Advertisement

New Technologies in the Production of Woody Crops for Energy in the United States

  • J. Warren Ranney

Abstract

The search for economical renewable wood energy has led to new technologies in forest utilization and harvesting and in the cultivation and improvement of tree crops for energy use. The cost of short-rotation intensive culture (SRIC) wood for fuel is currently estimated to be $2.79 to $4.06 per GJ (inclusive of profit and taxes) in 1983 dollars, which is competitive with the cost of natural gas and perhaps eventually with coal outside coal-producing regions. Harvesting costs are the predominant-production expense in all systems. Innovative harvesting equipment is reducing these costs significantly, especially for fuel plantations. Productivity increases in short-rotation plantations are the most important new contribution to wood energy resources, with research plot yields of 4 to 12 dry Mg ha−1 year−1 on average agricultural land and in excess of 30 dry Mg ha−1 year−1 on the best sites. Lower costs and higher productivity together could reduce plantation production costs to perhaps $1.50 to $2.50 per GJ (1983 estimated dollars) by the year 2000. The various major aspects of short-rotation intensive culture (silviculture, genetics, physiology, economics, harvesting, environment) indicate that the necessary productivity rates (18 to 20 dry Mg ha−1 year−1) and harvest costs ($14 per dry Mg) required to make short-rotation intensive culture economically attractive are achievable on a limited basis. The extent of this limitation is being revealed and reduced by genetic, physiological, harvest, and economic research coupled to economic evaluation. The potential energy contribution from alternative wood sources is large (at least several exajoules) but is too elusive to predict accurately because of its dependency on local conditions.

Keywords

Black Locust Hybrid Poplar Rotation Length Total Production Cost Coppice Productivity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Energy Information Administration. Department of Energy (1984). Estimates of U.S. wood energy consumption 1980–1983. DOE/EIA-O341(83). Government Printing Office, Washington. D. C. 61 pp.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Task Force on Wood Energy. (1979). Forest biomass. as an energy source. Study of a task force of the Society of American Foresters. J. For. 77 (8). 8 pp.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kasile, J. (1984). Ohio resource assessment nears completion. Biologue 1 (3): 18.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Skog, K. E. (1983). Survey confirms sharp increase in home wood burning. In Wisconsin Wood Marketing bulletin. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, November/December.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Shands, W. E., and D. H. Dawson (1984), Policies for Lake States Forests. The Conservation Foundation, Washington, D. C., 33 pp.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Tillman, D. A. (1978), Wood as an Energy Resource, Academic Press, New York. 252 pp.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Howard, J. 0. (1979), Wood for energy in the Pacific Northwest: An overview. USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Exp. Sta. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-94. 29 pp.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    McKenna, R. (1984), Energy wood harvesting technology; A review of the state of the art. Meridian Corporation, McLean, Virginia. 108 pp.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Cullen, D. E., and W. J. Barr (1980), Harvesting of close-spaced short-rotation woody biomass. Final report prepared for DOE under contract ET-78-C-01-3068 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory by Mathtech, Inc., Princeton, New Jersey. 99 pp.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    USDA Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station (1978), Final report: Forest residues energy program. St. Paul, Minnesota. GPO 1978-768148/106 No. 6. 296 pp.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ince, P. J., J. W. Henley, T. B. Grantham, and E. M. Blek (1980), Cost and feasibility of harvesting beetle-killed lodgepole pine in eastern Oregon. Forest Service Report to the Department of Energy. Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Exp. Sta., Seattle, Washington. 56 pp.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    USDA Forest Service (1981), Tree biomass — a state-of-the-art compilation. Gen. Tech. Rep., No. S3, Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 34 pp.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Stokes, B. J., W. F. Watson, and I. W. Savelle (1985), Alternate biomass harvesting systems using conventional equipment. In J. R. Saucier (ed.), Proceedings of the 1984 Southern Forest Biomass Workshop, Athens, Georgia, June 5–7. USDA Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Exp. Sta., Asheville, North Carolina. 121 pp.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Tennessee Valley Authority (1983), An evaluation of logging systems designed to recover harvesting residues for energy. Technical Note B50, TVA/ONR/LFR 83/33. Tennessee Valley Authority, Norris, Tennessee. 45 pp.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kluender, R. A. (1981), Procurement of forest residues. In Proceedings of the Conference: Wood as a Commercial Energy Source in Virginia. Virginia Cooperative Extension Service, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, M-22C, Blacksburg, Virginia.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Curtin, D. T., and P. E. Barnett (1985), Development of forest harvesting technology: Application in short-rotation intensive culture woody biomass. Final Report on Contract DE-AI05-840R21478 to Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Tennessee Valley Authority, Office of Agricultural and Chemical Development F114, NFDC, Muscle Shoals, Alabama. 82 pp.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Clark, F. B. (1985), USDA Forest Service policy and programs on forest biomass for energy. In J. R. Saucier (ed.), Proceedings of the 1984 Southern Forest Biomass Workshop, Athens, Georgia, June 5–7. USDA Forest Service Southeastern Forest Exp. Stat., Asheville, North Carolina. 121 pp.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Koch, P., and T. E. Savage (1980), Development of the Swathe-Felling mobile chipper. J. For. 78 (1): 17–21.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Gilliusson, R. (1984), National research and development programs in member countries of the IE A Forest Energy Agreement Area, “Harvesting, on-site processing, and transport.” Available from: Forest Energy Secretariat, Dept. of Operation Efficiency, Swedish University of Agricultural.Sciences, S-770 73, Garpenberg, Sweden, Sahlanders Grafiska AB, Falun. Sweden. 47 pp.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Arola, R. A., S. A. Winsaver, R. C. Radcliffe, and M. R. Smith (1983). Chunkwood production: A new concept. For. Prod. J. 333 (7/8): 43–51.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Walbridge, T. A., and W. B. Stuart (1980), An alternative to whole-tree chipping for the recovery of logging residues. 132–143. In International Forestry Energy Meeting, Proceedings of the International Conference on Harvesting and Utilization of Wood for Energy Purposes, Elmira, Jonkoping, Sweden, September.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Schiess, P., and K. Yonaka (1982), Evaluation of new concepts in biomass fiber field processing and transportation. 183–214. In Progress in Biomass Conversion 3, Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Fiber Fuels Institute (1984), Status of fiber fuel use in Minnesota with emphasis on automated systems. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, St. Paul. 38 pp.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    USDA Forest Service (1982), An analysis of the timber situation in the United States 1952–2030. Forest Resource Report No. 23. U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C. 499 pp.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Data Resources, Inc. (1984), Energy Review. Winter 1984–1985. Lexington, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    West, D. C., and L. K. Mann (1983), Whole-tree harvesting: Fourth-year progress report for 1982 — Nutrient depletion estimates, post-harvest impacts on nutrient dynamics, and regeneration. ORNL/TM-8805 Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee. 101 pp.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Sedjo, R. A. (1983), The comparative economics of plantation forestry, A global assessment. Research Paper Resources for the Future, Inc., Washington, D. C. 161 pp.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Cannell, M. G. R. and R. I. Smith (1980), Yields of minirotation closely spaced hardwoods in temperate regions: Review and appraisal. For. Sci. 26 (3): 415–428.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Hansen, E., L. Moore, D. Netzer, M. Ostry, H. Phipps, and J. Zavitkovski (1983), Establishing intensively cultured hybrid poplar plantations for fuel and fiber. USDA Forest Service North Central Forest Experiment Station Gen. Tech. Rep. NC 78. 24 pp.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Dawson, D. H., J. Zavitkovski, and J. G. Isebrands (1980), Managing forests for maximum biomass production. AICHE Symposium Series 76 (195): 36–42.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Heilman, P. and D. V. Peabody, Jr. (1981), Effect of harvest cycle and spacing on productivity of black cottonwood in intensive culture. Can. J. For. Res. 11 (1): 118–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    School of Forest Resources (1985), Twenty-second Annual Report: North Carolina State University — Industry Cooperative Hardwood Research Program. North Carolina State University, Raleigh. 75 pp.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Geyer, W. A. (1981), Growth, yield, and woody biomass characteristics of several short-rotation hardwoods. Wood Sci. 13 (4): 209–215.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Isebrands, J. G., A. R. Ek and R. S Meldahl (1982), Comparison of growth model and harvest yields of short-rotation intensively cultured Populus: A case study. Can. J. For. Res. 12 (1): 122–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Ranney, J. W., J. L. Trimble, L. L. Wright, R. D. Perlack, C. R. Wenzel, and J. H. Cushman (1984), Short Rotation Woody Crops Program: Annual Progress report for 1983. ORNL-6085. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge. Tennessee. 91 pp.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Ministry of Natural Resources (1983), New forests in eastern Ontario, hybrid poplar. Science and Technology Series 1, Government of Ontario, Toronto. 336 pp.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Zavitkovski, J., Some promising forest ecosystems of the temperate zone for biomass production and energy storage, 129–143. In Proceedings, 1981 Energy from Biomass and Wastes V., January 26–30, 1981, Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Institute of Gas Technology, Chicago, Illinois.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Isebrands, J. G., N. D. Nelson, D. I. Dickmann, and D. A. Michael (1983), Yield physiology of short-rotation intensively cultured poplars 77–93. In E. A. Hansen (ed.), Intensive Plantation Culture: 12 Years; Research. USDA Forest Service Gen. Tech. Rep. NC 91, North Central Forest Exp. Sta., St. Paul, Minnesota.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Larson, P. R., R. E. Dickson, and J. G. Isebrands (1976), Some physiological applications for intensive culture 10–18. In Intensive Plantation Culture: Five Years’ Research. USDA Forest Service Gen. Tech. Rep. NC 21, North Central For. Exp. Sta., St. Paul, Minnesota.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Heilman, P. E., and R. F. Stettler (1985), Genetic variation and productivity of Populus trichocarpa T. k G. and its hybrids. II. Biomass production in a 4-year-old plantation. Can. J. For. Res. 15 (2): 384–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Rockwood, D. L., C. W. Comer, L. F. Conde, D. R. Dippon, J. B. Huffman, H. Riekerk, and S. Wang (1983), Energy and chemicals from woody species in Florida. Final report for the period April 17, 1978–May 16, 1983. ORNL Sub/81-9050/1 Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    USDA Forest Service (1980), Energy and wood from intensively cultured plantations: Research and development program. USDA Forest Service Gen. Tech. Rep. NO-57, North Central Forest Exp. Sta., St. Paul, Minnesota. 28 pp.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Drew, T. J., and J. W. Flewelling (1979), Stand density management: An alterna–tive approach and its application to Douglas-fir plantations. For. Sci. 25 (3): 518–532.Google Scholar
  44. 43.
    Drew, T. J., and J. W. Flewelling (1979), Stand density management: An alterna–tive approach and its application to Douglas-fir plantations. For. Sci. 25 (3): 518–532.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Anderson, H. W. (1979), Time-related variation in the performance of a hybrid cottonwood minirotation as influenced by spacing and rotation length. In Proc., North American Poplar Council Annual Meeting, 1979. 35–45.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Steinbeck, K., and C. L. Brown (1976), Yield and utilization of hardwood fiber grown on short rotations. App. Polym. Symp. 28: 393–401.Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Steinbeck, K., R. G. McAlpine, and J. T. May (1971), Short-rotation culture of sycamore: A status report. J. For. 70: 210–213.Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Heilman, P. E., D. V. Peabody, Jr., D. S. DeBell, and E. F. Strand (1972), A test of closed-spaced short-rotation culture of black cottonwood. Can. J. For. Res. 23: 456–459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Ek, A. R., J. E. Lenarz, and A. Dudek (1983), Growth and yield of Populus coppice stands grown under intensive culture. In Intensive Plantation Culture: 12 Years’ Research. US DA Forest Service North Central Forest Exp. Sta., Report NC-91.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Zavitkovski, J. (1983). Projected and actual biomass production of 2- to 10- year-old intensively cultured Populus “Tristis #1.” In Intensive Plantation Culture: 12 Years Research. USD A Forest Service North Central Forest Exp. Sta., Report NC-91.Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Reukema. D. L. (1979), Fifty-year development of Douglas-fir stands planted at various spacings. USDA Forest Service, Pacif. Northwest Forest and Range Exp. Sta. Res. Paper PNW-253. 21 pp.Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Schutt, J. R., H. H. Shugart, Jr., and J. W. Ranney (1985), Crown geometry of plantation grown American sycamore and its simulation. ORNL/TM 9721. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee. 269 pp.Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Nelson, N. D., and J. G. Isebrands (1983), Late-season photosynthesis and photosynthate distribution in an intensively cultured Populus niga z laurifolia clone. Photosynthetica 17 (4): 537–549.Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Isebrands, J. G., and N. D. Nelson (1982), Crown architecture of short-rotation intensively cultured Populus. II. Branch morphology and distribution of leaves within the crown of Populus ‘tristis’ as related to biomass production. Can. J. For. Res. 12 (4): 853–864.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Isebrands, J. G., L. C. Pomnitz, and D. H. Dawson (1977), Leaf area development in short-rotation intensively cultured Populus plots 201–202. In Proc., TAPPI Forest Biology Wood Chemistry Conference, Madison, Wisconsin.Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Watson, D. J. (1956), Leaf growth relation to crop yield, 178–191. In F. L. Milthorpe (ed.), The Growth of Leaves, Butterworth Sci. Publ., London.Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Larson, P. R., and J. G. Isebrands (1972), The relationship between leaf production and wood weight on first-year root sprouts of two Populus clones. Can. J. For. Res. 2: 98–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Dickmann, D. I., K. Steinbeck, and T. Skinner (1985), Leaf area and biomass in mixed and pure plantations of sycamore and black locust in the Georgia Piedmont. For. Sci. 31 (2): 509–517.Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Ranney. J. W., L. L. Wright, J. L. Trimble, R. D. Perlack, D. H. Dawson, C. R. Wenzel, and D. T. Curtin (1985), Short Rotation Woody Crops Program: Annual Progress Report for 1984. ORNL-6I6O. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee. 80 pp.Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    Steinbeck, K., and L. C. Nwoboshi (1980), Rootstock mass of coppiced Platanus occidentalis as affected by spacing and rotation length. For. Sci. 26 (4): 545–547.Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    Geyer, W. A., M. W. Melichar, and R. M. Argent (1985), Coppicing: A centuries old practice crucial to SRIC forestry. In Proceedings of the 22nd annual Meeting. Poplar Council of the United States on Populus: Energy and Utilization. Lawrence, Kansas, June 25–27. Poplar Council of the United States. 61 pp.Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Blake, T. J., and W. E. Raitanen (eds.) (1981), A summary of factors influencing coppicing. A report to the International Energy Agency, Program on Forest Energy, Planning Group B. Report NE 1981: 22. National Swedish Board for Energy Source Development, Stockholm. 24 pp.Google Scholar
  63. 63.
    DeBell, D. S., and L. P. Alford. Sprouting characteristics and cutting practices evaluated for cottonwood. Tree Planters Notes 23: 1–3.Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Belanger, R. P. (1979), Stump management increases coppice yield of sycamore. South. J. of Appl. For. 3: 101–103.Google Scholar
  65. 65.
    Herrick, A. M., and C. L. Brown (1967), A new concept in cellulose production — silage sycamore. Agric. Sci. Rev. 5 (4): 8–13.Google Scholar
  66. 66.
    McAlpine, R. G., C. L. Brown, A. M. Herrick, and H. E, Ruark (1966), Silage sycamore. For. Farmer 26: 6–7.Google Scholar
  67. 67.
    Ranney, J. W., R. D. Perlack, J. L. Trimble, and L. L. Wright (1985), Specialized hardwood crops for energy and fiber: status, impact, and need. TAPPI J. 68 (12): 36–41.Google Scholar
  68. 68.
    Salo, D. J., R. E. Inman, B. J. McGurk, and J. Verhoeff (1977), Sivicultural biomass farms: Vol. III. Land suitability and availability. Mitre Corporation/Metrek Division, McLean, Virginia. 66pp. plus appendices,Google Scholar
  69. 69.
    Perlack, R. D., J. W. Ranney, and L. L. Wright (1985), An economic evaluation of the competitive position of short-rotation intensive culture for energy. 1245–1264. D. L. Klass, ed. In Proc., Energy from Biomass and Wastes IX. Lake Buena vista, Florida, January 28–February 1. Institute of Gas Technology, Chicago, Illinois.Google Scholar
  70. 70.
    Rose, D. W., and D. S. DeBell (1978), Economic assessment of intensive culture of short-rotation hardwood crops. J. For. 76 (11): 706–711.Google Scholar
  71. 71.
    Dickmann, D. I., and K. W. Stuart (1983), The culture of poplars in eastern North America. University Publications, Michigan State University, Ann Arbor.Google Scholar
  72. 72.
    Geary, T. F., G. F. Meskimen, and E. C. Franklin (1983), Growing eucalyptus in Florida for industrial wood production. USDA Forest Service, General Technical Report SE-23. Southeastern Forest Exp. Sta., Asheville, North Carolina.Google Scholar
  73. 73.
    Rockwood, D. L. (1984), Genetic improvement potential for biomass quality and quantity. Biomass 6: 37–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. 74.
    Standiford, R. B., and F. T. Ledig (1983), Eucalyptus in California (Workshop Proc., June 14–16, Sacramento). USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Exp. Sta. Gen. Tech. Report PSW-69. 128 pp.Google Scholar
  75. 75.
    Felker, P., G. H. Cannell, P. R. Clark, J. F. Osborn, and P. Nash (1983), Biomass production of Prosopis species (mesquite), Leucaena, and other leguminous trees grown under heat/drought stress. For. Sci. 29 (3): 592–606.Google Scholar
  76. 76.
    Felker, P., P. R. Clark, P. Nash, J. F. Osborn, and G. H. Cannell (1982), Screening Prosopis (mesquite) for cold tolerance. For. Sci. 28 (3): 556–562.Google Scholar
  77. 77.
    Lavoie, G., and G. Vallee (1981), Inventory of species and cultivars potentially valuable for forest biomass production. IEA Report NE 1981: 17. National Swedish Board for Energy Source Development. Stockholm, Sweden. 43 pp.Google Scholar
  78. 78.
    Bonga, J. M., and D. J. Durzan (1982), Tissue culture in forestry. Martinus Nijhoff/Dr. W. Junk Publishers, Hague. 109–149.Google Scholar
  79. 79.
    Brown, C. L. (1981), Application of tissue culture technology to production of woody biomass. IEA Report NE 1981:18. National Swedish Board for Energy Source Development. IEA Report NE 1981: 18. Stockholm, Sweden. 33 pp.Google Scholar
  80. 80.
    Ho, R. H. (1983), Wood energy plantations — The state of the art and the potential of biotechnology in forest tree improvement. IEA Report 1983:2. Ontario Tree Improvement and Forest Biomass Institute, Ministry of Natural Resources, Maple, Ontario. IEA Report 1983: 230 pp.Google Scholar
  81. 81.
    Nelson, N. D., B. E. Haissig, and D. E. Riemenschneider ( 1984 ), Applying the new somaclonal technology to forestry. Proc. 1984 TAPPI RandD Conference.Google Scholar
  82. 82.
    McLain, D. H. (1984), The Loughry coppice willow harvester. Interim Report, Department of Agriculture for N. Ireland, Loughry College (ETSU B-1081(9)). March. 7 pp.Google Scholar
  83. 83.
    Perlack, R. D., S. Das, W. F. Barron, and P. Kroll (1985), BIOCUT: A microcomputer based economic evaluation model for wood energy plantations. ORNL/TM-9576. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee. 75 pp.Google Scholar
  84. 84.
    Barron, W., R. D. Perlack, P. Kroll, J. H. Cushman and J. W. Ranney (1983), FIRSTCUT: A preliminary assessment model for short-rotation intensive culture — Model description and user’s guide. ORNL/TM-8566. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee. 171 pp.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Warren Ranney

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations