Queen's University

Estimating mill residue surplus in Canada: A spatial forest fiber cascade modeling approach

Figure identifying wood processing facilities and forest fiber types mentioned in research paper by Dr. Warren MabeeThe potential development of a Canadian forest-based bioeconomy requires an assessment of both fibre availability and associated marginal supply costs. To a large extent, the bioeconomy is expected to rely on wood fibre made available through primary products, sawnwood and pulp production processing streams. Therefore, it is important to understand the regional wood fibre flows and mill residue availability through various processing streams. In this study, we developed a spatially explicit Forest-fibre Cascade Model (FCM) to estimate regional fibre flows and availability of untapped residue surplus. The FCM model was calibrated to 2013 production levels and we evaluate the wood fibre cascade through existing forest industry in Canada. The results show that, under current conditions, there is limited availability of surplus mill residues in Canada, especially in the Eastern provinces. It is therefore critical to consider the impacts on regional fibre flows and feedstock availability to the secondary industries when designing feedstock supply strategies and policies for the emerging forest-based industries. (Read More)