Wood chips are small-to-medium-sized pieces of wood, which are formed by cutting and chipping large pieces of wood such as trees, logging residues, branches, roots, stumps, and wood waste. The process of making wood chips is called wood chipping and is performed by using a wood chipper. Several types of wood chippers are available. Every chipper has a different use, depending on the type of processing of wood chips. Wood chips can also be produced from residual forest materials including tree branches, tree crowns, unsaleable materials, or undersized trees. Forestry activities provide raw materials required for wood chip production. Almost any tree can be converted into wood chips; however, the type and quality of wood used to produce wood chips depends largely on the end-user industry.
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Global Wood Chips Market: Drivers and Restraints
Factors such as advent of using renewable sources of energy such as biomass owing to depleting conventional sources of energy are propelling the wood chips market. Furthermore, increasing demand from the pulp industry, wherein wood chips are used as a raw material to produce pulp is also augmenting the wood chips market. When burned, wood chips produce biochar, which is known as charcoal. It can be either utilized as charcoal or returned to the soil, as wood ash can be used as a fertilizer for soil. This factor is expected to drive the wood chips market during the forecast period. Requirement for sustainability-related certifications and restrictions imposed on GHG emissions from wood chips when used for energy generation are likely to hinder the wood chips market during the forecast period.
In terms of variety, the wood chips market can be segmented into forest chips, recycled chips, wood residue chips, and sawing residue chips. Based on raw material used, the wood chips market can be divided into pulp wood, and residue wood. In terms of chipper used, the wood chips market can be classified into disk type, drum type, screw type, and others. Based on conveyance method, the wood chips market can be segmented into pneumatic, conveyor belt, batch system, and hopper with direct chute. In terms of application, the wood chips market has been divided into wood pulp, playground surfacing, barbe curing, mulch, bio reactors, fuel, and others.
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Global Wood Chips Market: Regional Outlook
Geographically, the global wood chips market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Among these, Europe accounts for the largest share of the global market, owing to presence of wood-based industries in the region. Traditionally, wood chips have been used across Europe for power and heat generation in small-scale (20MW) plants, by using locally sourced wood. West Africa has been a source of wood chips for energy in Europe for several years, but in fairly small volumes. Asia Pacific follows Europe, owing to a high growth potential for the wood chips market in Japan and South Korea. This is attributable to Japan’s Feed-in-Tariff subsidy scheme and large pipeline of biomass projects.
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