Energy requirements for the production of firewood in Greece
This dissertation was written as part of the MSc in Sustainable Development at the International Hellenic University. The goal of this study is to carry out an assessment of the energy requirements and carbon footprint, resulting from the production of firewood. The specific supply chain used as a case study refers to a company located in Grevena, which supplies its retailers’ network in Thessaloniki. Two scenarios have been examined, in the first one the company supplies chopped firewood to retailers in Thessaloniki, while in the second scenario the company provides logs of 1 m length to firewood retailers in Thessaloniki, who undertake the log processing into firewood billets. The boundaries of the system have been defined and all activities, equipment and fuel consumption data have been recorded. All data referring to wood harvesting and log processing have been collected by means of time studies. Truck transportation from the roadside to the firewood retailer in Thessaloniki was responsible for 54.45% and 58.21% of the total energy expenditure. The energy input-output was 1:31.5 solely for the forest operations and it ranged from 1:9.84 to 1:9, when all processes were included, for the first and the second scenarios, respectively. The carbon footprint per functional unit has been estimated at app. 1.60 kg CO2e per KWh of energy produced with firewood for both scenarios. The results suggest that the firewood supply chains constitute a sustainable and environmentally friendly source of fuel, which can be further improved in terms of energy efficiency and total GHG emissions. I would like to thank my supervisor, Dr. Dionysis Bochtis for his valuable contribution during the writing of this dissertation. His advice and counseling were decisive for the completion of this project. I am also thankful to Dr. George Banias (Academic Assistant – IHU) for his thoughtful directions and inputs during the study. This study would have never been completed without the substantial support of my parents, my sister and my parents-in-law. Finally, this work is dedicated to Andriana and Alkis for their love and understanding throughout my studies.