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Title: Forest biomass diversion in the Sierra Nevada: Energy, economics and emissions

Author: Springsteen, Bruce; Christofk, Thomas; York, Robert A.; Mason, Tad; Baker, Stephen; Lincoln, Emily; Hartsough, Bruce; Yoshioka, Takuyuki;

Date: 2015

Source: California Agriculture. 69(3): 142-149.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description:

As an alternative to open pile burning, use of forest wastes from fuel hazard reduction projects at Blodgett Forest Research Station for electricity production was shown to produce energy and emission benefits: energy (diesel fuel) expended for processing and transport was 2.5% of the biomass fuel (energy equivalent); based on measurements from a large pile burn, air emissions reductions were 98%-99% for PM2.5, CO (carbon monoxide), NMOC (nonmethane organic compounds), CH4 (methane) and BC (black carbon), and 20% for NOx and CO2-equivalent greenhouse gases. Due to transport challenges and delays, delivered cost was $70 per bone dry ton (BDT) - comprised of collection and processing ($34/BDT) and transport ($36/BDT) for 79 miles one way - which exceeded the biomass plant gate price of $45/BDT. Under typical conditions, the break-even haul distance would be approximately 30 miles one way, with a collection and processing cost of $30/BDT and a transport cost of $16/BDT. Revenue generated from monetization of the reductions in air emissions has the potential to make forest fuel reduction projects more economically viable.

Keywords: biomass, Sierra Nevada, energy, economics, emissions, fuel hazard reduction

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • 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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Springsteen, Bruce; Christofk, Thomas; York, Robert A.; Mason, Tad; Baker, Stephen; Lincoln, Emily; Hartsough, Bruce; Yoshioka, Takuyuki. 2015. Forest biomass diversion in the Sierra Nevada: Energy, economics and emissions. California Agriculture. 69(3): 142-149.

 


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