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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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Requested Product

Title: A life cycle inventory for switchgrass fuel pellets

Source: Southeastern Sun Grant Center. Knoxville, TN. 26 p.

Author(s)Taylor, A.; Reed, D.; Bergman, R., PhD.; Harper, D.; Hodges, D.

Publication Year: 2013  View PDF »

Category: Not Classified
Associated Research Project(s):   FPL-4851-7B

Abstract: This study developed a cradle-to-gate life-cycle inventory (LCI) data for switchgrass fuel pellets potentially manufactured in the US southeast. Because there are no current manufacturers of switchgrass pellets, inventory data were based on field trials of the cultivation and harvest of switchgrass data (or yield and energy inputs data) combined with data from a separate study of wood pelletization. Energy inputs for cultivation and harvest of switchgrass were collected by survey from switchgrass farmers in east Tennessee and represent cultivation and harvest data for years 2008, 2009, and 2010. Data for pelletization were taken from a report on wood pellet manufacturing in the US southeast. All raw materials and emissions were assigned to the switchgrass pellets. No co-products were produced. An impact assessment was conducted using the TRACI 2.0 model. 4.1 GJ of fossil energy inputs were required to produce 1.0 Mg of switchgrass pellets that contain 18.0 GJ of potential bioenergy. Switchgrass crops require relatively little energy and inputs for the cultivation and harvest processes; the majority of the environmental burdens are associated with drying and pelletizing the raw material.

Keywords: switchgrass pellet; life cycle analysis; LCI; fuel; cultivation; harvesting; pelletization

Publication Review Process: Non-Refereed (Other)

File size: 395 kb(s)

Date posted: 10/30/2014
RITS Product ID: 71490
Current FPL Scientist associated with this product
Bergman, Richard
Research Forest Products Technologist

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