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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Biomass production and fuel characteristics from long rotation poplar plantations

Bohlenius, Henrik; Ohman, Marcus; Granberg, Fredrik; Persson, Per-Ove


There is an increasing demand for biofuel to replace fossil fuels. One of the key elements in this transition is the securing of a large supply of sustainable biomass. In this study, the feedstock potential of long rotation poplar plantations (12-30 years with diameter of 15 of 30 cm) was determined and the properties of poplar biomass fuel were analyzed with the aim of using thermochemical conversion methods to produce biofuel. Our results demonstrate that Sweden has great potential for producing biofuels from long rotation poplar plantations, with a total of 1.8 million hectares (ha) consisting of arable (0.5 million ha) and forested arable land (1.3 million ha). Based on available land and biomass production potential, our results indicate that 10 million Mg DW could be produced annually. Regions in mid/southern Sweden have the largest potential (larger areas and higher biomass production. Our results further suggest that poplar biomass from these plantations has fuel characteristics similar to forest fuels from other conifer tree species, making the biomass suitable as feedstock for biofuel production based on thermochemical conversion methods. If 25% of the available land were used, 7.6 TWh methanol biofuels could be produced annually from 16 biofuel plants, using 160,000 Mg DW yr(-1), primarily located in the southern part of Sweden. Two counties (Skane and Vastra Gotaland) would be able to support their biofuel plants using poplar plantations as feedstock. Stable biofuel production in the other counties would depend on collaborating with neighboring counties.

Published in

Biomass and Bioenergy
2023, Volume: 178, article number: 106940

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Renewable Bioenergy Research

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