Special Issue "Forest Sustainability: Wood Yield and Biomass Utilization"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Wood Science and Forest Products".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (5 June 2021) | Viewed by 4389

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Kazuhiro Aruga
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Forest Science, Utsunomiya University, 350 Mine, Utsunomiya 321-8505, Japan
Interests: forest engineering; forest operation; forest road; biomass harvesting
Dr. Nathaniel Anderson
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Rocky Mountain Research Station, United States Forest Service, 800 East Beckwith Ave, Missoula, MT, USA
Interests: forest operations research; forest management; forest economics; forestry for climate change adaptation and mitigation
Dr. Robert Prinz
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Yliopistokatu 6B, FI-80100 Joensuu, Finland
Interests: forest technology; biomass chipping; forest biomass logistics; forest supply chain design; forest machine fuel consumption

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

To secure a stable energy supply and reduce GHG emissions, renewable alternatives to fossil fuels, including solar, wind, hydro, geothermal heat, and biomass, need to be developed. The oil crises of the 1970s spurred research into bioenergy from woody biomass. Although promising results were obtained from many studies, widespread commercial bioenergy capacity was not developed because the crude oil price stabilized at a lower level and the expected demand for energy alternatives declined. Since the 1990s, however, woody biomass has been the focus of renewed interest as a renewable and carbon-neutral energy resource that can help mitigate climate change and improve energy security.

Forests serve a critical role in climate change mitigation, in which forests sequester carbon from the atmosphere and store carbon in wood. Therefore, forests need to be continuously and properly managed, and sustainably harvested wood should be utilized at all levels—from building materials, furniture, board, and paper to chemical products and fuel. However, in many countries, forests have been degraded due to overuse or mismanagement. In some developing counties, almost all wood yield is used for firewood or charcoal production. In other countries, traditional forest product industries have been depressed and forest bioenergy and advanced bioproducts are expected to contribute to revitalizing forest product industries and local economy in regions where forestry and the forest industry are the major source of income. Some counties also have serious problems with overstocked, dense forests which are behind in tending and subject to forest fires and other large-scale disturbances. In these situations, tending operations and energy utilization are also expected to contribute to making forests healthier and more resilient to wildfire.

This Special Issue of Forests is focused on the sustainability of wood yield in the context of active forest management. To utilize wood and forest biomass resources for bioenergy, technically feasible and economically viable wood and forest biomass resources should be estimated accurately considering their long-term availability as well as important environmental and social aspects, while maintaining or enhancing the ecological, economic, and social functions of forests. To promote sustainable wood and biomass utilization, cost-effective and environmentally friendly wood and forest biomass supply chain management should be developed in order to meet the demand for both traditional uses and new innovative high-added-value materials. Innovation is also required in order to replace outdated facilities, systems, and equipment with more efficient and low-GHG-emission options at multiple points along the bioenergy and bioproducts supply chains. Prospective authors are invited to contribute original manuscripts to this Special Issue covering the following subjects:

  1. Forest sustainability to maintain ecological, economic and social functions;
  2. Forest landscape restoration;
  3. Long-term availability of technically feasible and economically viable wood and forest biomass resources considering environmental and social aspects;
  4. Sustainable forest operations including road management, stand establishment and treatment, as well as human factors;
  5. Cost-effective and environmentally friendly wood and forest biomass supply chain management;
  6. High-added-value new materials and bioenergy pathways as well as efficient and low-GHG-emission facilities and equipment.

This list is not exclusive, and prospective authors may submit manuscripts from any field. Submissions can be structured to reflect any of the accepted paper types—namely, research papers, short communications, and review papers. Please click on the Instructions for Authors button for more details regarding paper submission.

Dr. Kazuhiro Aruga
Dr. Nathaniel Anderson
Dr. Robert Prinz
Guest Editors

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. Forests is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 2000 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

  • Forest sustainability
  • Forest landscape restoration
  • Long-term availability
  • Sustainable forest operations
  • Supply chain management
  • High-added-value material
  • Wood processing and forest biomass utilization

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Characteristic Value of the Modulus of Elasticity (MOE) for Natural and Planted Larch in Northeast China
Forests 2021, 12(7), 883; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12070883 - 06 Jul 2021
Viewed by 699
Abstract
The density and modulus of elasticity (MOE) distribution can provide information on the effectiveness of parametric and non-parametric methods in calculating the characteristic value of MOE. In this study, we aim to determine the optimal distribution model of the actual measured data of [...] Read more.
The density and modulus of elasticity (MOE) distribution can provide information on the effectiveness of parametric and non-parametric methods in calculating the characteristic value of MOE. In this study, we aim to determine the optimal distribution model of the actual measured data of the lumber. We also estimate the lumber’s MOE characteristic value and compare the difference in density and MOE between natural and planted larch. Approximately 1200 pieces of dimension lumber of 4 m × 140 mm × 40 mm in size, made from larch and planted larch, were obtained, tested, and the corresponding standard MOE value was calculated. Results revealed the 3-parameter Weibull distribution to be optimal in fitting the natural and planted larch distributions. The parametric method proved effective in calculating the characteristic value of both larch groups, with characteristic MOE values of 9.73 kN/mm2 and 8.84 kN/mm2, and characteristic density values of 530 kg/m3 and 460 kg/m3 for natural and planted larch, respectively. Moreover, the MOE and density values followed grades C40 and C35. Thus, the conclusion is that the parametric method should be used to determine these characteristic values for natural and planted larch. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Sustainability: Wood Yield and Biomass Utilization)
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Article
Annual Availability of Forest Biomass Resources for Woody Biomass Power Generation Plants from Subcompartments and Aggregated Forests in Tohoku Region of Japan
Forests 2021, 12(1), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12010071 - 09 Jan 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 983
Abstract
To utilize timber and forest biomass resources for bioenergy, technically feasible and economically viable timber and forest biomass resources should be estimated accurately considering their long-term availability. This study focuses on five prefectures, namely, Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Akita, and Yamagata, and considers trade [...] Read more.
To utilize timber and forest biomass resources for bioenergy, technically feasible and economically viable timber and forest biomass resources should be estimated accurately considering their long-term availability. This study focuses on five prefectures, namely, Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Akita, and Yamagata, and considers trade between these prefectures. The annual availability of timber and forest biomass resources, such as small-diameter or defect stem logs, rather than logging residues in Japan was estimated as supply potential from profitable forests where expected revenues surpassed all costs, from planting to final harvest. As a result, the supply potential and annual availability of timber were estimated at 11,388,960 m3/year and 1,631,624 m3/year, whereas those of forest biomass resources were estimated at 2,277,792 m3/year and 326,325 m3/year, respectively. Therefore, the rate of annual availability to supply potential was 14.3%. Since timber production and wood chip usage from thinned woods and logging residues in 2018 were 4,667,000 m3/year and 889,600 m3/year, the rates of annual availability for timber and forest biomass resources to those values were 35.0% and 36.7%, respectively. Furthermore, the demand was estimated at 951,740 m3/year from 100,000 m3/year with a generation capacity of 5 MW. The rate of forest biomass resource availability to demand was 34.2%. A thinning subsidy was provided for operational site areas larger than 5 ha in Japan. The rates from subcompartments and aggregated forests with a thinning subsidy increased to 91.4% and 190.3%, respectively. Thus, the estimated availability from aggregated forests with a thinning subsidy met the demand sufficiently in this region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Sustainability: Wood Yield and Biomass Utilization)
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Article
Selection of Eucalyptus camaldulensis Families for Sustainable Pulpwood Production by Means of Anatomical Characteristics
Forests 2021, 12(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12010031 - 29 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 859
Abstract
Sustainable pulpwood production from fast-growing tree plantations is needed for pulp and paper industries. To increase the pulpwood production efficiency, the anatomical characteristics and derived-wood properties of 75 trees from 15 half-sib families of Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh. planted in Thailand were investigated, and [...] Read more.
Sustainable pulpwood production from fast-growing tree plantations is needed for pulp and paper industries. To increase the pulpwood production efficiency, the anatomical characteristics and derived-wood properties of 75 trees from 15 half-sib families of Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh. planted in Thailand were investigated, and then the family was classified by suitability of wood as raw material for pulp and paper products using principal component analysis and clustering. The mean values of vessel diameter, vessel frequency, fibre diameter, fibre lumen diameter, and fibre wall thickness at 2 cm from the cambium were 128 µm, 16 no./mm2, 11.1 µm, 7.1 µm, and 1.88 µm, respectively. In addition, the Runkel ratio, Luce’s shape factor, flexibility coefficient, slenderness ratio, solids factor, and wall coverage ratio (i.e., derived-wood properties) were 0.53, 0.42, 0.64, 85.3, 68 × 103 µm3, and 0.34, respectively. Significant differences in fibre diameter, fibre lumen diameter, and Runkel ratio were found among families. Although significant differences among families were not found for other anatomical characteristics and derived-wood properties, the p-values obtained by an analysis of variance test ranged from 0.050 to 0.088. Based on the results of a principal component analysis and cluster analysis, 15 families were classified into four clusters with different expected pulp and paper characteristics. The suitability of wood from E. camaldulensis half-sib families for pulp and paper can be evaluated by principal component analysis using anatomical characteristics and physical properties as variables. Based on the results, desirable pulp and paper quality may be obtained through the selection of families from this species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Sustainability: Wood Yield and Biomass Utilization)
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Article
Sulfur Recovery from Syngas in Pulp Mills with Integrated Black Liquor Gasification
Forests 2020, 11(11), 1173; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11111173 - 03 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1033
Abstract
Research Highlights: As to fill the current knowledge gap and to deliver important findings to the scientific community, efficient sulfur recovery from black liquor gasifier syngas, comprising both gas cleaning and returning sulfur to the pulping process, was modeled and assessed from a [...] Read more.
Research Highlights: As to fill the current knowledge gap and to deliver important findings to the scientific community, efficient sulfur recovery from black liquor gasifier syngas, comprising both gas cleaning and returning sulfur to the pulping process, was modeled and assessed from a techno-economic viewpoint. This manuscript proves that the associated investment and operational costs cannot be neglected and that they impact the black liquor gasification feasibility significantly. To prove its gasification as a sustainable and more efficient processing route over its combustion in recovery boilers, a substantial process efficiency improvement and operating costs reduction must be targeted in future research. Background and Objectives: Sulfur compounds found in black liquor partly turn into hydrogen sulfide during gasification and exit the gasifier in the syngas. Their efficient recovery in their sulfidic form to the pulping process is of utmost importance. Current studies focus on black liquor gasifier syngas desulfurization only. Materials and Methods: A mathematical model of two H2S absorption units from a 66.7 tDS/h (1600 tons dry solids per day) black liquor gasification process to 20 ppm H2S content in cleaned syngas using either white liquor plus NaOH or N-methyldiethanolamine (MDEA) was created using the Aspen Plus simulation software. Results: The results show that CO2 co-absorption significantly increases the lime kiln load: +20% in the MDEA alternative and +100% in the other one. The MDEA alternative requires almost the same investment costs but by around USD 9.7 million (>50%) lower annual operating costs compared to the other one. Economic evaluation was based on the assumed discount rate of 5% and on the expected plant operation time of 25 years. The estimated total investment cost of the whole plant is around USD 170 million for both alternatives. The whole plant including this alternative exhibits a positive net present value (over USD 19 million), an internal rate of return of 5% and a profitability index of 1.12, whereas that with the other alternative is economically infeasible. Conclusions: The MDEA-based syngas cleaning technology represents a more efficient and economically feasible option of sulfur recovery. A major drawback of both modeled syngas cleaning technologies is that their estimated annual operating costs significantly reduce the expected profit margin of gasification over the traditional black liquor combustion in a recovery boiler. Syngas cleaning and sulfur recovery have to be further optimized to reach a significant cut down in operational costs to improve the economic feasibility of black liquor gasification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Sustainability: Wood Yield and Biomass Utilization)
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