Implementing residue chippers on harvesting operations in the southeastern US for biomass recovery

Jernigan, Patrick, Tom Gallagher, Jaspreet Aulakh, Robert Tufts, and Tim McDonald. 2013. International Journal of Forest Engineering 24 (2): 129–36. doi:10.1080/14942119.2013.798130.

Type Journal Article
Author Patrick Jernigan
Author Tom Gallagher
Author Jaspreet Aulakh
Author Robert Tufts
Author Tim McDonald
Volume 24
Issue 2
Pages 129-136
Publication International Journal of Forest Engineering
ISSN 1494-2119
Date June 28, 2013
Journal Abbr International Journal of Forest Engineering
DOI 10.1080/14942119.2013.798130
Accessed 10/22/2014, 8:00:00 PM
Abstract Implementing small residue chippers on conventional feller-buncher, skidder, and knuckleboom loader logging operations was studied in 2006 and 2007. A thinning operation fed the chipper using the same loader that handled roundwood sorting and loading, while a clearcut operation used a separate loader with the chipper. Both operations used set-out trailers to improve transportation efficiency. Production was evaluated for 65 weeks on the thinning operation and 42 weeks on the clearcut operation. Costs for producing and delivering the biomass material were estimated using an after-tax cash-flow method. The thinning operation produced an average of 32 metric tonnes (35 American tons) of biomass per day (SD: 20 tonnes and 22 tons, respectively), at an estimated cost of $18.38 per tonne delivered ($16.71/ton). The clearcut operation averaged 50 tonnes (55 tons) of biomass per day (SD: 19 tonnes and 21 tons), at a cost of $17.81/tonne ($16.19/ton). The biomass produced contained about 75% wood, with the remaining material consisting of bark, needles, and twigs. Implementing a residue chipper on a conventional operation can be economically feasible for producing biomass for an alternative fuels market, provided that it does not interfere with roundwood production. Set-out trucking aids the operation by minimizing the delay time for trucks.



  • Biomass
  • Chipping
  • Forest residues
  • Harvesting

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