Modeling the Processing and Transportation Logistics of Forest Residues Using Life Cycle Assessment
Management and Policy Implications Uncertainty in the role of bioenergy for offsetting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has prevented wide adoption of bioenergy in the United States. Because of variations in forest site conditions across the country, understanding the environmental impacts of the logistics of forest residue transportation is an important step in maximizing the benefits and use potential of bioenergy. Currently, few studies provide a basis for enhancing management techniques during the processing of forest residues. The actual impact of the logistic scenarios described in this study depend on forest sites, because the location of slash piles may vary based on the geographic features of forest sites and logging activities. Road distances and conditions are taken into account, so forest owners/managers and policymakers would have the option of choosing the best system scenarios based on the distribution of slash piles and the road conditions of particular forest sites. The findings of this study clearly show that the environmental impact associated with the System 1 in-woods residue handling and processing decreases when the proportion of paved highway increases. The location of residual biomass in terms of the existing road conditions would justify the need for an alternate in-woods biomass processing system, such as System 2 or 3. The findings of this study may be applied to a variety of privately or publicly owned forestlands and can apply to a wide audience, including forest managers, logging companies, researchers, and alternative energy production companies. More importantly, this research can be used as a valuable reference for policymakers to improve the requirements and guidelines for managing forest slash piles and in-forest road developments.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 March 2017
This article was made available online on 12 January 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Modeling the Processing and Transportation Logistics of Forest Residues Using Life Cycle Assessment".