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Portable in-woods pyrolysis: Using forest biomass to reduce forest fuels, increase soil productivity, and sequester carbon


Page-Dumroese, Deborah; Coleman, Mark; Jones, Greg; Venn, Tyron; Dumroese, R. Kasten; Anderson, Nathanial; Chung, Woodam; Loeffler, Dan; Archuleta, Jim; Kimsey, Mark; Badger, Phil; Shaw, Terry; McElligott, Kristin. 2009. Portable in-woods pyrolysis: Using forest biomass to reduce forest fuels, increase soil productivity, and sequester carbon. Paper presented at the North American biochar conference; August 9-12; Boulder, CO. Center for Energy and Environmental Security. 13 p.

We describe the use of an in-woods portable pyrolysis unit that converts forest biomass to bio-oil and the application of the byproduct bio-char in a field trial. We also discuss how in-woods processing may reduce the need for long haul distances of lowvalue woody biomass and eliminate open, currently wasteful burning of forest biomass. If transportation costs can be reduced by in-woods processing, conversion of biomass to bio-oil may be feasible. Application of bio-char, a byproduct of bio-oil production, to forest soils may help retain soil moisture and nutrients. We also describe the feasibility of pelletizing bio-char, our experience at distributing bio-char in a forest ecosystem and the immediate changes in forest soil physical properties, and its utility as a substrate for production of native plants in nurseries.

Keywords: in-woods portable pyrolysis, bio-oil, bio-char, forest biomass, forest fuels, soil productivity, carbon sequestration


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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Portable in-woods pyrolysis: Using forest biomass to reduce forest fuels, increase soil productivity, and sequester carbon
Electronic Publish Date: April 4, 2012
Last Update:
April 4, 2012

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