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Predicting Loaded On-Highway Travel Times of Trucks Hauling Woody Raw Material for Improved Forest Biomass Utilization in Oregon

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With rising fuel costs and enhanced environmental concerns, the use of renewable energy has been steadily considered and widely expounded as a solution to the challenges of global energy security and climate change. The use of woody biomass, in particular, has received considerable attention for energy production. However, high production and transportation costs can be a barrier to woody biomass utilization in some regions. Identifying or developing cost-effective production and transportation systems has become an economically critical issue to expand biomass utilization. Prediction models were developed to estimate the travel times, including terminal (loading and unloading) times, to haul woody biomass from nonforest sources to conversion facilities in western Oregon and to determine the effects of off-forest road classes on transportation times and costs. The travel time prediction model developed was shown to be a good predictor for travel time through a validation procedure. The average percentage difference between actual and predicted travel times was only 6%. These prediction models could be included in optimal truck route scheduling systems to improve the economics of biomass transport.
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Keywords: biomass transport; on-highway trucks; terminal times; travel times

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-04-01

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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 Western Journal of Applied Forestry covers the western United States, including Alaska, and western Canada; WJAF will also consider manuscripts reporting research in northern Mexico that has potential application in the southwestern United States.
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