Impact of forest harvest intensity and transportation distance on biomass delivered costs within sustainable forest management - A case study in southeastern Canada

This study compares the delivered cost of forest biomass and its associated GHG emissions for three sizes of biorefinery including 50,000 m3 (small scale), 250,000 m3 (medium scale), and 700,000 m3 (large scale). The proposed methodology in this study includes harvest intensity which is often overlooked. The Pontiac region located in the Province of Quebec (Southeastern Canada) is used as a case study due to the availability of data in this forestry biomass rich region. Furthermore, there are significant similarities with other forestry regions to enable generalisation of the proposed case study. Harvest intensities of 423 harvest zones (cutblocks) are considered in cost and GHG emissions analysis of delivered biomass from each cutblock to the biorefinery. The results show that harvest intensities of cutblocks must be prioritized over conventional parameters such as transportation distance. The selection and prioritisation of cutblocks according to transportation distance without considering harvest intensities would result in an increase of about 12.5% in delivered costs of biomass for small and medium scale biorefineries. Results also reveal that the transportation distance would be a more significant parameter when using the same harvest intensity for all the selected cutblocks. Required logistics and harvesting equipment for three biorefinery sizes were also quantified. Sensitivity analysis shows that reduced productivity of harvest equipment by 20% could increase the delivered costs of biomass and GHG emissions by 10% for medium and large scale biorefineries and by 13% for a small scale biorefinery.


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  • Accession Number: 01766073
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 11 2021 5:48PM