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A thorough study has identified the principal factors limiting utilisation of Italy's woodland resources, particularly those of coppices, which have great potential. In parallel, a study has been made of the current state of the art in forest mechanisation and organisation. The results reveal the need for a mechanised system suitable for the specific conditions of coppices, especially those on steeply sloping and degrated areas, which would be able to reduce costs markedly. The form of utilisation best suited to this area is reduction of the wood to the form of chips, which can be used in manufacturing activated charcoal, wood pulp and chipboard, for which many European countries are at present almost totally dependent on imports. Use of wood chips in district heating plants is also an interesting possibility. An outline design for a mechanised coppice harvesting system has been prepared and work rates and output have been estimated. Cost estimates show it to be more profitable than traditional harvesting systems and able to undercut current prices for wood imports.

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Authors: DE PASCALI P, ICIE, Via Nomentana, 133, I-00161 Roma (IT);GHERARDI C, ICIE, Via Nomentana, 133, I-00161 Roma (IT);NATALICCHIO E, ICIE, Via Nomentana, 133, I-00161 Roma (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 12442 EN (1989) MF, 80 pp., ECU 4, blow-up copy ECU 10
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