Forestry and Wood

In the Forestry and Wood research group we are engaged in the entire chain, from forest to finished product, and with the development of new wood products for construction and furniture. The research and the courses and study programmes we offer form a wood-technology centre in Växjö – a meeting place for research, industry and society in questions relating to the forestry sector and the wood and construction industry. The Växjö and Kalmar region is one of the most important areas in Europe when it comes to forestry and the wood industry.

The Forest as a Resource

At Linnaeus University a broad thematic research is carried out on issues relating to wood and energy technology. This means that research in, and thereby the development of, areas such as forest management, forest production, forest technology, logistics, wood technology, economics, and the market, is of basic importance to our operations. Our research covers the entire supply chain of the forestry industry, from the acquisition of raw materials, via processing, to finished products in which the material wood is included.

Our research will help improve the possibility of maximizing utilization of the forest. The need for further research has been highlighted in the last few years when a number of extreme natural phenomena – such as storms, periods of extreme cold and extreme heat, torrential downpours and heavy snowfalls – have succeeded each other, causing tremendous damage to forest properties. Forest owners and forestry companies, as well as the processing industry and society at large, have been badly affected. In order to be able to overcome the challenges expected to be caused by different natural phenomena in the future a number of actors ask for new solutions.

The forest is being used as a source of energy, as the raw material for forest-based products, and for the good of the environment – both in a recreational context and as the key player in different ecosystems. These numerous ways in which we make use of the forest are all fields of knowledge where research can have a positive impact.

The Forest as a Source of Energy

The full capacity of the forest as an energy source can be better reached by making use of logging residuals, grot (branches and tops) and stumps in order to extract more energy. Our research deals with the development of new technology and new systems for the extraction of raw materials from the forest, as well as with ways of producing bioenergy. Furthermore, it investigates what methods can be used to convince consumers to try an alternative source of energy. Action research is required in all these areas in order to create a developing business for the commercialization of technology development within the field.

The Forest as the Source of Forest-based Products

Our thematic research focuses on increasing the use of wood in finished products. In order to obtain high-quality raw material – wood displaying desirable qualities – studies are required on how different management programmes affect the quality of the wood. Furthermore, if new tree species are introduced the quality issue will be of an even greater importance. In our research we focus on quality and follow the forest raw material from plantation, via felling, to final product. Our research focuses on wood quality, wood assortment, storage and protection of wood, wood processing and wood usage. Parallel to the material perspective, our research also comprises the development of new technologies and systems for refinement processes, including business development for commercialization.

The Forest as a Source of Recreation and as the Foundation for Ecosystems

Since trees store carbon dioxide, forest production and the improvement of management methods play vital roles in the carbon dioxide issue. Furthermore, carbon dioxide is tied up for a longer period of time in products containing wood. All this means that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are temporarily buffered, which has a soothing effect on climate change. Our research aims to elucidate what preferences consumers may have regarding an increase in the use of wood in finished products, to investigate what consumers' views are on introduced tree species, and what they would think of a changed landscape. Not until this information is secured can the forestry industry take strong action in the matter. Parallel to this action research it is crucial that the people carrying out research also duly note any effects on forest ecosystems that might be brought about by new management methods or by the introduction of new tree species.

Projects