Examination of the potential to reduce water application rates for hardwood pulp logs stored in wet decks, TAPPI JOURNAL August 2016
ABSTRACT: Wet storage of logs under sprinklers is often used to maintain log quality and to provide consistent fiber supply to wood production facilities. Concerns about water use in the southeastern United States have Increased interest in refining water application strategies in woodyards. By understanding how the moisture content of stored logs varies over time in response to varying rates of water application, an optimum moisture regime for stored logs could be identified. In this study, experimental trials with nominal water application (100 mm/day) and a 30% reduction in water application were established at two hardwood woodyards in Georgia (Offerman, with sweet-gum and yellow poplar, and McBean, with red oak and sweetgum). Variations in log moisture were monitored using time domain reflectometry for 12 months at Offerman and 15 months at McBean. Significant differences between treatments were observed initially, likely resulting from pre-existing differences in the wood before the start of the experiment, but differences in log moisture soon disappeared. Pulping trials conducted using McBean woodyard logs stored for 9, 12, and 15 months found that treatment had no effect on pulp yield, indicating that a 30% reduction in the amount of water applied results in little change in log quality.
Application The amount of water applied to hardwood wet decks can be reduced by at least 30% with little change in log moisture or quality.
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