Eucalyptus sp. WOODCHIP POTENTIAL FOR INDUSTRIAL THERMAL ENERGY PRODUCTION1
ABSTRACT The main objective of this work was to identify and analyze the potential of forest biomass of Eucalyptus sp. such as thermal energy source for industrial use in place of fossil fuels. Two cases were analyzed: the first one estimated the total demand for forest biomass to replace the main fossil fuels in Brazilian industrial sector, with scenarios of 100, 75 and 50% replacement; in the second, it was calculated the cost of each fuel for producing ton of industrial steam (thermal energy) for a dairy industry, in order to verify the competitiveness of forest biomass compared to fossil fuels. The results showed that the areas demanded to replace 100, 75 and 50% of the analyzed fossil fuels were, respectively, 2.9, 2.2 and 1.5 million planted forests hectares, and the steam ton cost ratio using the woodchips was at least 34% lower than with other fuels, which corroborates the substitution potential in this sector.