Cost estimates of post-harvest forest biomass supply for Canada.

Yemshanov, D., McKenney, D.W., Fraleigh, S., McConkey, B.G., Huffman, E.C., and Smith, S. (2014). "Cost estimates of post-harvest forest biomass supply for Canada.", Biomass and Bioenergy, 69, pp. 80-94. doi : 10.1016/j.biombioe.2014.07.002  Access to full text


This study estimates the potential physical amounts and financial costs of post-harvest forest residue biomass supply in Canada. The analyses incorporate the locations of harvest activities in Canada, the geographical variation of forest productivity patterns and the costs associated with the extraction and transportation of residue feedstock to bioenergy facilities. We estimated the availability of harvest residues within the extent of industrial forest management operations in Canadian forests. Our analyses focused on the extraction of biomass from roadside harvest residues that involve four major cost components: pre-piling and aggregation, loading, chipping and transportation. The estimates of residue extraction costs also included representation of basic ecological sustainability and technical accessibility constraints. Annual supply of harvestable residual biomass with these ecological sustainability constraints were estimated to be approximately 19.2–23.3 Tg*year1 and 16.5–20.0 Tg*year1 in scenarios that included both ecological and technical accessibility limitations. These estimates appear to be less than other similar studies, due to the higher level of spatial details on inventories and ecological and operational constraints in our analyses. The amount of residual biomass available in baseline scenarios at a supply cost of $60 ODT1 and $80 ODT1 were 1.08 and 1.38 Tg year1 and 7.82 and 10.14 Tg year1 respectively. Decreasing residue extraction costs by 35% increased the amount of residues available at a $60 ODT1 and $80 ODT1 supply price by ∼5.5–5.7 and ∼1.5–1.6 times respectively. The assessment methodology is generic and could be extended to examine residue supplies for specialized biomass markets such as lignocellulosic ethanol production.

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