The Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA) is concluding its final year under the contractual terms with the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA). Many of the outputs generated from this project are recorded in peer-reviewed journals or documents in various NARA reports.

Another format used to rapidly introduce NARA outputs to a wide audience is through webinars. In October 2015, NARA launched a Wood-to Biofuels Webinar Series. Each webinar features NARA researchers describing their research contributions to the NARA project.

Completed webinars have been posted on the NARA YouTube channel.

Listed below are links to and a brief description of the webinars presented so far. These webinars focus on feedstock logistics, sourcing, and availability plus environmental sustainability. Additional webinars, presented in the near future, will address other areas of the NARA project such as co-product development, conversion into bio-jet fuel and education.

Webinars as of December 7, 2015

Estimating forest residue for biomass production

By Kevin Boston, Associate Professor, Oregon State University

The webinar describes the biomass supply chain and various techniques used to measure biomass piles. It describes 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 review the operations used to collect and process this biomass and suggests other equipment that might be useful to increase the amount of biomass available for energy production.

Decision support for forest harvest residue collection

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

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.

Characterization of forest residuals for bio-jet fuel production

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.

‘Woods-to-Wake’ life cycle assessment of residual woody biomass based jet-fuel

By Indroneil Ganguly, Assistant Professor, Research, University of Washington

Utilizing a ‘woods-to-wake’ (WTWa) Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology, which is comparable to well-to-wake for its fossil based counterpart, this webinar assesses the environmental implications of recovering these harvest residues to produce woody biomass based bio-jet fuel.

Long-term soil productivity and sustainability of forest harvest residue harvesting

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

This webinar examines the effects of removing forest floor and harvest residues on soils and sustainable production in intensively managed Douglas-fir forests of the Pacific Northwest. The amount and types of biomass being removed and how biomass harvesting impacts various nutrients (e.g. nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium) is discussed. Nutrient removals may impact long-term production or growth in these forests, simple thresholds and nutrient budgets are used to examine this trend. Finally, the limitations of this approach and opportunities for further research are discussed

Incorporating Timber Product Output (TPO) harvest residue information and forest market models to evaluate biorefinery siting potential

Todd Morgan, Director, Forest Industry Research, Bureau of Business and Economic Research, University of Montana
Greg Latta, Assistant Professor, Senior Research, Forest Engineering, Resources & Management, College of Forestry, Oregon State University

Since the NARA study began in 2011, BBER researchers have measured more than 2,500 felled trees within 108 logging sites. The NARA project uses this data to characterize how current forest harvest residues vary by region, county, ownership source, pulp removal, logging systems employed, and tree attributes such as species. To evaluate how that supply might change over time NARA utilizes spatially explicit economic models of forest products markets, which balance harvests on FIA plots with demand for logs at regional mills. The resulting spatial allocation of logging operations for products such as lumber, plywood, and paper products is then further refined with the TPO data to assess future potential harvest residue availability.