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Energy Relationships for Selected Cultural Investments

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An energy balance was used to establish the minimum recoverable biomass needed to justify cultural investment energies for using forest biomass as a source of energy. The balance accounted for (1) energy inputs needed for production (control fertilization, irrigation, and fertilization/irrigation), harvesting, processing, and transportation, and (2) conversion efficiencies for converting the biomass into usable heat, process steam, or electricity. Total energy inputs for each amendment included energy values for amendment manufacturing, amendment application, biomass harvesting, biomass processing, and biomass transportation. This total energy value coupled with conversion efficiency was used to establish the minimum ovendry kg of biomass per kg amendment (N, P, K, Ca, and water) needed to justify the cultural investment. Published results from biomass production studies were analyzed using procedures established in this article. This article established the need to analyze both conversion and cultural management strategy in completing a comprehensive energy balance. Forest Sci. 28:459-469.

Keywords: Biomass

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Instructor, Department of Civil Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802

Publication date: September 1, 1982

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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