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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
  

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