Banner for LabNotes
From Lab Notes
Contact Information
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


You are here: FPL Home  / Information Products & Services  / Publications

Requested Product

Title: Resource potential for renewable energy generation from co-firing of woody biomass with coal in the Northern U.S.

Source: Biomass and Bioenergy, Volume 59, 2013; pp. 348-361.

Author(s)Goerndt, Michael E.; Aguilar, Francisco X.; Skog, Kenneth

Publication Year: 2013  View PDF »

Category: Journal Articles
Associated Research Project(s):   FPL-4851-CMB

Abstract: Past studies have established measures of co-firing potential at varying spatial scales to assess opportunities for renewable energy generation from woody biomass. This study estimated physical availability, within ecological and public policy constraints, and associated harvesting and delivery costs of woody biomass for co-firing in selected power plants of the Northern U.S. Procurement regimes were assessed for direct sources of woody biomass from timberland including logging residues (slash, by-products), small-diameter trees, and integrated harvest (logging residues and small-diameter trees). Concentric woody biomass procurement areas were estimated for each power plant using county-level estimates and varying procurement radii. Delivered fuel cost estimates were calculated for each power plant and procurement regime based on incremental maximum transport distances. Procurement regimes focused on small-diameter trees can potentially produce the most electric power, but are constrained by lower economical transport distances than logging residues. These estimates enabled us to assess which power plants in the Northern U.S. had the highest electricity generation potential. For most procurement regimes, an average power plant co-firing had the potential to replace greater than 30% of coal electricity generation if there was no competition for the feedstock. However, woody biomass resource competition from adjacent co-firing plants could reduce this generation potential to less than 10%.

Keywords: Integrated harvest; Wood; Woody biomass procurement; Marginal cost; Logging residue

Publication Review Process: Formally Refereed

File size: 1,262 kb(s)

Date posted: 02/03/2014

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 67092
Current FPL Scientist associated with this product
Skog, Kenneth E.
Supervisory Research Forester

Additional items that might interest you
View the video celebrating FPL's 100 years of public service in 2010, from the producers of the Greatest Good....view

Research Highlights from FPL....view

Termite Eradication: A search for the Holy Grail.... view

Moisture Management in Residential Construction Series videos...view

Wood Floor Systems in Residential Construction Series videos....view
- FPL's Mission and Strategic Plan -

FPL's mission is to identify and conduct innovative wood and fiber utilization research that contributes to conservation and productivity of the forest resource, thereby sustaining forests, the economy, and quality of life. ... ..more »

- FPL Research Emphasis Areas -
Advanced Composites

As an integral part of the FPL mission, we improve the long-term sustainability of our Nation's forests by creating valuable composite products from biobased materials ... ..more »

Advanced Structures

The FPL has been in the forefront of wood-frame housing research since 1910 and has long been recognized as a world leader in such housing-related areas as engineered wood ... ..more »

Forest Biorefinery

We all know the compelling reasons that the United States needs to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Historically, the greatest increases in energy demand have been for transportation fuels ... ..more »


A leader in wood products research for over a century, the FPL is positioning itself to become the lead Federal research facility for the application of nanotechnology in forest products ... more »

Woody Biomass Utilization

Forests in the United States contain a substantial amount of small-diameter, overstocked, and underutilized material.FPL research projects are exploring the potential of the small-diameter ... ..more »