Waste to Wisdom Webinar: Evaluation of Economic and Environmental Benefits from utilizing Forest Residues

Presenters: E.M. (Ted) Bilek: Economist, USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory; and Waste to Wisdom biofuels and biobased product development analysis team lead; Daisuke Sasatani: Research Associate, University of Washington; Rick Bergman: Research Forest Products Technologist and Acting Project Leader, USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory; Deborah S. Page-Dumroese: Project Leader, Root Disease and Soil Biology, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.

What you will learn:

The Waste to Wisdom biofuels and biobased product development analysis team presents preliminary analysis of feedstocks made from and methods used to extract forest residues that are currently underutilized or wasted. The main topics include:

  • Economic analysis: feasibility and impacts
  • Lifecycle analysis
  • Evaluating biochar’s impacts on forest soils

The presentation covers the study methods used, data analysis, summaries of preliminary results, and implications of the research work for forest-based industries and for the region. All these efforts have been performed under the goal of efficient utilization of forest residues as a way to cost-effectively manage forest residues, maximize environmental benefits, and create opportunities for production of bioenergy and bio-based products.

More information

This one-hour webinar is the third of six webinars that will highlight recent research efforts on 1) production of quality feedstock from forest residues, 2) development of three biomass conversion technologies (gasification, torrefaction, and briquetting) that operate at or near the forest, and 3) evaluation of economic and environmental benefits from utilizing forest residues for bioenergy and bio-based products. This $5.88 million research work was funded by the Department of Energy as part of the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) program and performed by a team of academics, government scientists, industry partners, and forestland managers along with 15 regional partners in the U.S.

Forest residues, including small-diameter trees, tops and limbs, produced during thinning and timber harvest operations, have long been underutilized and treated as waste materials because of their high collection and transportation costs and low market value. Biomass conversion technologies producing biochar, torrefied wood, and briquettes provide opportunities for significantly increased transportation efficiencies and product market values, especially when these materials are produced at or near the forest operations sites. However, innovative new biomass feedstock methods and technologies that produce high-quality feedstock materials from forest residues are needed to meet feedstock specifications for those biomass conversion technologies, which have limits on feedstock particle size, moisture content, and contamination.

About Waste to Wisdom

Waste to Wisdom is an innovative biomass research project funded by a $5.88 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy under the Biomass Research and Development Initiative program: Award Number DE-EE0006297. Humboldt State University and 15 regional partners are building on existing research on the conversion of forest residues into bioenergy and other valuable bio-based products.

Archived and future webinars are available here: http://wastetowisdom.com/webinars/

Created by Martin Twer