To disseminate NARA research findings,  a Wood-To-Biofuel Webinar series will be offered summarizing the research and results of converting slash to fuel and of the sustainability analyses.

The webinar series will start in October which is the month of National Bioenergy Day on October 21. Following are five webinars hosted in the month of October.

Estimating Forest Residue for Biomass Production

Tuesday, October 13, 2015, 1pm (PDT) & 4pm (EDT)

By Kevin Boston, Associate Professor, Oregon State University

The webinar will begin by describing the biomass supply chain and the issues with its management. This will lead to motivation of why measurement of forest residues is necessary for its successful management.   The seminar will then describe various techniques used to measure biomass piles and the comparison among these methods. It will describe the logging process that are common in the Pacific Northwest and how they can influence the amount and location of biomass produced from harvesting operations. It will review the operations used to collect and process this biomass and suggest other equipment that might be useful to increase the amount of biomass available for energy production.

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Decision Support for Forest Harvest Residue Collection

Wednesday, October 14, 2015, 2pm (PDT) & 5pm (EDT)

 By John Sessions, University Distinguished Professor and Rene Zamora-Cristales, Post Doctorate, Oregon State University

Forest harvest residues are often available at roadside landings as a byproduct of the log manufacturing process. This residue is usually available for renewable energy production if desired, however there is a significant amount of residues that do not reach the landing during the harvesting process that could potentially increase the supply of forest biomass from each harvest unit. The proportion of recoverable residues depends on their collection costs which are a function of the distance from roadside landing, terrain conditions, and collection method as well as subsequent truck transportation costs. Residues close to landings and nearest to the processing center will usually have the lowest delivered costs. Tradeoffs between increasing truck transportation costs and increasing collection costs affect which residues will be collected to reach a supply target or residue payment price. A forest residue collection model using forwarders and excavator loaders is presented to estimate the potential cost of biomass extraction from the forest to roadside landings. Tradeoffs between increasing collection costs and increasing road transportation are examined. The impact of tax credits and site preparation savings are discussed. On flatter terrain, one excavator is efficient at short distances. As distance from landing increases, one excavator loading one forwarder becomes more efficient, and at long distances, one excavator loading two forwarders becomes more efficient.

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Characterization of forest residuals for bio-jet fuel production

Monday, October 19, 2015, 9am (PDT) & 12pm (EDT)

By Gevan Marrs, Feedstock Sourcing, NARA

Softwood feedstock samples collected throughout the Pacific Northwest have been characterized for carbohydrate, lignin, and extractives content. Some of the samples have received exhausting testing through pretreatment, hydrolysis and fermentation into alcohols. In addition, the cost impacts associated with various feedstock processing options have been quantified in order to evaluate the economic impacts to deliver a “standard sized” feedstock product for conversion into bio-jet fuel and co-products.

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Woods-to-Wake’ Life Cycle Assessment of Residual Woody Biomass Based Jet-Fuel

Wednesday, October 21, 2015, 11:30am (PDT) & 2:30pm (EDT)

Indroneil Ganguly, Francesca Pierobon, Tait Charles Bowers, Mike Huisenga, Ivan Eastin, University of Washington; Glenn Johnston, Gevo

 The residual woody biomass (a.k.a harvest slash) produced during forest harvest operations in the Pacific Northwest, is generally burned in the forest or left on the forest floor to decompose. Drop-in biofuel production from these residual cellulosic feedstock can provide an alternative to utilizing this unused resource and simultaneously displace fossil based fuels. Utilizing a ‘woods-to-wake’ (WTWa) Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology, which is comparable to well-to-wake for its fossil based counterpart, this paper assesses the environmental implications of recovering these harvest residues to produce woody biomass based bio-jet fuel.

The woody biomass to bioconversion process presented in this paper uses a milder version of bisulfite pre-treatment of the feedstock liberating the C6 sugars which then go through enzymatic hydrolysis, saccharification and fermentation producing isobutanol (iBuOH). The isobutanol is then converted to bio-jet fuel (iso-paraffinic kerosene, IPK) using a proprietary biocatalytic fermentation and oligomerization processes. The woods-to-wake environmental impacts of woody biomass jet-fuel are then compared to WTWa impacts of fossil based jet-fuel. The results indicate that the woods-to-wake global warming impact of wood based bio-jet fuel represents a 60% or greater reduction as compared to WTWa of traditional jet fuel.

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How do residual biomass removals affect long-term forest productivity?

Friday, October 30, 2015, 10:00am (PDT) & 1:00pm (EDT)

By Jeff Hatten, Assistant Professor, Oregon State University; Scott Holub, Silviculture Research Scientist, Weyerhaeuser NR Company

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Who is it for? These webinars would benefit researchers, contractors, land managers, forest products industry, policymakers, biofuel and chemical industry, NGOs, Educators, and students who are interested and involved in operations converting forest-based biomass to biofuels and co-products.