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Special Issue "Sustainable Biomass Supply Integration for Bioenergy within the Broader Bioeconomy"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "B3: Bio-Energy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 August 2022 | Viewed by 4087

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Ioannis Dimitriou
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Crop Production Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 75007 Uppsala, Sweden
Interests: short rotation coppice; short rotation forestry; multifunctional biomass production systems; biomass for systems in the bioeconomy
Prof. Dr. Mark Brown
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Forest Research Institute, University of the Sunshine Coast, Locked Bag 4, Maroochydore, QLD 4558, Australia
Interests: forest supply chains; biomass supply chains; transportation; logistics; circular economy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Biljana Kulisic
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia
Interests: bioeconomy; bioenergy; biomass supply; circular business models; concerted policy
Prof. Dr. Evelyne Thiffault
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Research Centre on Renewable Materials, Department of Wood and Forest Sciences, Laval University, Qubec City, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
Interests: forest bioenergy; forest soils; forest ecology and management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Guest Editor invites submissions to a Special Issue of Energies, entitled “Sustainable Biomass Supply Integration for Bioenergy within the Broader Bioeconomy”.

Modern bioenergy plays an essential role in the International Energy Agency 2°C Scenario (2DS), providing nearly 17% of the final energy demand for 2060 compared to 4.5% in 2015; current bioenergy deployment in the transport, electricity and heat sectors is well below the levels required to follow the 2DS trajectory. At the same time, many other sectors of the economy are increasingly looking to biomass as a sustainable supply of low-carbon construction materials, chemicals and fibres to replace fossil fuels with renewable feedstocks to mitigate global climate change. Bioeconomy conceptualises the development, mobilisation and use of renewable carbon sources for a range of applications, depicting bioenergy as one of several uses of resources, either as the primary purpose or following a cascading approach.

To sustainably support the repositioning of biomass supply for bioenergy within the broader bioeconomy, significant advances in the methods, technologies and systems deployed for biomass production, supply and logistics are needed. The provision of available biomass must increase through improved production and mobilisation systems, greater and more efficient use of residue streams, better overall recovery of available biomass, and resource efficiency in all sectors.

This publication will focus on the above issues and will accept contributions that consider, but are not limited to, the following topics of interest:

  • Sustainable integrated land management strategies contributing to increased biomass mobilisation in existing and emerging agriculture and forestry lignocellulosic systems.
  • Biomass crops showing potential to deliver increased biomass volume while contributing a feedstock that improves the quality and value of the biomass, as required by given bioenergy technologies.
  • Opportunities to contribute new biomass sources aiming to improve the quality and value of the overall supply chain and lower quality residue feedstocks.
  • Innovative biomass supply chain and logistics systems that efficiently recover and deliver higher quality biomass for multiple products and markets, including bioenergy.
  • Quality drivers for the biomass supply of different bioenergy technologies.
  • Emerging bioeconomy supply chain and logistics systems to develop integrated solutions for the production and supply of higher quality biomass.
  • Shared views on strategies to increase the quantity, quality, value and reliability of biomass supply and logistics.
  • Improved knowledge of the socioeconomic values of biomass crops as a part of local, regional and national renewable energy strategies.
  • Scale and scope of different biomass crops that can economically service a given bioenergy market/demand.
  • Key drivers of sustainability for biomass crops and supply chains.
  • Best practices and innovative solutions of existing commercial biomass supply chains.
  • The role of the preprocessing or pretreatment of biomass at different points in the supply chain to increase its value and quality for certain technologies.

Prof. Dr. Ioannis Dimitriou
Prof. Dr. Mark Brown
Dr. Biljana Kulisic
Prof. Dr. Evelyne Thiffault
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • biomass supply chains
  • sustainable bioenergy
  • bioeconomy
  • land management

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Article
Industrial End-Users’ Preferred Characteristics for Wood Biomass Feedstocks
Energies 2022, 15(10), 3721; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15103721 - 19 May 2022
Viewed by 316
Abstract
The use of sustainably sourced biomass is an important tool for mitigating the effects of climate change; but biomass is far from being a homogeneous resource. The aim of this study was to examine the decision-making process of industrial end-users considering biomass procurement. [...] Read more.
The use of sustainably sourced biomass is an important tool for mitigating the effects of climate change; but biomass is far from being a homogeneous resource. The aim of this study was to examine the decision-making process of industrial end-users considering biomass procurement. An online, two-part survey generated responses from 27 experienced professionals, representing a portfolio of facilities varying in size, technology, and biomass types, across Australia, Canada, Finland, and Sweden. A PAPRIKA conjoint analysis approach was used to analyze the data so that the attributes that influenced procurement decisions could be weighted and ranked. The results provided an insight into end-users’ views on factors including facility location, size, and biomass storage, handling, and procurement for different wood-based industrial services. The most important decision-making attribute appeared to be the type of biomass assortment, at individual, national, and aggregated levels. Of seven sub-categories of biomass assortments, sawdust (35%) was the most preferred type followed by stem wood chips (20%) and energy wood (15%). We concluded that, from the end-user’s perspective, a pre-defined biomass assortment is the most important factor when deciding on feedstock procurement at a bioenergy facility. These results help us better understand end-users’ perceptions of biomass properties in relation to their conversion processes and supply preferences and can inform product development and the securement of new niches in alternative business environments by existing and future biohubs. Full article
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Article
Sieving and Covering of Wood Chips Improves Storability
Energies 2022, 15(8), 2953; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15082953 - 18 Apr 2022
Viewed by 317
Abstract
Minimising dry matter losses during storage of comminuted forest fuels is desirable from both an economic and a sustainability perspective. This study examined fuel quality and amount of recovered energy during the storage of forest wood chips stored at full industrial scale at [...] Read more.
Minimising dry matter losses during storage of comminuted forest fuels is desirable from both an economic and a sustainability perspective. This study examined fuel quality and amount of recovered energy during the storage of forest wood chips stored at full industrial scale at three locations, and the effect of sieving and covering piles with a water-resistant, vapour-permeable fabric. Sieving wood chips before storage, that is, reducing the number of fines smaller than 8 mm, reduced the cumulative dry matter losses to <2%, while cumulative dry matter losses after storage for 4–6 months using current practices, that is, unsieved and uncovered, reached 10.6%. The combined effect of storage management led to a value loss of 11.5%, while both covering and sieving led to lower losses, with the combination of sieving and covering giving a 1.3% value increase, and thus, increased storability. Full article
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Article
Performance of an Innovative Bio-Based Wood Chip Storage Pile Cover—Can It Replace Plastic Tarps?
Energies 2022, 15(5), 1680; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15051680 - 24 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 461
Abstract
There is currently great general interest in reducing the use of fossil-based materials. Fossil-based tarps are still widely used as cover for wood chip storage piles, causing additional waste or requiring further waste treatment in the supply chain. This study aimed to investigate [...] Read more.
There is currently great general interest in reducing the use of fossil-based materials. Fossil-based tarps are still widely used as cover for wood chip storage piles, causing additional waste or requiring further waste treatment in the supply chain. This study aimed to investigate the performance of an innovative bio-based wood chip pile cover compared to conventional treatments (plastic-covered and uncovered) in eastern Finnish conditions. The experiment evaluated the drying process during the storage of stemwood chips during 5.9 months of storage. It included the developments of temperature, moisture content, heating value, energy content, basic density, particle size distribution, and the dry matter losses of a total of six piles. As a result, the forest stemwood chips dried by 11%, with dry-matter losses of 4.3%, when covered with the bio-pile cover. Using the plastic covering, the forest stemwood chips dried by 22%, with dry matter losses of 2.9%. At the end of the experiment, the energy content in plastic-covered piles was 6.1% higher than uncovered piles and 3.1% higher than bio-pile-covered piles. While differences in the key drying performance parameters can be observed, the differences between uncovered piles and those covered with plastic tarps, as well as between the bio-based and the uncovered piles, were not statistically significant. We conclude that the bio-based cover, under the studied conditions, do not render better storage conditions than in current practices. However, our study indicates possible fossil-substitutional benefits by using a bio-based cover, which calls for further R&D work in this matter. Full article
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Article
Use of Participatory Processes in Wood Residue Management from a Circular Bioeconomy Perspective: An Approach Adopted in Italy
Energies 2022, 15(3), 1011; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15031011 - 29 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 522
Abstract
The circular bioeconomy is aimed at achieving sustainable development through high efficiency utilization and resource recycling, and through combining environmental, economic and social objectives. Although the implementation of circular bioeconomy principles is based on a bottom-up approach, the participatory process has often been [...] Read more.
The circular bioeconomy is aimed at achieving sustainable development through high efficiency utilization and resource recycling, and through combining environmental, economic and social objectives. Although the implementation of circular bioeconomy principles is based on a bottom-up approach, the participatory process has often been neglected. To overcome this problem, the present study investigated a case-study with a three-step participatory process. The process aimed to evaluate a forest-wood supply chain with consideration of the circular bioeconomy principles. A set of indicators was identified and assessed by a pool of experts. Then the members of a forest-wood supply chain were consulted to implement the identified actions. Finally, a focus group was organized with key stakeholders to discuss critical issues and strategies for enhancing the forest-wood supply chain locally. The results show that the proposed set of indicators is a useful tool to evaluate the performance of the forest-wood supply chain considering the circular bioeconomy principles. The results of the participatory process and related indicators’ assessment identified the main weaknesses of the forest-wood supply chain. The main strategies to develop the local forest-wood supply chain toward the circular bioeconomy principles were also defined with a participatory approach. Full article
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Article
Forest Bio-Hubs to Enhance Forest Health While Supporting the Emerging Bioeconomy—A Comparison between Three U.S. Regions
Energies 2022, 15(3), 931; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15030931 - 27 Jan 2022
Viewed by 632
Abstract
The emerging bioeconomy requires new supply chain paradigms for biomass materials to reach processing centers. Forest bio-hubs can be thought of as networks of collection points to facilitate biomass supply chains that feed from forest to central processing facilities. The design and functionality [...] Read more.
The emerging bioeconomy requires new supply chain paradigms for biomass materials to reach processing centers. Forest bio-hubs can be thought of as networks of collection points to facilitate biomass supply chains that feed from forest to central processing facilities. The design and functionality of forest bio-hubs depends on the form (e.g., vertically and horizontally integrated), and the quality and volume of feedstocks. In this paper we conceptually develop the potential role of forest bio-hubs. We then compare current bio-hub development in three U.S. regions—the Pacific Northwest, the southwest region, and the southeastern U.S. We use a “SWOT” framework to compare strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for each region. We consider transportation distances, topography, proximity to markets, harvesting methods, and wood products development. Innovation and adaptability would play key roles in forest bio-hub development, especially with dynamic conditions related to markets, wildfire risks, biomass utilization policy, and community socioeconomic factors. Full article
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Article
Biomass Potential of the Marginal Land of the Polish Sudetes Mountain Range
Energies 2021, 14(21), 7156; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14217156 - 01 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 566
Abstract
Marginal land is the area remaining in agricultural use, which is not suitable for food production because of its unfavorable ecological, anthropological, and economic conditions. A certain amount of such land exists in mountainous areas. An analysis was undertaken on the example of [...] Read more.
Marginal land is the area remaining in agricultural use, which is not suitable for food production because of its unfavorable ecological, anthropological, and economic conditions. A certain amount of such land exists in mountainous areas. An analysis was undertaken on the example of the Polish Sudeten mountain range of energy use. The study aimed to estimate the biomass potential for the efficient use of agricultural land in mountain areas. The characteristics of the Polish Sudeten Mountains mountain range were characterized using Geographic Information System (GIS) methods. The Polish Sudeten Mountains covers an area of 370,392 ha, 95,341 ha of which is arable land, 35,726 ha of which is class 5 bonitation land with a northern exposure of 19,030 ha and southern exposure of 16,696 ha. Depending on the sowing structure, we can obtain 331,639 tons/year of dry biomass (Miscanthus sacchariflorus on the southern and Helianthus tuberoses on northern exposure). Fertilization levels will significantly affect low yielding plants, and water stress significantly reduced yields in all cases. Due to the steep slope of the 5th-grade halves and intensive rainfall in the mountain region, the establishment of perennial plantations is recommended. The research shows that after the first year of cultivation, yields of 9.27 tons/ha of dry matter can be obtained with a low yield of trees, shrubs and perennials. Full article
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Review

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Review
Sugar Beet Pulp in the Context of Developing the Concept of Circular Bioeconomy
Energies 2022, 15(1), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15010175 - 28 Dec 2021
Viewed by 413
Abstract
The primary objective of this paper is to identify the possibilities of using sugar beet pulp as feedstock to produce a variety of added-value products. Such an application of the sugar production byproducts contributes to implementing circular bio-economy, which is a source of [...] Read more.
The primary objective of this paper is to identify the possibilities of using sugar beet pulp as feedstock to produce a variety of added-value products. Such an application of the sugar production byproducts contributes to implementing circular bio-economy, which is a source of many economic, social, and environmental benefits. Specific objectives of this paper are: (1) Presenting the concept and meaning of circular bio-economy. (2) Characterizing properties of the sugar beet pulp from the perspective of using them as feedstock. (3) Determining the volume of production of the sugar beet pulp and the current methods of using them. (4) Determining the methods of obtaining attractive bioproducts and renewable energy from sugar beet pulp. Special attention was given to the amount of sugar beet pulp produced in Polish sugar refineries. Poland is among the European countries in which the volume of produced sugar is especially high. Therefore, the problem of appropriate waste management in the Polish sugar industry gains significant importance. The conducted literature review demonstrated that sugar beet pulp might be used as a feedstock in the production of many bio-products produced using a variety of methods. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

1. Integrated biomass residue management in Sandalwood Plantations

David Lee, Sam Van Holsbeeck

2. Bioenergy in remote Indigenous communities

Sam Van Holsbeeck, John Meadows, Mark Annandale

3. Innovative ecological pile cover for biomass chip storage

Robert Prinz

4. Assessment of a Bio-hub to facilitate a profitable bioeconomy for the Albany region, Western Australia

Mark Brown, Sam Van Holsbeeck, Justine Edwards

5. Business models to turn existing post-harvest facilities into agrarian bio-hubs

Kulisic, B.; Radic, T.; Matin, A.; Jurisic, V.; Njavro, M.

6. Bio-hubs for dedicated biomass for bioenergy within bioeconomy.

Kulisic, B.; Radic, T.; Matin, A.; Jurisic, V.; Dimitriou, I.; Njavro, M

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