BioEnergy Research

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 217–231 | Cite as

Is Use of Both Pulpwood and Logging Residues Instead of Only Logging Residues for Bioenergy Development a Viable Carbon Mitigation Strategy?

Article

Abstract

This study adopts an integrated life-cycle approach to assess overall carbon saving related with the utilization of wood pellets manufactured using pulpwood and logging residues for electricity generation. Carbon sequestered in wood products and wood present in landfills and avoided carbon emissions due to substitution of grid electricity with the electricity generated using wood pellets are considered part of overall carbon savings. Estimated value of overall carbon saving is compared with the overall carbon saving related to the current use of pulpwood and logging residues. The unit of analysis is a hectare of slash pine (Pinus elliottii) plantation in southern USA. All carbon flows are considered starting from forest management to the decay of wood products in landfills. Exponential decay function is used to ascertain carbon sequestered in wood products and wood present in landfills. Non-biogenic carbon emissions due to burning of wood waste at manufacturing facilities, wood pellets at a power plant, and logging residues on forestlands are also considered. Impacts of harvest age and forest management intensity on overall carbon saving are analyzed as well. The use of pulpwood for bioenergy development reduces carbon sequestered in wood products and wood present in landfills (up to 1.6 metric tons/ha) relative to a baseline when pulpwood is used for paper making and logging residues are used for manufacturing wood pellets. Avoided carbon emissions because of displacement of grid electricity from the electricity generated using wood pellets derived from pulpwood fully compensate the loss of carbon sequestered in wood products and wood present in landfills. The use of both pulpwood and logging residues for bioenergy development is beneficial from carbon perspective. Harvest age is more important in determining overall carbon saving than forest management intensity.

Keywords

Bioenergy development Carbon sequestration in wood products Electricity generation Pine plantations Southern USA Wood pellets 

Supplementary material

12155_2013_9362_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (179 kb)
Fig. S1Percentage contribution of timber products towards total weight at different harvest ages. (PDF 178 kb)
12155_2013_9362_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (175 kb)
Fig. S2Difference of carbon sequestered at the end of simulation period in wood products and wood present in landfills for cases ENE-LR and ENE-LR&PW with respect to LEFT-LR (baseline). Carbon emissions are positive whereas savings are negative. Simulation period is 500 years. (PDF 175 kb)
12155_2013_9362_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (174 kb)
Fig. S3Difference of carbon sequestered at the end of simulation period in wood products and wood present in landfills for cases ENE-LR and ENE-LR&PW with respect to BURN-LR (baseline). Carbon emissions are positive whereas savings are negative. Simulation period is 500 years. (PDF 174 kb)
12155_2013_9362_MOESM4_ESM.pdf (174 kb)
Fig. S4Difference of overall carbon savings at the end of simulation period for cases ENE-LR and ENE-LR&PW with respect to LEFT-LR (baseline). Carbon emissions are positive whereas savings are negative. Simulation period is 500 years. (PDF 174 kb)
12155_2013_9362_MOESM5_ESM.pdf (175 kb)
Fig. S5Difference of overall carbon savings at the end of simulation period for cases ENE-LR and ENE-LR&PW with respect to BURN-LR (baseline). Carbon emissions are positive whereas savings are negative. Simulation period is 500 years. (PDF 174 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Energy Biosciences InstituteUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA
  2. 2.School of Forestry & Environmental StudiesYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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