Techno-economic analysis of solid biofuels and bioproducts production from forest residues using portable production systems
In the US, wildfires are getting extreme and more frequent due to increasingly heavy fuel loads in the forest and extended dry conditions incurring a loss of lives and considerable property damage every year. Fuel treatments can prevent wildfire but will generate a huge amount of forest residues. The forest residues from fuel treatment and from logging operations, create an opportunity to use forest residues to produce biofuels, bioproducts, and industrial chemicals that could provide environmental benefits, create jobs, and boost rural economies in the U.S. However, the economic feasibility of these products is often doubtful due to very high logistics costs of delivering forest biomass to a large-scale centralized production facility. Either producing densified feedstocks or high-value products using portable or relocatable small-scale production facilities close to the forest could reduce the high biomass logistics costs.