Energy from wood

      In most developing countries wood and charcoal are the predominant fuels for preparation of food to maintain the quality of life that encompasses the majority of citizens. In many developing countries wood fuels are also important for small and medium size industries. Moreover, energy from wood continues to be important in industrial countries. In the USA biomass including waste wood and alcohol from corn provided about 3.3% of total energy consumption in 2000. This was more than was provided by conventional hydroelectric power and more than other forms of renewable energy. Wood energy is consumed in a variety of forms that include fireplace lengths, chunkwood, chips, sawdust and shavings, black liquor from pulp manufacture, pellets, fireplace logs, briquettes, charcoal, gasified wood fuel, and liquefied wood fuel. Wood provides warmth and comfort to homes through burning in fireplaces and automated heating systems. And even in industrial countries wood is used for cooking where it is burned in specially designed stoves for convenience or on grilles to bring out special flavors. Wood fuel is important to commercial wood manufacturing facilities where waste wood can be disposed and used profitably for energy at the same time. In areas where wood from logging and manufacturing is abundant, other industries such as brickmaking and cement manufacture also benefit from sales of wood fuel. In some South American countries wood charcoal provides the fuel for smelters in manufacturing steel. Some major considerations in using wood for fuel are environmental impact, economics, convenience, reliability, and simplicity. On balance, wood is an environmentally benign fuel. It tends to be more economic than some other fuels, but may be less convenient. 2004

This article is in PDF format (file size: 262 kb). To download this article, right click on the link immediately below and choose "save target as". To view the article, left click the link immediately below.
(Download the latest Acrobat Reader if required.)

Energy from wood   (2004)

In most developing countries wood and charcoal are the predominant fuels for preparation of food to maintain the quality of life that encompasses the majority of citizens. In many developing countries wood fuels are also important for small and medium size industries. Moreover, energy from wood continues to be important in industrial countries. In the USA biomass including waste wood and alcohol from corn provided about 3.3% of total energy consumption in 2000. This was more than was provided by conventional hydroelectric power and more than other forms of renewable energy. Wood energy is consumed in a variety of forms that include fireplace lengths, chunkwood, chips, sawdust and shavings, black liquor from pulp manufacture, pellets, fireplace logs, briquettes, charcoal, gasified wood fuel, and liquefied wood fuel. Wood provides warmth and comfort to homes through burning in fireplaces and automated heating systems. And even in industrial countries wood is used for cooking where it is burned in specially designed stoves for convenience or on grilles to bring out special flavors. Wood fuel is important to commercial wood manufacturing facilities where waste wood can be disposed and used profitably for energy at the same time. In areas where wood from logging and manufacturing is abundant, other industries such as brickmaking and cement manufacture also benefit from sales of wood fuel. In some South American countries wood charcoal provides the fuel for smelters in manufacturing steel. Some major considerations in using wood for fuel are environmental impact, economics, convenience, reliability, and simplicity. On balance, wood is an environmentally benign fuel. It tends to be more economic than some other fuels, but may be less convenient.

Author: Zerbe, J.I.

Source: Encyclopedia of forest sciences : volume two. Oxford : Elsevier Academic Press, 2004: Pages [601]-607

Citation: Zerbe, J.I.  2004.  Energy from wood  Encyclopedia of forest sciences : volume two. Oxford : Elsevier Academic Press, 2004: Pages [601]-607.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?


Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: FPL (Forest Products Laboratory)

  • KnowledgeBase: Forestry

  • KnowledgeBase: FPL (Forest Products Laboratory)


    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.



    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2016 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB











  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers


      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article