BioEnergy- The Nation's Forests, Delivering Innovative Technology

Future Forest Benefits in BioEnergy & BioBased Products

Our mission is to develop and deliver knowledge and innovative technology to improve the health and use of the Nation’s forests and rangelands. Working with partners across public and private sectors, we create knowledge and technology to sustainably manage forest and rangelands to provide goods, services, and values now and into the future.      SRS Strategy...

Pilot-scale gasification of woody biomass
Utilization of Southern Forest Resources


One of the greatest challenges facing forest managers in the United States on both public and private land is maintaining, and enhancing the productivity of forests. Many forests are at risk from fire, insect, or disease. This requires the removal of large quantities of small-diameter and low-quality wood that currently have little or no commercial value.

Converting this low-quality wood (biomass) into energy provides numerous benefits, such as improved ecosystem health, reduced wildfire fuels, improved wildlife habitat, enhanced watershed protection and economic opportunities.

SRS Biomass Updates

  Short Rotation Woody Crops in the Mississippi Valley
Estimates of potential demand for renewable energy suggest that conventional forests may not be able to meet the demand for woody biomass. Short rotation woody crops could be one approach.

  Southern Woody Biomass to Energy Products
National assessments of energy use highlight the need to develop renewable alternatives for electricity, heat, and liquid fuels. While biomass supply estimates have shown that nearly 300 million dry tons of woody biomass could be available...

  Biomass Site Assessment Tools (BioSAT)
The stability of sustainable woody and agricultural biomass markets hinges on improved methods to spatially assess and display the risk and cost of supply and logistics from farms and forests to collection or conversion facilities by geographic location.

  A Spatially-Defined Comparison of Environmental, Economic, and Societal Factors Impacting Biomass Accessibility
Farms and forests as well as communities and their economies are part of the landscape. These constraints affect the amount and type of biomass potentially available...

  Assessing Spatially-explicit Short Rotation Woody Crop (SRWC) Production Metrics
One of the first challenges for any commercial activity requiring SRWC is to determine where suitable and available lands are located. Site selection must consider...

  Social Acceptability of Biomass Harvesting
Southern forests have the potential to supply woody biomass feedstocks for a range of energy products, from electricity to pellets and liquid fuels. The American public generally supports increased production of renewable energy from domestic sources.

  Biomass Harvesting and Sustainability
The growing interest in using woody biomass from southern forests for energy production raises questions about possible impacts of new harvesting practices.

Bioenergy Spotlight

Trees with Check Mark SuperimposedEffect of policy-based bioenergy demand on southern timber markets: A case study of North Carolina
Key factors driving renewable energy demand are state and federal policies requiring the use of renewable feedstocks to produce energy (renewable portfolio standards) and liquid fuels (renewable fuel standards). However, over the next decade, the infrastructure for renewable energy supplies is unlikely to develop as fast as both policy- and marketmotivated renewable energy demands

Trees with Check Mark SuperimposedNorth Carolina: A Bioenergy Case Study
State and Federal policies on renewable energy will, to a great extent, drive demand for wood-to-energy biomass feedstocks. Across the United States, 29 states and the District of Columbia have adopted renewable portfolio standards (RPS) mandating that a certain percent of the state’s energy come from renewable sources by a certain date.

Trees with Check Mark SuperimposedForest Biomass Retention & Harvesting Guidelines for the SE
by the Forest Guild Southeast Biomass Working Group. Guidelines for ensuring forests can support wildlife, maintain biodiversity, provide clean water, sequester carbon, protect forest soil productivity, and continue to produce income after a biomass harvest or repeated harvests


SRS Bioenergy Publications & Projects

High oil prices, worry over carbon emissions from fossil fuels, and national security concerns from importing approximately 70% of petroleum supplies raised the profile of the renewable power generation sector in the United States.

As a result, interest in further growing renewable energy generation, including through forest biomass, has strengthened. Today, renewable energy accounts for about 7% of total U.S. energy use. Of this, half is biomass, three-quarters of which comes from forests.      Read more...