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: A comparative life-cycle assessment of briquetting logging residues and lumber manufacturing coproducts in western United States

Source: Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 34(1): 11-24.

Author(s)Alanya-Rosenbaum, Sevda; Bergman, Richard D.; Ganguly, Indroneil; Pierobon, Francesca

Publication Year: 2018  View PDF »

Category: Journal Articles
Associated Research Project(s):   FPL-4851-7B

Abstract: Timber harvest activities in the western United States have resulted in large volumes of low- to no-value logging (forest) residues. Alternatives to pile-and-burning are needed to best utilize this material and to mitigate the resultant environmental impacts. Briquetting (densifying) forest residues near-woods is one such option and is the focus of this study. This study presents a cradle-to-grave life-cycle assessment (LCA) performed to evaluate the overall environmental impacts associated with briquetting post-harvest forest residues and dry sawmill residues (sawdust) in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) region of the United States. Environmental impacts resulting from the two briquette production systems were compared with firewood and propane production, which are common residential heating sources in rural areas of the PNW, on a per 1 MJ of useful energy for domestic heating. In the briquetted post-harvest forest residue system, the feedstock preparation stage had the largest share in global warming (GW) impact, mainly resulting from the drying process (69.5%), followed by transportation. Valorization of post-harvest forest residues, in combination with a briquetter, to produce a bioenergy carrier was revealed to be advantageous in smog, acidification, and eutrophication impact categories, with considerable environmental benefits from avoided pile-and-burn emissions. With all scenarios investigated, briquette production from post-harvest forest residues with high dryer efficiency showed lowest GW impact compared to briquetting sawmill residues and firewood supply chain. For a scenario analysis, LCA showed that using a diesel generator to support the forest residue briquetter operation resulted in 45% higher GW impact compared to use of a wood-gas-powered generator.

Keywords: Bioenergy; biomass densification; briquette; forest residues; life-cycle assessment; sawdust

Publication Review Process: Formally Refereed

File size: 5,120 kb(s)

Date posted: 04/03/2018

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 89875
Current FPL Scientist associated with this product
Bergman, Richard
Research Forest Products Technologist

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 »