Technical Report

Properties and uses of bark as an energy source

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  • Energy is extremely important to all societies-but especially important to industrial societies. A characteristic of an industrial society is its enormous consumption of energy. Only in the past few years has there been a broad general concern about energy cost and supply. When petroleum prices increased by a factor of 3 to 4 in just a few months, we all became aware of the importance of, and our dependence on energy supplied by other countries; and we became aware that many energy resources are nonrenewable-once used, they are gone forever. This paper concerns one resource that is renewable, one constantly replaced by energy from the sun. It is a resource in which there is virtually no international trade, one nearly always used in the country in which it is produced. That energy source is bark. By far the most important single use for bark (as well as for wood) is for energy. In 1972, nearly half the wood cut for man's use was for fuel (18), and associated with that wood was bark. Worldwide, more people are warmed by wood and bark than by any other fuel.
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