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    Author(s): Kamalakanta Sahoo; Edward Bilek; Richard Bergman; Anil R. Kizha; Sudhagar Mani
    Date: 2019
    Source: Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining. 610-611(1):802-823.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Forest Products Laboratory
    PDF: Download Publication  (5.0 MB)


    Woody biomass feedstock that is both high quality and low cost has become increasingly important for the bioenergy and bioproducts industries. Logging generates forest residues – low-quality feedstock – and additional operations that also incur additional costs, such as biomass sorting and treetops processing (BSTP), micro-chipping, and screening, which are required to improve the feedstock’s quality. Considering recent developments in technologies and BSTP to generate high-quality feedstocks, economic models were developed in this study to estimate various forest-residue logistics operational costs and to analyze the economics of delivering feedstocks to biomass conversion technology (BCT) sites near woods or power plants located far away in the form of chips, hog fuel, and bales. The results show that the cost of BSTP can vary between $30 and $82/ODMT (oven dry metric ton) based on the biomass sorting intensity. The most economical way to deliver forest residues was transporting processed stem-wood from landings to near-wood BCT sites and comminuting it into woodchips there (~$20/ODMT, assuming a one-way (32 km) road distance and no cost of BSTP at landings). Grinding slash at the landing and transporting groundbiomass (i.e., hog fuel) to a plant (< 22 km away) was more economical than transporting bales from landings and grinding at the plant. The economic feasibility of baling and BSTP requires a substantial productivity improvement or recognition and incorporation of benefits including reduced wildfire risk and improved forest health. High bulk density and strong shape of forest residues/slash bales compared to hog fuel may provide additional cost benefits during storage, for example through lower handling costs, which can be studied in the future.

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    Sahoo, Kamalakanta; Bilek, Edward; Bergman, Richard; Kizha, Anil R.; Mani, Sudhagar. 2019. Economic analysis of forest residues supply chain options to produce enhanced-quality feedstocks. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining. 610-611(1):802-823.


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    bioenergy, forest residues, logistics, baling, comminution, economic analysis

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