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Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


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Title: Ethanol Production from Woody Biomass: Silvicultural Opportunities for Suppressed Western Conifers

Source: Proceedings of the 2009 National Silviculture Workshop; 2009 June 15-18; Boise, ID. Proceedings RMRS-P-61. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 351 p. RMRS-P-61; 2010

Author(s)Youngblood, Andrew; Zhu, Junyong; Scott, C.Tim

Publication Year: 2010  View PDF »

Category: Conference Proceedings

Abstract: The 2007 Energy Security and Independence Act (ESIA) requires 16 billion gallons of ethanol to be produced from lignocellulose biomass by 2022 in the United States. Forests can be a key source of renewable lignocellulose for ethanol production if cost and conversion efficiency barriers can be overcome. We explored opportunities for using woody biomass from thinning western conifers as source materials for conversion to biofuel. We present preliminary results using suppressed lodgepole (Pinus contorta Douglas ex Louden var. latifolia Engelm. ex S. Watson) and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa C. Lawson var. ponderosa) from Pringle Falls Experimental Forest in central Oregon. We first examined growth rates of suppressed and presumably unsuppressed lodgepole pine and ponderosa pine planned for removal during thinning operations, and determined that all sampled trees were equally suppressed. We found component polysaccharides in relatively high concentrations among all sample trees. Finally, we used a new sulfite pretreatment technique for biochemical conversion of lignocellulose in wood chips from our sampled lodgepole pine and ponderosa pine to ethanol, and discuss the efficacy of the sulfite pretreatment in terms of dissolved carbohydrate composition, hydrolysis reaction rates, and sugar yield after hydrolysis. Using biomass from forest thinning to make biofuel may help mitigate the cost of fuel reduction treatments and potentially offset the cost of sustaining healthy forests and reducing the risk of catastrophic fires.

Keywords: silviculture, carbon sequestration, climate change, forest management

File size: 1,198 kb(s)

Date posted: 01/23/2011
Current FPL Scientist associated with this product
Zhu, JunYong
Research General Engineer

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Forest Biorefinery

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Woody Biomass Utilization

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