Bioenergy from Wood

This book was developed to provide a guideline for biomass production, procurement and energy production for scientists, practitioners, and decision makers who are interested in a value-chain perspective of bioenergy production from wood in tropical and sub-tropical countries. It was written as a collaborative effort of several specialists on the topic, with a core group at the Department of Forest and Wood Science of Stellenbosch University in South Africa. In integrating all the authors’ expertise in a multi-disciplinary context, the goal was to address an identified gap of knowledge on dealing with sustainable wood-based bioenergy concepts in the tropical regions of the Southern Hemisphere.

The decision to cover the whole value-chain of bioenergy production from wood was made to provide a holistic view on bioenergy production and pinpoint issues that might be relevant for a truly sustainable implementation. In particular also socio-economic side effects of bioenergy production and effects on local and global environment were addressed. In the development of such a book it is always a balancing act to provide the right degree of detail and scientific depth. Due to size limitations of this book, such a rather wide scope inevitably led to sections that had to be formulated concise and more detail had to be acquired with help of the given references. However, we hope that the chosen approach will provide accessibility to a wider readership and at the same time open up the way for enough in-depth information.

Writing this multi-disciplinary book on bioenergy was a learning experience for all of us authors, and our hope is that this book provides valuable information on the many complex aspects of sustainability that are involved in bioenergy production from wood in the tropics in all its many aspects from the tree to the energy.

Professor for Forest Growth and Yield Science Thomas Seifert

Department of Forest and Wood Science The editor

University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, South Africa


We would like to dedicate this book to our late colleagues Anthonie van Laar (t 2009) and Kobus Theron (f 2011), two extraordinary scientists, who pioneered biomass research in South Africa and contributed to this book in the early stages with their helpful comments. Sadly they did not have the opportunity to see this book finished, what would have surely pleased them since it took their work a step further.

The authors would further collectively like to acknowledge the contribution of several persons that provided helpful comments on chapters in this book or contributed illustrations:

Dr. Wale Aboyade

Environmental & Process Systems Engineering Research Group Chemical Engineering Department, University of Cape Town

Prof. Harro von Blottnitz

Associate Professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering University of Cape Town, South Africa

Dr. Michel Brienzo

National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology, Brazil

Dr. Willie Claassen

CEO EC Biomass, South Africa

Dr. Lutz Fehrmann

Abteilung Waldinventur und Fernerkundung Fakultat fur Forstwissenschaften und Waldokologie Georg-August-Universitat Gottingen, Germany

Dr. Johannes Gediga PE International Stuttgart, Germany


Tarquinio Magalhaes Faculty of Agronomy and Forestry Eduardo Mondlane University Maputo, Mozambique

Dr. Matthias Schmidt Abteilung Waldwachstum Norwestdeutsche Forstliche Versuchsanstalt Gottingen, Germany

Prof. Almeida A. Sitoe

Associate Professor, Silviculture and Ecology of Tropical Forests Faculty of Agronomy and Forestry Eduardo Mondlane University Maputo, Mozambique

Jonathan Timberlake Editor — Flora Zambesiaca

Herbarium, Library, Art & Archives, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, England

Dr. Wessel J. Vermeulen SANParks Science Services (Knysna)

South African National Parks (SANParks), South Africa

John de Wet

Facility Management (Sustainability)

University of Stellenbosch

Russell de la Porte, Esther van Vuuren and Hannes Wiese for their language editing work and Elisabete Machado from Springer Publishing for her professional work with us and her patience. We would also like to thank Prof. Klaus von Gadow for his encouragement to publish this book.