Seminar: Biomass and Bioenergy Research in the Southern Research Station

November 4, 2014

Dr. Andy Scott, Director of the International Long-Term Soil Productivity Study and Research Soil Scientist / Bioenergy Research Coordinator with the Southern Research Station presented an update on bioenergy efforts in the Southeast U.S. on Tuesday, November 4, 2014.  A synopsis of his talk is available below:

The United States and many other countries have been greatly increasing their emphasis on renewable energy, including energy derived from plant biomass. Because of its abundant wood supply, existing infrastructure, and research capital, the U.S. South is a leader in both biomass feedstock production as well as research aimed at all aspects of bioenergy production. 

A number of regional efforts are underway, including the Southeastern Regional Sun Grant Centerand the Southeastern Partnership for Integrated Biomass Supply Systems, both located in conjunction with the University of Tennessee. Additional groups include the SERPPAS Biomass Issue Team and the USDA Regional Biomass Research Center, which integrates efforts between the Agricultural Research Service and USDA Forest Service.

The FS provides leadership in all aspects of woody biomass and woody biomass energy through the efforts of the Southern Research Station. The SRS is collaboratively working on a suite of research studies aimed at assessing the potential for bioenergy in the southern U.S., inventorying, harvesting, and converting small-diameter trees for various forms of bioenergy, and converting various feedstocks into a variety of gaseous and liquid fuels. Specifically, biomass estimates have been greatly improved for small-diameter trees, improved harvesting, chipping, and transportation systems for high-tonnage, small-diameter pine have been developed, silvicultural and genetic improvements have been made for a variety of feedstocks, and various gasification and syngas compression testing is underway from these varied production systems. 

The SRS is also leading efforts to determine both the social acceptability of bioenergy in the U.S. South, through ethnographic research, the environmental sustainability of biomass harvesting through the largest collection of long-term soil impact studies in the U.S. and modeling studies for water quantity and quality, and the economic sustainability of bioenergy from forests through studies of ecosystem services. These research efforts, when combined and coordinated across multiple working groups, will further enable the southern U.S. to lead the world in woody biomass and bioenergy production and conversion.


Biography of D. Andrew Scott

Andy Scott is a Research Soil Scientist with the Southern Pine Ecology and Management research work unit of the USFS Southern Research Station, and is stationed on campus at Alabama A&M University in Normal, AL. He serves the SRS as the Biomass and Bioenergy Research Coordinator and research liaison to AAMU. Most recently he was asked to coordinate the USFS efforts toward the upcoming revision of the Billion-Ton report. He is the lead scientist for the International Long-Term Soil Productivity program, a network of over 100 research sites throughout the US and Canada dedicated to evaluating the sustainability of forest management practices on soil properties and functions and plant growth across wide gradients of climate, soil, and forest type. He also has strong interests in pine biomass production systems for the conventional forest products and the emerging biomass energy market, the incorporation of agroforestry principles to manage landscapes for multiple ecosystem services, the restoration of natural pine species to former forest types including reclaiming deforested areas, and the effect of fire on plant communities and the soil resource. He works collaboratively on a number of projects incorporating research, education and outreach with Alabama A&M University. Andy is an active member of both the Society of American Foresters and the Soil Science Society of America, where he has served in various leadership roles including Associate Editor of the Soil Science Society of America Journal and as Chairperson of the Forest, Range and Wildland Soils Division. He was born and raised in southern Indiana and received his education from Purdue University (B.S.F., Forest Management), Texas A&M University (M.S., Forest Science), and Virginia Tech (Ph.D., Forest Soils), where his dissertation research was on the intensive fertilization and management of short-rotation hardwood plantations.

Contact Information:

Andy Scott



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