System analysis of forest feedstock supply chains with extended biofuel production

To fulfill the future demand of forest biomass, an intensification of forest harvesting and an increase in efficiency of the forest supply chains may be needed. This intensification and the new technologies for biomass procurement, production and distribution may result in altered sustainability impacts for forest  ecosystems, forest management, and industry.

This project  investigates the effects of developing a regional traditional forest wood chain setting into a structure with extended biofuel procurement and production. The aim of the first phase of the project is to compare costs and energy use of  an innovative integrated supply of stem-wood and residual biomass to conventional  harvesting methods, technologies and practices, in the supply chain from forest to three potential biorefineries in Northern Sweden.

However, cost and energy analysis are not enough to understand the implications that forest wood chains with extended biofuel production could have on forest ecosystems and forest management. This is the reason why in the next phase of the project Life Cycle Assessment will be used  in order to identify and compare the environmental impacts of the different forest supply chains.