Improvement of resource efficient use of wood

Modelling of wood processing in order to demonstrate the developments' impacts on performance

Short Description




In the transition of the actual fossil based economy to a renewable based economy, as it is one of the major goals of sustainability and climate protection, an efficient use of resources is of utmost importance. Although substantial efficiency increases have already been achieved, the performance potential of wood has not been exhausted yet and technical merit and so possible added value in the process chain get lost.

The built model helps to analyze and optimize the use of forest biomass for the production of materials concerning the resource efficiency, ecological aspects and the achieved value added. It encompasses the whole wood processing and pulp and paper production and allows the examination of the ecological and economic effects concerning future developments in scenarios.

It starts on the input-side with the removal from the forest, includes the single production processes at a very detailed company level and ends with the product considering the end-of-life options. Without looking at the use phase detail, the possible utilization after the end of life of the products is taken into account. So a consistent frame for integrating the information of forest, wood processing, paper industry to the waste data of these products has been created.

Applying the model it was exemplarily demonstrated how the effects of future changes on performance and environmental characteristics of the overall system can be examined in scenarios. The results seemed to be plausible, they were compared among them with different parameters, with target indicators and diagrams. The analysis of the results showed the following priorities for future development directions:

  • Increased integration of pulp and paper production
  • Further increase in energy efficiency improves environmental performance
  • Forced utilisation use of used materials (post-consumer waste)
  • Significant potential for energy sector from the waste wood segments

With the created model now there is a tool available to investigate the effects of technological improvements, changes in framework conditions (changes in the availability of raw materials or energy,..), and changed structural conditions (shift of pulp production from Austria to other countries) as well as synergies with other sectors (recycling of residues,..). Specific applications are planned for the next years together with representatives of the respective branches.

Project Partners

Project management

Doz. Dr. Andreas Windsperger
Institut für Industrielle Ökologie (IIÖ)

Project collaborator

Brigitte Windsperger, DI Marcus Hummel, Dipl.Geoökol.Christian Ott

Institut für Industrielle Ökologie (IIÖ)

Project or cooperation partner

  • Prof. Dr. Alfred Teischinger, Marie Louise Zukal, Franz Neumüller
    BOKU Wien
  • Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Bauer, DI Lisbeth Kappel, Dr. Ulrich Hirn
    TU Graz

Contact Address

Doz. Dr. Andreas Windsperger
Institut für Industrielle Ökologie
Rennbahnstraße 29 c
3100 St. Pölten
Tel.: +43 (2742) 9005-15 162