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Individual Highlight

Techno-economic and Environmental Assessments of Storing Woodchips and Pellets for Bioenergy Applications

Photo of Wood chips storage types (Top-left: Outdoor-open, Top-right: Outdoor-tarped, Bottom-left: Indoor, Bottom-right: Silo)Wood chips storage types (Top-left: Outdoor-open, Top-right: Outdoor-tarped, Bottom-left: Indoor, Bottom-right: Silo)Snapshot : Storage is the critical operation within the biomass supply chain to reduce feedstock supply risks and to manage smooth year-around operations of a biorefinery or a bioenergy plant. Moreover, storage incurs the cost and produces potent greenhouse gases that can have negative impacts on the economic feasibility and environmental benefits of bioenergy supply chain. Researchers analyzed different woodchip and wood-pellet storage systems and identified the best strategy to store those using techno-economic models.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Sahoo, KamalakantaBergman, Richard, PhD
Research Location : Madison, WI
Research Station : Forest Products Laboratory (FPL)
Year : 2018
Highlight ID : 1502


Researchers analyzed the economic and environmental impacts of four different biomass storage systems for woodchips (outdoor-open, outdoor-tarped, indoor, and silo) and two systems for pellets (indoor and silo). Among four storage systems, the outdoor-tarped storage were the least-cost options for woodchips and pellets respectively. However, silo-storage could be the most promising option for storing woodchips and pellets if it is used for short-term (two months) and frequently (at least six times) in a year. The initial moisture content, bulk density, DML, and resource required during handling were the most sensitive parameters influenced the storage performances of both woodchips and pellets. The results illustrated that a combination of different storage options can reduce the total annual biomass storage cost for a biorefinery or power plant having both short and long terms biomass storage requirements.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Forest Products Laboratory
  • University of Georgia