Evaluating the Potential Use of Forest Biomass for Renewable Energy: A Case Study with Elements of a Systems Approach
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Department of Soil Science, Erosion and Land Protection, Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, State Research Institute, Puławy, Poland
Department of Land Management and Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Environmental Engineering and Land Surveying, University of Agriculture in Krakow, Kraków, Poland
Department of Philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, USA
The Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce, Kielce, Poland
Franciszek Woch   

Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation
Submission date: 2018-11-07
Acceptance date: 2018-12-11
Online publication date: 2019-11-07
Publication date: 2019-12-09
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2020;29(1):885–891
The aim of this study was to determine the possibility of using residual forest biomass as a renewable energy source based on the analysis and evaluation of production and use. We adopt elements of a systems approach to analyzing and evaluating forest biomass as part of an overall production (and use) process. The area relevant to the research was Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski Forest Inspectorate in Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, with a total of 17266.32 hectares. The study included areas in both exploitation and pre-exploitation stages, and was based on information from a data management plan for the years 2004-2013 in this inspectorate. The wealth of resources was established and characterized: e.g., the volume of forest stands, the thickness of the timber, expressed in m3/ha, the annual volume increment,and the average age of forest stands. The estimated realizable amount of woody biomass from forest and wood resources for energy purposes was specified. A logging indicator for economic purposes was set at 70% growth, and for energy purposes 25%. Waste wood resources (edgings, sawdust, chips, shavings, etc.) were assessed on the basis of logging for industrial purposes, including the rate of 20% of the initial resources intended for processing. In converting this to an energy value (18.72 GJ/t) it can be stated that the waste wood from the Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski Forestry Inspectorate can reach 170277 GJ per year. As an intuitive illustration, the resulting volume of energy resources could allow for annual electric lighting for 13844 people or warming 2936 houses. We can generally say that wood waste as an energy resource originating in forest districts should meet significant needs for electrical light and heat in an average, typical rural community.