LIFE CYCLE ANALYSIS (LCA):
The LCA looks at the “cradle to grave” impacts of creating biofuels and co-products from woody biomass. The developing LCA compares petroleum and forest residuals-based fuels along a variety of environmental attributes, including energy use, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and other environmental measures. It includes a variety of harvesting options, the bio-jet fuel conversion process, and the impact from integrating biojet fuel manufacturing into the existing forest product industry infrastructure.
An LCA will determine whether the forest residual-based biojet fuel meets the greenhouse gas reduction target specified in the US Energy Independence Act and is a necessary step to qualify for renewable identification numbers (RINs) and for public procurement eligibility.
Long-term soil productivity site
NARA researchers have established long-term soil productivity experiments at numerous sites in the Pacific Northwest. At one experimental site located on Weyerhaeuser land near Springfield Oregon, seeding growth and soil nutrient content is being measured over time from multiple plots subjected to various levels of forest residual harvest. Over time, these results will provide a clearer picture to how forest residual removal affect soil nutrient levels.
Additional sustainability research at the LTSP site include:
- Hydrological impacts of forest residual harvesting, including changes in stream flow, aquatic habitat, and sediments.
- Changes in animal and microorganism populations as a result of forest residual use.