Incorporating Timber Product Output (TPO) harvest residue information and forest market models to evaluate biorefinery siting potential

Presenters: Todd Morgan, Director, Forest Industry Research, Bureau of Business and Economic Research, University of Montana; Greg Latta, Assistant Professor, Senior Research, Forest Engineering, Resources & Management, College of Forestry, Oregon State University

Hosted by: Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA)
NARA scientists have focused on building supply chain solutions demonstrating forest harvest residues as a viable source of woody feedstock for production of biojet. A key aspect in supply chain logistics is biorefinery siting, a fundamental component of which is knowledge of the current spatial allocation of the resource and how that allocation may change over time. U.S.D. A. Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) TPO data is a consistent and comparable source of county-level harvest residue information. The Forest Industry Research Program at the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) collects and compiles logging utilization and TPO data for the 4-state project area. Since the NARA study began in 2011, BBER researchers have measured more than 2,500 felled trees within 108 logging sites. The NARA project uses this data to characterize how current forest harvest residues vary by region, county, ownership source, pulp removal, logging systems employed, and tree attributes such as species. To evaluate how that supply might change over time NARA utilizes spatially explicit economic models of forest products markets which balance harvests on FIA plots with demand for logs at regional mills. The resulting spatial allocation of logging operations for products such as lumber, plywood, and paper products is then further refined with the TPO data to assess future potential harvest residue availability. The combined information regarding current and potential future forest harvest residue supply coupled with collection and transportation cost data are used to generate supply cost estimates specific to any desired biorefinery site across OR, WA, ID, or MT.

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Created by Martin Twer

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