Introducing aiphoria: a tool for dynamic wood material flow assessment and visualisation

20 June 2024

ForestPaths partners European Forest Institute (EFI) and VITO have developed an open-source Python tool - aiphoria - with Cleo Orfanidou (EFI) leading the effort, along with Järvikylä (EFI) and Gustavo Ezequiel Martinez (VITO). The tool is designed to dynamically assess and visualise wood material flows using detailed Sankey diagrams. Developed to support ForestPaths' objectives, aiphoria enables a comprehensive dynamic wood material flow analysis and a carbon storage assessment for the EU forest sector at an unprecedented level of resolution.

Recent EFI and VITO research highlighted the need to improve the resolution of the wood sector by including added-value wood product markets and post-consumer wood in analyses. This increased resolution is necessary for accurately estimating the mitigation potential of the European forest-based bioeconomy. Keeping this in mind, aiphoria was developed to meet this need by enhancing temporal accounting and tracking how and when wood is used, as well as its post-use treatment practices. By doing so, aiphoria contributes to the development of more refined substitution factors for forest products, which better describe the potential avoided emissions of using wood-based products instead of fossil-based ones at market level. This makes aiphoria a vital tool for providing a more accurate and comprehensive assessment of wood material flows and temporary carbon storage accounting in wood products.

Designed for dynamic analysis and built on top of ODYM (Open Dynamic Material Systems Model) using the dynamic stock models, aiphoria enables users to create interactive  Sankey diagrams that map wood material flows. Aiphoria supports both absolute and relative (%) values, enabling the linking of production, import and export statistics to end uses and facilitating scenario development by defining different shares of semi-finished wood products for value-added markets. The tool is ideal for assessing product flows across various temporal and spatial contexts, evaluating product sink/stock effects and conducting carbon accounting. In the coming weeks, aiphoria will integrate carbon accounting and track an arbitrary number of indicators. As aiphoria is under continuous development, it remains an evolving tool to meet the dynamic needs of users.

You can find the aiphoria’s source code here