Multi-Spatial Analysis of Forest Residue Utilization for Bioenergy

Daniel Inman, Ryan Jacobson, Robert Keefe, Alistair Smith, Scott Metlen, Darin Saul, Soren Newman, Tamara Laninga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus Citations


The alternative energy sector is expanding quickly in the USA since passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Increased interest in wood-based bioenergy has led to the need for robust modeling methods to analyze woody biomass operations at landscape scales. However, analyzing woody biomass operations in regions like the US Inland Northwest is difficult due to highly variable terrain and wood characteristics. We developed the Forest Residue Economic Assessment Model (FREAM) to better integrate with Geographical Information Systems and overcome analytical modeling limitations. FREAM analyzes wood-based bioenergy logistics systems and provides a modeling platform that can be readily modified to analyze additional study locations. We evaluated three scenarios to test the FREAM’s utility: a local-scale scenario in which a catalytic pyrolysis process produces gasoline from 181 437 Mg yr−1 of forest residues, a regional-scale scenario that assumes a biochemical process to create aviation fuel from 725 748 Mg yr−1 of forest residues, and an international scenario that assumes a pellet mill producing pellets for international markets from 272 155 Mg yr−1 of forest residues. The local scenario produced gasoline for a modeled cost of $22.33 GJ−1*, the regional scenario produced aviation fuel for a modeled cost of $35.83 GJ−1 and the international scenario produced pellets for a modeled cost of $10.51 GJ−1. Results show that incorporating input from knowledgeable stakeholders in the designing of a model yields positive results.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)560-575
Number of pages16
JournalBiofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-6A20-69132


  • bioenergy
  • catalytic pyrolysis
  • Inland Northwest
  • modeling
  • supply chain analysis


Dive into the research topics of 'Multi-Spatial Analysis of Forest Residue Utilization for Bioenergy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this