Improving better decision support for biofuel extraction

Bioenergy is becoming a more important energy source. An important bioenergy assortment in Sweden is given by primary forest fuels. These account for about 14% of the biofuels or about 4% of Sweden’s total energy supply. There are large volumes of forest fuel available. However, it is a low-value commodity, and it is very sensitive to logistic cost to make it profitable. The current trend shows a growing demand of renewable bioenergy from forests in Sweden. Studies show that increased biomass extraction from the forest is possible without jeopardizing environmental goals or sustainability. One key to minimizing the risk is better planning throughout the forest supply chain.

Since forest fuel is bulky and has a relatively low value compared to roundwood (saw logs and pulpwood) and is replaceable by other energy sources, it is significantly more sensitive to the cost of transport. At forest sites, there are different sized forwarder-mounted chippers, truck-mounted chippers, bundlers and modified forwarders. At terminals, there are often large mobile chippers with a higher productivity per hour. Several options are also available for the transportation.

Creative Opimization’s contribution

Creative Optimization is currently running a project partly funded by Swedish Energy Agency aiming to develop better solutions for planning and optimizing the extraction of biomass in the forestry supply chain. During the project we will conduct case studies at forestry companies in Sweden to validate our solutions and to demonstrate the potential.

There is a large potential to improve the strategical planning in forestry regarding forest fuel extraction. By including the several steps of decomposition and modes of transportation. Planing present a better decision support.

Erik Rönnqvist, Project manager

This project was done in collaboration with: