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Title: Forest-Based Biomass Supply Curves for the United States

Author: Skog, Kenneth; Barbour, Jamie; Buford, Marilyn; Drykstra, Dennis; Lebow, Patti; Miles, Pat; Perlack, Bob; Stokes, Bryce;

Date: 2013

Source: Journal of Sustainable Forestry, Volume 32 2013; pp. 14-27.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Nationwide, county-level supply curves have been estimated for forest-based biomass to evaluate their potential contributions to producing biofuels. This study builds on the estimates of potential supply in the Billion Ton Supply study prepared by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Energy. Forest biomass sources include logging residue, thinnings, other removals, unused mill residue, urban wood waste, and conventionally sourced wood (pulpwood size material). To make the estimates, we assume that lower cost forest biomass will be supplied from integrated harvesting operations that also remove sawlogs and pulpwood. We also assume that such removals can be estimated at the county level in two ways: first, as a portion of recent estimates of logging residues; and second, by simulated thinning operations that use tops, branches, and small trees for biomass. Supply from thinning dense forest stands is assumed to occur over 30 yr. Harvest and stumpage costs are estimated for each of these methods. Final supply estimates for each county assume supply that is half-way between the two estimates. Forest and agricultural biomass supply estimates have been used to indicate that for a cost of $44 per oven dry ton (odt) at forest roadside or farm gate, we could produce producev20-billion gal of advanced biofuels as called for under the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act. Forests could provide about 40-million odt to produce 4-billion gal, and agricultural feedstocks could provide about 200-million odt and produce 16-billion gal of biofuel.

Keywords: wood biomass supply, bioenergy, forest inventory, supply curves

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.



Skog, Kenneth; Barbour, Jamie; Buford, Marilyn; Drykstra, Dennis; Lebow, Patti; Miles, Pat; Perlack, Bob; Stokes, Bryce. 2013. Forest-based biomass supply curves for the United States. Journal of Sustainable Forestry 32: 14-27.


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