for wet sawmill chips
than for sawdust the amounts of available raw material will, among other factors,
depend on the development in the pulp industry.

Main title:The effect of new raw materials on pellet prices
Authors:Porsö, Charlotta
Supervisor:Olsson, Olle
Examiner:Johansson, Tord
Series:Examensarbete / Institutionen för energi och teknik, SLU
Volume/Sequential designation:2010:01
Year of Publication:2010
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:TENSY Energy Systems Engineering (admitted before July 1, 2007) 270 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Energy and Technology
Keywords:bioenergy, biofuels, pellets, energy market, sawmill by-products
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Technology
Renewable energy resources
Energy resources management
Additional Information:Relaterad länk (Uppsala universitets publikationsdatabas DIVA): http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-130660
Deposited On:11 Jun 2010 13:19
Metadata Last Modified:15 Jan 2014 15:38

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