Potash, Saltpeter and Tar. Production, Exports and Use of Wood in Finland in the 19th Century
Title: Potash, Saltpeter and Tar. Production, Exports and Use of Wood in Finland in the 19th Century
Author: KUNNAS, Jan
Citation: Scandinavian Journal of History, 2007, 32, 3, 281-311
Abstract Quantitative calculations on the use of natural resources provide valuable tools, which can give new insights to old questions and rise new ones. In this article, I compare the wood consumption in the production of potash, saltpeter and pine wood tar in 19th century Finland. My calculations shows that in the 19th century the cumulative wood consumption in the production of potash might have been higher or at least on the same level as in the production of tar, while the production of saltpeter consumed only a fraction. In the 1830s their combined wood consumption reached the level of slash-and-burn cultivation.
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