EBI Personnel Directory Stewart, William
Since woody feedstocks have very similar characteristics to agricultural biofuel feedstocks and can be produced as a less expensive byproduct from currently managed forests, Gilless’s group is working to define how increased biofuel production would fit within an increasingly global market for all wood products. Gilless’s team will develop tools to more accurately predict the volumes of tree-based biofuel feedstocks that will be available for wood products that also have active international trade connections. The group plans to integrate a proven, regionally applicable joint-optimization forest biomass model (Daugherty and Fried 2007) with a global forest products model (Buongiorno 2003) to develop a more scalable and robust woody biomass feedstock model.
The goal of the project is to analyze the viability of sustainable woody bioenergy systems for forested regions throughout North America. We will utilize an interdisciplinary, systems-based approach that integrates ecological, economic and social aspects of forestry to compare and contrast the production economics, market conditions, climate change impacts, and environmental sustainability challenges to identify common opportunities and risks for the development of sustainable bioenergy systems. We will produce two outputs: (i) a synthetic assessment of sustainable bioenergy production from North American forests; (ii) case studies revealing regional differences in constraints and opportunities for forest-sourced bioenergy feedstocks that will be integrated into evolving forest and wood products system where biofuels rather than paper products will be the major end use for moderate value wood products.