Woody biomass could be used to generate energy in the western U.S. if the utilization process is both economically feasible and ecologically sustainable. The purpose of the RMRS-led Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) is to develop technologies, approaches, and new science that will help to make this possible.
This issue of the Bulletin is focused on research addressing challenges of the biomass supply chain, from the time that a forest treatment is initiated to the time that the biomass residue reaches an end user (a later issue will address the technology of biomass conversion after the material is delivered). A major roadblock to effective biomass utilization is the high handling costs and low market value of woody biomass.
As part of this project, new technologies are being developed to enhance biomass resources assessment, improve supply chain logistics, and reduce handling costs through equipment modification and more efficiently managing operations in forest treatment areas. and quickly assessing forest biomass supplies, new and innovative tools are now available.