A survey of Bolivian lumber drying operations

Omar A. Espinoza, Brian H. Bond, Philip Araman

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4 Scopus citations


The Bolivian secondary forest products industry has experienced substantial growth during the last 10 years. Particularly, important investment has taken place in lumber drying capacity. Unfortunately, little information is available regarding lumber drying technology and practices used, which is essential for the formulation of improvement strategies. The Bolivian wood products industry was surveyed to determine lumber drying capacity, technology and practices. The information collected by the survey was complemented by observations made during on-site visits to six lumber drying operations in Bolivia. Thirty-one companies were surveyed and 25 completed the questionnaires. Respondent companies represented 90 percent of the total estimated lumber drying capacity of Bolivia. Results show a total drying capacity of 6.1 million board feet and 167 kilns. Drying capacity was concentrated in a small number of companies and in the eastern region of the country. Technology and practices were highly variable, and standard drying schedules for commonly dried species were not used. Many of the kilns were locally made, and commercial kilns were mostly of European origin. Three species made up 60 percent of the total volume dried, and lumber usually entered the kilns green, with 70 percent of the companies drying more than three quarters of their material green-off-the-saw. Drying control methods were equally divided between electric probes and kiln samples; electric probes prevail among commercial kilns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-92
Number of pages5
JournalForest Products Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2007

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