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Forest Biomass Supply for Bioenergy Production and Its Impacts on Roundwood Markets in Tennessee

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The use of forest biomass as an alternative source for bioenergy production has become a significant issue in Tennessee. This study used the Sub-Regional Timber Supply model to analyze the regional aggregate forest biomass feedstock potential and the impacts of additional pulpwood demand on the regional roundwood market through 2030. Two scenarios examined the impacts of building a biorefinery facility of 20 and 50 million gallons annual capacity in the state in 2015. The third scenario investigated the impacts of an Energy Information administration (EIA) reference case. The projection results suggest that there is sufficient hardwood pulpwood supply for a 50 million gallon biorefinery facility in Tennessee. It is possible to meet the increased demand of the EIA reference case without affecting the hardwood pulpwood market in the short run, but not in the distant future. The additional demand for softwood pulpwood will affect the softwood market substantially, but the impacts on the hardwood market are comparatively small. Hence, it is more feasible to increase the use of hardwood pulpwood for renewable energy rather than softwood pulpwood. These results will be very helpful in sustainably supplying forest biomass for bioenergy production in Tennessee.

Keywords: SRTS model; forest inventory; projection; removals; roundwood prices

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-05-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Southern Journal of Applied Forestry covers an area from Virginia and Kentucky south to as far west as Oklahoma and east Texas.
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