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: Economic analysis of forest residues supply chain options to produce enhanced-quality feedstocks

Source: Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining. 610-611(1):802-823.

Author(s)Sahoo, Kamalakanta ; Bilek, Edward ; Bergman, Richard ; Kizha, Anil R.; Mani, Sudhagar

Publication Year: 2019  View PDF »

Category: Journal Articles
Associated Research Project(s):   FPL-4851-6B

Abstract: 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.

Keywords: bioenergy; forest residues; logistics; baling; comminution; economic analysis

Publication Review Process: Formally Refereed

File size: 5,120 kb(s)

Date posted: 03/07/2019

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 93734
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 »