Title: The value of forest biotechnology: a cost modelling study with loblolly pine and kraft linerboard in the southeastern USA

Authors: Gary F. Peter, David E. White, Rafael De La Torre, Rajan Singh, David Newman

Addresses: School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, P.O. Box 110410, Gainesville, FL 32611-0410, USA. ' Institute of Paper Science and Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0620, USA. ' Daniel B. Warnell School of Forest Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-2151, USA. ' Institute of Paper Science and Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0620, USA. ' Daniel B. Warnell School of Forest Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-2151, USA

Abstract: Commercialisation of biological technologies for forest tree species is driven by the promise of dramatically lower raw material costs, maximal processing efficiencies, minimal environmental impacts and improved product performances. The economic value of such biotechnological changes to wood property traits in forest trees have not been well quantified due to the complexity of producing wood and paper products. As a case study, we used multidimensional cash flow modelling of a loblolly pine plantation and an integrated kraft pulp and linerboard mill to quantify the potential value of trees with improved growth and wood properties. The greatest increases in profit were estimated for higher fibre tensile strength followed by increased specific gravity while higher cellulose to lignin ratio and growth showed similar potentials. These results strongly support the forest industry goal of using biotechnology methods to improve the growth and wood properties of trees grown for paper products.

Keywords: forest biotechnology; genetic engineering; forest trees; wood quality; economics; cost modelling; breeding; loblolly pine; kraft linerboard; USA; United States; wood properties; cash flow modelling; pulp and paper industry; fibre tensile strength; specific gravity.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBT.2007.014269

International Journal of Biotechnology, 2007 Vol.9 No.5, pp.415 - 435

Available online: 28 Jun 2007 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article