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The primary forest fuel supply chain: A literature review

Wolfsmayr, Ulrich J., Rauch, Peter
Biomass and bioenergy 2014 v.60 pp. 203-221
biomass, bulk density, carbon dioxide, energy conversion, energy density, feedstocks, forest roads, forests, fuels (fire ecology), greenhouse gas emissions, power plants, supply chain, wood
This paper provides a literature review of articles on the primary forest fuel supply chain which have been published in English speaking peer-reviewed journals from 1989 to 2011. The focus is on the key issues of the transportation of primary forest fuel to heat and/or power plants: (i) transportation modes, (ii) terminal types, and (iii) forest fuel supply chain management, and provides basics on the logistically relevant characteristics of wood as feedstock such as on various feedstock assortments.The analysed supply chains include the transshipment, storage, handling (e.g. chipping) and transportation of primary forest fuel from the place of harvest to energy conversion plant. Due to spatial distribution, low mass density, low energy density and low bulk density, the transportation of primary forest fuel is crucial for economic efficiency as well as for reduced CO2 emissions. As a consequence of forests accessibility, road transportation (after hauling the biomass to the forest road) is the first step of the modern primary forest fuel supply chain. For longer transportation distances, rail or waterway is preferred because of lower transportation costs per volume transported and lower CO2 emissions. We highlight that some experience exists in multimodal transport, including truck, train or ship. Intermodal transport, however, has not been studied in the past and, therefore, an outlook for the research requirements is made here.