Wood Cascades

In the last years, the increasing competition between material and energy use of wood led to major tensions in the wood industry. Thus, the project explores new approaches for the coexistence of the two wood use options by assessing different pathways for the usage of wood in a model region. Potentials for usage optimisation and for extension of the raw material base by process-integrated cycles are analysed and solutions for a specific region with existing usage competition are developed.

The goal of the joint project is the establishment of a framework for a transferable, coherent control strategy of existing mass flows in the wood potential sector, under consideration of both possibilities and limitations, and with a key focus on the maximisation of both economic and environmental aspects.

The ifeu investigates the environmental impacts of wood use, and cascading wood material use in particular, with an LCA approachin reference to respective equivalent products made from other materials and equivalent fossil energies. In addition to forest wood (stem wood, industrial wood, residual forest wood), wood from short-rotation coppice is included in the analysis.

Main focus of ifeu in this project:

  • Modelling of wood process chains
  • Comprehensive environmental assessment of wood products and wood cascades
  • Modelling of optimisation potentials
  • Collaboration for the identification of sustainably accessible wood potentials

Project Results and Downloads

Project results deliverd by ifeu are presented in: (German only)

  • Final presentation Gesamtökologische Bewertung der Kaskadennutzung von Holz – Umweltauswirkungen stofflicher und energetischer Holznutzungssysteme im Vergleich (pdf 1 MB)
  • Overall report zusammen mit den Projektpartnern: Regionale Konzepte zum Ausbau der Bioenergieerzeugung aus Holz - nachhaltige und energieeffiziente Strategieentwicklung unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Holzkaskadennutzung, (pdf 5,5 MB)

The complete results of this project were presented at the 12. Internationalen BBE-Fachkongresses für Holzenergie meeting. All partners presented their specific results and the joint conclusions.

Press Releases:

Pressemitteilung des ifeu (Download, pdf 87 KB)

Further Publications (German only):

  • Flyer with a short project description and some results (pdf 4 MB)
  • Article in UmweltWirtschaftsForum 20(2), DOI 10.1007/s00550-012-0259-7 (pdf 161 KB)


July 2009 – April 2012


Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit, BMU Förderprogramm "Energetische Biomassenutzung", FKZ 03KB016C


IZES - Institut für ZukunftsEnergieSysteme, Saarbrücken (Coordination)

Wald-Zentrum, Internationales Institut für Wald und Holz NRW e.V. at the Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität, Münster

Further content: