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Collecting, processing and transporting forest residuals at the lowest cost

Image from paper showing potential transport and processing choices.
Image from Zamora-Cristales et al. (2014) paper showing potential transport and processing choices.

One of the biggest economic challenges to using forest residuals as a feedstock for biofuel production is the cost of residue collection, processing and transport. Based on NARA’s preliminary analysis, nearly 18% of the manufacturing cost for biojet fuel is associated with …more

Transportation of residues: would you bundle?

By: Janna Loeppky, M.S. Candidate, Oregon State University

In the forest industry, timber harvesting supplies the demand for one of the world’s most renewable resources: logs. Although the majority of consumers may only know about the final products purchased from mills and lumberyards, the harvesting operation is quite extensive. From stump to mill, the costs for extracting desirable trees to fulfill market demand range in cost depending on the size of the unit being harvested and the amount of …more

Estimating nutrient removals under varying intensities of harvesting residue utilization

By: Janna Loeppky, M.F. Candidate, Oregon State University

Nitrogen is the most abundant atmospheric element and a major nutrient required for plant and tree growth. The vast majority of nitrogen in forest soils and tree biomass is fixed from the atmosphere by soil micro‐organisms. Although the vast majority of nitrogen in most forest ecosystems is held in soil organic matter, some sites contain larger portions in live biomass and may therefore be susceptible to reductions in long‐term site productivity …more

Harvesting forest residuals: environmental impacts and sustainability

Processing forest residuas
Processing forest residuas

Typically when trees are harvested for lumber and pulp, the limbs and branches (commonly termed “forest residuals”) are left on the forest floor or collected in slash piles and burned. If these forest residuals were used instead to produce products such as biojet fuel, what effect would that have on our environment and how can we manage the resource …more

Variations of forest residual biomass



Thinning and harvesting forests in the Pacific Northwest generate lots of residual woody biomass. Currently, much of that biomass is left in slash piles while a small percentage is used to heat buildings or generate electricity. By law, those slash piles left unused are burned to reduce forest fire hazard. This process contributes to smoke and air pollution. NARA is helping to develop an industry that converts this unused …more

Transporting Biomass



An initial techno-economic analysis for the NARA biojet scenario has been completed. With the premise of constructing totally new facilities and current feedstock availability and costs, we estimate the manufacturing cost to produce biojet fuel derived from woody residuals at 2-3 times above the current market price for petrochemical-based jet fuel. Our current efforts are now aimed at reducing this initial cost estimate on many fronts. In the …more

Estimating Forest Biomass

Estimating Tree Biomass, Carbon, and Nitrogen... copy 2


Developing improved tools and methods used to estimate the amount of residual biomass potential contained in a softwood plantation or forest is a key task for the NARA project. The amount of forest residues available affects how much biojet fuel and co-products are produced, the location sites for depots and conversion plants and the overall sustainability of the residual wood to biojet …more