What is Wood Biomass?
We define Wood biomass as any timber-derived product (softwood or hardwood) capable of being converted to energy through direct combustion or gasification; to solid fuel through pelletizing; or to liquid fuel through myriad processes.
While wood biomass may include any part of the tree, cost differentials in the various components is a primary limiting factor. Typically, biomass used in energy and fuel production comes from four primary sources:
- Manufacturing residues
- Non-merchantable timber harvest residuals
- Post-consumer wood waste
- Urban and agricultural wood waste.
Wood value is determined by local demand. Clear, straight, high-quality logs will usually find a market among veneer and lumber manufacturers at rates unattainable to the biomass industry. Likewise, pulp-grade logs may fetch returns too high among pulp mills or panel producers to be viable for biomass use. Absent higher-value end use, however, biomass available to market may creep into higher-grade material.