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Publication Information

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Title: Comparing Life-Cycle Carbon and Energy Impacts for Biofuel, Wood Product, and Forest Management

Author: Lippke, Bruce; Gustafson, Richard; Venditti, Richard; Steele, Philip; Volk, Timothy A.; Oneil, Elaine; Johnson, Leonard; Puettmann, Maureen E.; Skog, Kenneth

Date: 2012

Source: Forest Prod. J. Volume 62, Number 4, pp 247–257; 2012.

Publication Series: Journal/Magazine Article (JRNL)

Description: The different uses of wood result in a hierarchy of carbon and energy impacts that can be characterized by their efficiency in displacing carbon emissions and/or in displacing fossil energy imports, both being current national objectives. When waste wood is used for biofuels (forest or mill residuals and thinnings) fossil fuels and their emissions are reduced without significant land use changes. Short rotation woody crops can increase yields and management efficiencies by using currently underused land. Wood products and biofuels are coproducts of sustainable forest management, along with the other values forests provide, such as clean air, water, and habitat. Producing multiple coproducts with different uses that result in different values complicates carbon mitigation accounting. It is important to understand how the life-cycle implications of managing our forests and using the wood coming from our forests impacts national energy and carbon emission objectives and other forest values. A series of articles published in this issue of the Forest Products Journal reports on the life-cycle implications of producing ethanol by gasification or fermentation and producing bio-oil by pyrolysis and feedstock collection from forest residuals, thinnings, and short rotation woody crops. These are evaluated and compared with other forest product uses. Background information is provided on existing life-cycle data and methods to evaluate prospective new processes and wood uses. Alternative management, processing, and collection methods are evaluated for their different efficiencies in contributing to national objectives.

Keywords: Life-cycle analysis, carbon mitigation, wood products, wood based biofuels, forest carbon management

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

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Lippke, Bruce; Gustafson, Richard; Venditti, Richard; Steele, Philip; Volk, Timothy A.; Oneil, Elaine; Johnson, Leonard; Puettmann, Maureen E.; Skog, Kenneth. 2012. Comparing life-cycle carbon and energy impacts for biofuel, wood product, and forest management. Forest Products Journal 62(4): 247–257.

 


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