System Performance & Sustainability

While use of beetle-kill trees in regional biofuels systems presents a potential ‘win-win’ for forest managers and mountain communities, a truly sustainable solution must have overall net environmental benefit, be socially acceptable, and be economically viable at both the operational and regional scales.

BANR addresses these issues through multiple avenues of research:

SUSTAINABILITYNOTEXTField-scale environmental impacts analysis

Quantify and evaluate the ecological and environmental impacts of different beetle-killed tree harvesting techniques in dominant forest types throughout the Rockies

Impacts of biochar use on biofuel system sustainability

Determine physiochemical characteristics of biochar produced from different woody feedstocks and to examine the impacts of biochar amendments on plant productivity and GHG balance, in production systems within the region, in laboratory and field studies

Modeling and life cycle assessment (LCA)

A comprehensive analysis of environmental impacts of beetle-kill wood utilization

Financial analysis

Evaluate the financial feasibility of using CPES system to convert beetle-kill and waste wood to biofuel and co-products

Socioeconomic and policy analysis

Analyze economic, social and policy constraints for utilization of beetle-kill/waste wood as biofuel feedstocks and develop potential solutions for overcoming or mitigating those barriers

Decision Support System

Develop and deploy a user-friendly web-based system to assess feedstock availability and GHG emissions & environmental footprints for beetle-kill feedstocks

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