Just how much forest waste is there?

Thinking about my response to the earlier post in Huffington post about using food crops to make biofuels, I started looking at the amount of fuel that could be generated from existing forest materials such as brush wood. There’s a paper on Science direct which gives this as the yield from scrub in Galicia (northern Spain).
Bushes occupy around 15% of the forest surface of Galicia [9], approximately 450 000 ha. A rational planning would allow to obtain about 4x 6 ton of forest residues every year.
The thrust of the piece is in terms of electrical energy generation, but this kind of forest waste could be used to make liquid fuels. It could also be generated during forest management that could reduce the level and intensity of forest fires.

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3 Responses to Just how much forest waste is there?

  1. David B. Benson 24 April, 2008 at 11:48 pm #

    Yup. It would be nice to have a btter web site than


    to give an overview of the world’s bio-energy potentials.

  2. Biofuelsimon 25 April, 2008 at 2:16 pm #

    Hey David, good to hear from you. The link is interesting, and I guess does not include food crops in the mixture. I wonder if the impacts on land and water useand biodiversity are included in this?

  3. David B. Benson 25 April, 2008 at 9:46 pm #

    Simon — As best as I can make out from the papers, the authors considered food, animal feed, fibre and leaving various forests completely alone. They had to consider certain aspects of land and water use, else the conclusions would be meaningless.

    It does not appear that biodiversity entered into their deliberations, but I’ve only read a couple of the many study papers.

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