Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Markets for Biomass from Willow-Poplar Plantations(ST6753-1)

Forecon, Inc.


Forecon, Inc. is a forest management firm and is part of the Salix Consortium, a large ongoing U.S. Department of Energy effort to establish fast-growing willows as a commercial crop in New York State (NYS). The focus of that work is primarily on willow production. Larger and more diverse markets are needed for the willow currently and potentially in production.

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Project Description

The goal was to identify existing and new biomass users in an effort to sell them willow from existing plantations. The Contractor did not finish the work because success was predicated on an acceptable wood chip harvester that was being developed concurrently in another project. This project determined that the chips available from the prototype wood chip harvester then available did not have acceptable characteristics to most end users. The chips were long and stringy. Though an acceptable harvester now exists, the president of Forecon has since died, and the information that was collected has grown out-of-date.


Industrial and other potential users within 40 miles of established plantations would benefit from new wood supplies. Lumber and woodworking businesses are well suited to use willow chips in small biomass fired boilers.

Project Results

Researchers hoped to: 1) compile a list of potential sites such as sawmills, wood working plants, and ski resorts to generate steam or electricity from willow; 2) use the local industrial development agency to help with site selection and financing; 3) determine the feasibility of willow generated steam at specific sites; 4) test the use of willow chips in pellet manufacturing; 5) determine the volume to be harvested in 2002; 6) determine the economic feasibility of growing short rotation poplar sawtimber, including meeting with sawmills; 7) perform a field trial on use of chips on eroding agricultural areas, including cost, effectiveness, and comparison to competing products; and 8) develop a business structure, possibly a cooperative, to manage tasks from planting through delivery. Land rentals, equipment costs, and personnel costs will be considered.


Forecon, Inc.
100 E. Second Street
Jamestown, NY 14701

Principle Investigator


Universities Involved

SUNY College of Environmental Science an


Project Type:

Indigenous/Renewable Energy Resources

Technologies Types:

NYSERDA Contact Information

Judy Jarnefeld


R&D - Environment & Energy Res

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST6753-1

Last Updated: 11/18/2010