You are on page 1of 3

Forestry residues and wood waste for biofuel production


A study on the Future of the European Forest-Based Sector: Structural Changes Towards
Bioeconomy was published in late 2014 by the European Forest Institute. Further links to EC and
national activites on forest biomass production and use are included below.

Two main types of forestry resources are used for demonstrations of advanced biofuel production:

a) Residues from harvest operations that are left in the forest after stem wood removal, such as branches,
foliage, roots, etc.

b) Complementary fellings which describe the difference between the maximum sustainable harvest level
and the actual harvest needed to satisfy round wood demand.

Not all forest residues can be removed, some must be left in situ to provide ecological benefits (e.g. to
provide habitat, and improve soils).

In addition, wood wastes from a range of sources (e.g. construction or demolition wastes, waste from
manufacturing of wood-based products) can potentially be used for bioenergy and biofuels production.
Wood wastes are widely used as local fuel sources across the world, by combustion in wood burners or
larger biomass boilers.

At industrial scale, forest residues and waste wood can be converted to advanced biofuels or intermediates,
such asBioSNG, Biocrude, BtL, Methanol or BioDME, through various thermochemical pathways.

Envionmental and commercial benefits of harvesting biomass to both maintain forest

health and provide feedstock

In 2014, 200,000 tons of biomass were removed from federal lands through the Biomass Crop Assistance
Program in the US. This provided dual commercial/environmental benefits of removing diseased and
hazardous trees, and optimising forest health, while providing valuable feedstock for bioenergy production.

Examples of demonstrations using wood waste for advanced bioenergy and

biofuels production

On 18 December 2012 it was announced that GoBiGas Phase 2, Sweden, had been selected to receive
counterpart funding of 58.8m under the first call for proposals of the NER300 funding programme for
innovative low-carbon technologies. The Project will demonstrate the large-scale conversion of low-quality
wood into high quality synthetic natural gas (SNG) by indirect gasification at atmospheric pressure, gas
cleaning, methane production (via nickel catalyst), pressurization and injecting the product into the
regional gas network. The Project will make use of forestry feedstock, which consists of pulpwood and
forest residues harvested from the surrounding areas of Gothenburg, the Lake Vnern and Baltic region.
The volume of ~0.5 Mt/year of wet biomass will be used in the Project, which has an installed capacity of
~100 MWth to produce 800 GWh/year of gas (SNG).

In December 2013, it was announced that work will begin on a 10.3 MW biomass gasification plant in
Tyseley, UK. The plant will be developed by Carbonarius, a joint venture of O-Gen UK and UNA Group,
with a 47.8m investment by the UK Green Investment Bank and Foresight Group. The plant will be built
and operated by MWH, based in Broomfield, US, and will use the biomass gasification process of the
Canadian firm Nexterra Systems to convert 67,000 metric tons of locally-sourced woodwaste into power.
The feedstock will be supplied by JM Envirofuels Ltd.

In March 2012, Fortum, Finland announced an investment of ~ EUR 20 million to build a bio-oil plant,
based on fast pyrolysis technology, connected to the Joensuu CHP plant, which will be the " first of its kind
in the world on an industrial scale." The bio-oil raw materials will include forest residues and other wood
based biomass. The integrated plant will produce electricity and district heat and in the future also 50,000
tonnes of bio-oil per year. The bio-oil raw materials will include forest residues and other wood based

the Empyro project, supported under FP7, will build and demonstrate a 25 MWth polygeneration pyrolysis
plant to produce electricity, process steam and fuel oil from woody biomass.

2 pyrolysis projects using wood waste were selected for counterpart funding under the second phase
of NER300. These included a fast pyrolysis plant in Estonia to convert 130,000 tonnes of wood chips to
pyrolysis oil (heavy fuel oil), and a CHP pyrolysis facility in Latvia using 100,000 tonnes of wood chips. Both
plants plan to export pyrolysis oil to replace heavy fuel oil in Sweden and Finland.

In December 2011, CHO Power SAS (a subsidiary of Europlasma) and Sunrise Renewables announced
plans to build 4 high temperature plasma gasification facilities at UK docks to convert waste wood into
clean syngas. The Syngas will be cleaned further and the tar removed, prior to power production via gas
engine generators.

CHO Power is also developing a demonstration facility in Morcenx, France that will gasify 37,000 tonnes of
ordinary industrial waste and 15,000 tonnes wood chips per annum, generating power for EDF.

In northern Europe (e.g. Sweden, Finland) it has been demonstrated in long-term experiments that the
potential sustainable harvest level can be drastically increased by means of fertilisation, which will increase
the amount of biomass available for bioenergy and round wood for the industry.

EC and national activites on production and mobilisation of forestry

On 20 September 2013 the Commission adopted a new EU Forest Strategy which responds to the new
challenges facing forests and the forest sector. The new Strategy gives a new framework in response to the
increasing demands put on forests and to significant societal and political changes that have affected
forests over the last 15 years. It was developed by the Commission in close cooperation with Member
States and stakeholders over the past two years and has been submitted to the European Parliament and
the Council.

See also Sustainable Foresty and the European Union and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (US).

ROKWOOD is an FP7 project to support the cooperation between six European research-driven clusters in
order to improve research and technological development (RTD), market uptake and to increase
investments in wooden biomass production and utilisation schemes at regional level. The six participating
regional clusters will be co-ordinated in order to develop a Joint Action Plan (JAP) at European level to drive
economic development through research and technological development activities in the selected topics of
sustainable production and efficient use of wooden biomass.

Futureforest project is a partnership of regions sharing ideas on how the forests of Europe could adapt to
climate change using innovative natural solutions, contribute towards carbon sequestration and reduce
risks caused by climate change such as flooding, drought, fire and soil erosion.

EuWood - Real Potential for Changes in Growth and Use of EU Forests addressed biomass demand,
supply, potential and constraints and review of policies. Download all presentations (8Mb Zip file) from
the EUWood Stakeholders meeting on 4 2010 June.

In June 2010, the EUwood project published a report that examines the potential availability of wood in
Europe: Real potential for changes in growth and use of EU forests.