An analysis of the environmental pressure exerted by the eucalyptus-based kraft pulp industry in Thailand

J. Warit, C. Kroeze, W. Soontaranun, L. Hordijk

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24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The study reported here focuses on the environmental pressure exerted by large-scale eucalyptus-based kraft pulp industry in Thailand. The objective of this study was to identify the most important sources of greenhouse gases, acidifying and eutrophying compounds and tropospheric ozone precursors, human toxicity compounds and solid waste associated with the kraft pulp industry. To this end, we performed an environmental systems analysis of the kraft pulp industry system in which we distinguished between two subsystems: the eucalyptus forestry subsystem and the kraft pulp production subsystem. The results indicate that the environmental pressure is caused by the kraft pulp production subsystem rather than by the eucalyptus forestry one. The chemical recovery unit was found to be the most important source of carbon dioxide (CO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) and responsible for more than one-half of the emissions of greenhouse gases and acidifying compounds from eucalyptus-based kraft pulp production in Thailand. Biomass combustion in the energy gene ration unit is an important source of nitrogen oxide (NO x ) and carbon monoxide (CO) which in turn are responsible for over 50% of the emissions of tropospheric ozone precursors. About 73% of the eutrophication is caused by biological aerobic wastewater treatment emitting phosphorus (P). With respect to the eucalyptus forestry, only fertilizer use in eucalyptus plantations is a relevant source of pollution through the emission of nitrous oxide (N2O) and phosphate (PO 4 3¿ ).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-311
JournalEnvironment, Development and Sustainability
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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