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Articles by Tapio Ranta

Category: Research article

article id 10147, category Research article
Mika Aalto, Olli-Jussi Korpinen, Tapio Ranta. (2019). Feedstock availability and moisture content data processing for multi-year simulation of forest biomass supply in energy production. Silva Fennica vol. 53 no. 4 article id 10147. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10147
Highlights: A method for allocating forest biomass availability for a multi-year simulation model was developed; The possibility to take the quality change of feedstock into account by moisture estimations was studied; A method to estimate weather data for moisture estimation equations with fewer parameters was presented.

Simulation and modeling have become more common in forest biomass studies. Dynamic simulation has been used to study the supply chain of forest biomass with numerous different models. A robust predictive multi-year model requires biomass availability data, where annual variation is included spatially and temporally. This can be done by using data from enterprises, but in some cases relevant data is not accessible. Another option is to use forest inventory data to estimate biomass availability, but this data must be processed in the correct form to be utilized in the model. This study developed a method for preparing forest inventory data for a multi-year simulation supply model using the theoretical availability of feedstock. Methods for estimating quality changes during roadside storage are also presented, including a possible parameter estimation to decrease the amount of data needed. The methods were tested case by case using the inventory database “Biomass Atlas” and weather data from a weather station in Mikkeli, Finland. The data processing method for biomass allocation produced a reasonable quantity of stands and feedstock, having a realistic annual supply with variation for the demand point. The results of the study indicate that it is possible to estimate moisture content changes using weather data. The estimations decreased the accuracy of the model and, therefore, estimations should be kept minimal. The presented data preparation method can generate a supply of forest biomass for the simulation model, but the validity of the data must be ensured for correct model behavior.

  • Aalto, Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT, School of Energy Systems, Laboratory of Bioenergy, Lönnrotinkatu 7, FI-50100 Mikkeli, Finland ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7768-1145 E-mail: mika.aalto@lut.fi (email)
  • Korpinen, Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT, School of Energy Systems, Laboratory of Bioenergy, Lönnrotinkatu 7, FI-50100 Mikkeli, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: olli-jussi.korpinen@lut.fi
  • Ranta, Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT, School of Energy Systems, Laboratory of Bioenergy, Lönnrotinkatu 7, FI-50100 Mikkeli, Finland ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5464-5136 E-mail: tapio.ranta@lut.fi
article id 1689, category Research article
Juha Laitila, Eeva Lehtonen, Tapio Ranta, Perttu Anttila, Saija Rasi, Antti Asikainen. (2016). Procurement costs of cereal straw and forest chips for biorefining in South-East Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 50 no. 5 article id 1689. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1689
Highlights: Procurement cost at the plant was 59 € dry tonne –1 when the annual procurement volume of biomass was 100 000 tonnes. Of that amount, the proportion of logging residues was 58.4%, stumps 24.3% and delimbed stems 17.3%; Cereal straw represents an important source of biomass in Kouvola but the cost competiveness is poor compared the procurement costs of forest chips due to high baling and transporting costs.

In Finland the increasing use of biofuel in transport presupposes a search for new raw material sources for biorefining. The aim of this study was, at the regional level, to compare the procurement costs of logging residues, stumps, delimbed stems and cereal straw for biorefining. The accumulation and procurement costs of forest chips and cereal straw were estimated within a 100-kilometre transporting distance via existing road network from an end-use-facility located in Kouvola in South-East Finland. The analyses were performed as simulated treatments in thinnings of young stands, cereal fields and regeneration fellings using existing productivity and cost functions and yield calculations based on crop statistics, the forest industry stand data and the sample plots data of the National Forest Inventory of Finland. Accumulation of raw material assortments and costs of production stages were defined per dry tonnes. Subsidies and raw material prices were excluded from consideration in the study. The results indicate that recovering logging residues requires lower costs than utilization of stumps, delimbed stems or cereal straw. Cereal straw represents an important source of biomass in Kouvola but the cost competiveness is poor compared the procurement costs of forest chips. When the annual procurement volume of biomass was 50 000 dry tonnes the cost at the plant was 49 € dry tonne –1 and biomass was comprised totally of logging residues. Procurement cost grew to 59 € dry tonne –1 when the annual procurement volume of biomass was doubled to 100 000 dry tonnes. Of that amount, the proportion of logging residues was 58.4%, stumps 24.3% and delimbed stems 17.3%. First cereal straw dry tonnes were delivered to end-use-facility, when procurement cost grew to 60 € dry tonne –1 and annual procurement volume of biomass was 110 000 dry tonnes.

  • Laitila, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Bio-based Business and Industry, P.O. Box 68, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: juha.laitila@luke.fi (email)
  • Lehtonen, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Green Technology, Halolantie 31A, FI-71750 Maaninka, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: eeva.lehtonen@luke.fi
  • Ranta, Lappeenranta University of Technology, LUT School of Energy Systems, Laboratory of Bioenergy, Lönnrotinkatu 7, FI-50100 Mikkeli, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: tapio.ranta@luke.fi
  • Anttila, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Bio-based Business and Industry, P.O. Box 68, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: perttu.anttila@luke.fi
  • Rasi, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Bio-based Business and Industry, Survontie 9A, FI-40500 Jyväskylä ORCID ID:E-mail: saija.rasi@luke.fi
  • Asikainen, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Bio-based Business and Industry, P.O. Box 68, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: antti.asikainen@luke.fi
article id 1521, category Research article
Kalle Karttunen, Juha Laitila, Tapio Ranta. (2016). First-thinning harvesting alternatives for industrial or energy purposes based on regional Scots pine stand simulations in Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 50 no. 2 article id 1521. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1521
Highlights: Small-diameter delimbed wood from Scots pine stands delivered directly for energy use was the most cost-efficient option in terms of the total supply-chain cost in comparison with corresponding industrial use or a whole-tree supply chain for energy use; Forest-management and harvesting decisions influenced the removal of forest biomass and stumpage price as well as the total supply-chain costs for forest biomass; The greatest cost-reduction potential (10.0%, 4.00 € m–3) was achieved for the delimbed energy wood’s supply chain in the regional case of South Savo in eastern Finland.

Combining research into forest management stand conditions and wood supply chain processes has been missing from earlier forestry studies. There is a clear need to develop more cost-efficient small-diameter wood production, harvesting and transportation methods from first thinning, which could be used for either industrial or energy wood purposes. This study considers the total cost for small-diameter wood originating from young Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) dominated stands. Pine pulpwood is the most harvested and most used roundwood assortment, use of which is expected to rise following new pulp-mill investments in Finland. In addition, utilisation of small-diameter trees directly for energy purposes has been increasing steadily in recent years. The aim of the study was to determine the cost-reduction potential of alternative forest management options and supply chains for small diameter-wood in the regional case of South Savo in eastern Finland. The total costs of three distinct scenarios were studied on the basis of forest management, first-thinning harvesting methods, and transportation: 1) industrial wood, 2) delimbed energy wood, and 3) whole trees for energy purposes. The cost-reduction potential for energy-wood supply chains from first thinning was compared to the industrial supply chain. Small-diameter delimbed wood delivered straight for energy purposes was found to be the most cost-efficient as far as the total cost of the supply chain is concerned. More cost-efficient small-diameter wood processes can be found by linking forest stand simulations with supply chain analysis.

  • Karttunen, Lappeenranta University of Technology, LUT School of Energy Systems, Laboratory of Bioenergy, Lönnrotinkatu 7, FI-50100 Mikkeli, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: kalle.karttunen@lut.fi
  • Laitila, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Bio-based business and industry, P.O. Box 68, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: juha.laitila@luke.fi
  • Ranta, Lappeenranta University of Technology, LUT School of Energy Systems, Laboratory of Bioenergy, Lönnrotinkatu 7, FI-50100 Mikkeli, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: tapio.ranta@lut.fi (email)
article id 1280, category Research article
Juha Laitila, Tapio Ranta, Antti Asikainen, Eero Jäppinen, Olli-Jussi Korpinen. (2015). The cost competitiveness of conifer stumps in the procurement of forest chips for fuel in Southern and Northern Finland. Silva Fennica vol. 49 no. 2 article id 1280. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1280
Highlights: Pre-grinding and integrated screening is a way of guaranteeing fuel quality, but, when the stumps’ ash content is six per cent or below, the procurement costs are higher than with grinding of stumps at the plant. Because of high transportation costs, stump harvesting is the most profitable in Southern Finland, where there is greater availability of stumps than in Northern Finland.
The aim of this study was to evaluate cost competitiveness, at regional level, of various systems for stump transportation and grinding, and to compare the results to the procurement costs of delimbed stems from early thinnings at the stand and regional level. The accumulation and procurement costs of stumps and delimbed stems were estimated within a 100-kilometer radius from two power plants located in Kouvola and in Kajaani. The analyses were performed as simulated treatments in clear cuts and thinnings of young stands, using existing productivity and cost functions, alternative ash percentages for stump wood, and yield calculations based on the forest industry regeneration felling stand data and the sample plots data of the National Forest Inventory of Finland. The results were expressed as Euros per solid cubic meter (€ m–3) and Euros per megawatt hour (€ MWh–1). The results highlight the need to improve stump fuel quality and increase the heating value. The procurement cost of stumps was about 1 € MWh–1 lower in Kouvola compared to Kajaani, when using conceivable ash content of 6% for stumps ground at the plant, and ash content of 1.5% for stumps pre-ground at the roadside landing. The procurement costs of stumps were, on average, 0.55 € MWh–1 lower compared to delimbed stems in Kouvola, and on average 0.6 € MWh–1 higher in Kajaani. Pre-grinding and integrated screening is a feasible way to guarantee the fuel quality expressed as ash content already at roadside landings, but the procurement costs are higher compared to grinding stumps at the plant, when the ash content of ground stumps is 6% or less.
  • Laitila, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Bio-based Business and Industry, P.O. Box 68, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: juha.laitila@metla.fi (email)
  • Ranta, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Sammonkatu 12, FI-50130 Mikkeli, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: tapio.ranta@lut.fi
  • Asikainen, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Bio-based Business and Industry, P.O. Box 68, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: antti.asikainen@metla.fi
  • Jäppinen, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Sammonkatu 12, FI-50130 Mikkeli, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: eero.jappinen@lut.fi
  • Korpinen, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Sammonkatu 12, FI-50130 Mikkeli, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: olli-jussi.korpinen@lut.fi
article id 1047, category Research article
Kalle Karttunen, Lauri Lättilä, Olli-Jussi Korpinen, Tapio Ranta. (2013). Cost-efficiency of intermodal container supply chain for forest chips. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 4 article id 1047. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1047
Highlights: The combined availability and simulation study method obtains more realistic results for use in practical decision-making in supply chain management; The total costs of forest chips with intermodal composite container supply chains were lower than traditional options in all scenarios; The most advantageous way to expand the procurement area for forest chips is either to use composite container trucks or start using train transportation instead of trucks for procurement from longer distances.
Cost-efficient solutions of supply chains for energy wood are required as part of endeavors to reach targets for renewable energy utilization. Long-distance railway transportation is an interesting area of research, especially for high-volume sites where the forest-to-site distance is considerable and rail facilities already exist. The aim of the study was to compare the cost-efficiency of an intermodal container supply chain and traditional multi-modal supply chain with corresponding direct truck logistics for long-distance transportation of forest chips. In the study, site-dependent information for forest biomass transport was integrated into a simulation model to calculate the cost-efficiency of logistic operations related to forest chips transportation in central Finland. The model was tested with several truck and railway transportation scenarios for varying demand of forest chips at the case power plant. The total costs of traditional supply chains were found to be 5–19% more expensive than container supply chain scenarios. The total unit costs of forest chips varied between 15.3 and 20.0 €/MWh depending on the scenario. It is concluded on the basis of the scenario study that intermodal light-structure container logistics and railway transportation could be developed as a viable option for large-scale supply of forest chips.
  • Karttunen, Lappeenranta University of Technology, LUT Savo Sustainable Technologies, Sammonkatu 12, FI-50130 Mikkeli, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: kalle.karttunen@lut.fi (email)
  • Lättilä, Lappeenranta University of Technology, LUT Savo Sustainable Technologies, Sammonkatu 12, FI-50130 Mikkeli, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: lauri.lattila@lut.fi
  • Korpinen, Lappeenranta University of Technology, LUT Savo Sustainable Technologies, Sammonkatu 12, FI-50130 Mikkeli, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: olli-jussi.korpinen@lut.fi
  • Ranta, Lappeenranta University of Technology, LUT Savo Sustainable Technologies, Sammonkatu 12, FI-50130 Mikkeli, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: tapio.ranta@lut.fi
article id 49, category Research article
Kalle Karttunen, Kari Väätäinen, Antti Asikainen, Tapio Ranta. (2012). The operational efficiency of waterway transport of forest chips on Finland’s Lake Saimaa. Silva Fennica vol. 46 no. 3 article id 49. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.49
New and cost-efficient methods for use in supply chains for energy wood should be found, to reach the targets of the renewable energy utilisation set by the European Union. The long-distance waterway transportation of forest fuels should be thoroughly investigated, especially in areas where the transport distance is long and waterways could provide a feasible method of conveying forest fuel. In comparison to transport of forest chips by truck, barge-based waterway transport shows a competitive advantage due to the larger loads and higher bulk density of chips it allows. The cost-efficiency of waterway transportation operations related to forest chips in Finland’s Lake Saimaa region was studied using practical demonstrations and discrete-event simulation. The varying demand for fuel wood in three separate bio-power plants on the Saimaa lakeside (near the cities of Varkaus, Mikkeli, and Savonlinna) was addressed in several barge transportation scenarios. Finally, the economy of barge transportation was compared to the economy of truck transportation as a function of transportation distance and in terms of the annual performance of the transportation methods examined. The waterway supply chain of forest chips was cost-competitive to road transport by truck after 100–150 km. According to the simulation study, the most economical waterway transport options were based on fixed barge system and shift-independent harbor logistics where loading and unloading of barges were carried-out with a wheeled loader and a belt conveyor. Total supply chain costs including the best waterway logistics from road side storage to power plant ranged from 10.75 euros to 11.64 euros/MWh in distances of 100–150 km by waterways. The energy-density of forest chips in the barge load was found to be, on average, 25% higher than that in truck hauling, because of the better compaction of chips. Waterway transport is a viable option for long-distance transportation of forest chips in Eastern Finland.
  • Karttunen, Lappeenranta University of Technology, LUT Savo Sustainable Technologies, Mikkeli, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: kalle.karttunen@lut.fi (email)
  • Väätäinen, The Finnish Forest Research Institute, Joensuu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: kari.vaatainen@metla.fi
  • Asikainen, The Finnish Forest Research Institute, Joensuu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: antti.asikainen@metla.fi
  • Ranta, Lappeenranta University of Technology, LUT Savo Sustainable Technologies, Mikkeli, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: tapio.ranta@lut.fi

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