Capacity, Production, and Consumption Assessment of the U.S. South Atlantic Wood Pellet Industry

Guillermo J. Velarde, Adrian Pirraglia, Daniel E. Saloni

Abstract


The wood pellet industry has been in a growing trend worldwide. The Southern U.S. has been proposed as a good location to further develop wood pellet industries geared toward the supply of international markets. This research looks into the current status of the wood pellet industry of the region in terms of consumption of biomass, installed capacity, and production levels of wood pellets. It assesses the known future developments for the region (Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida). The study also includes an analysis of major ports within the region. Currently, companies within the region have a total production capacity of over 4.7 million tons of pellets, while the current production levels are estimated at 3.1 million tons. Research indicates that at least 20 facilities within the region will be opening their operations, and the expected capacity of the wood pellet industry will then be over 5 million tons of pellets per year. The biomass requirement for the production of these pellets was determined, and the current production level requires over 11 million tons of green biomass (55% moisture content). Future developments may require over 13 million tons, making the industry total over 24 million tons in coming years.

Keywords


Pellets; Market trends; Southern USA; Ports; Future production levels; Biomass utilization

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Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022, hubbe@ncsu.edu; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, lucian.lucia@gmail.com URLs: bioresourcesjournal.com; http://ncsu.edu/bioresources ISSN: 1930-2126