Dept. of Forest Economics, Faculty of Forest Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), SE-901 83 Ume?, Sweden.
In large regions of the world, biomass is a very important source of energy. The global bioenergy market based on forest biomass is growing rapidly. About 92 % of the bioenergy in Sweden comes from forests. Biomass from forests is not homogenous. The locations, transport distances, and transport methods, can differ very much and the industries that need biomass as input prefer raw materials with different properties. In general, the economically optimal forest biomass and pretreatment methods have to be determined with consideration of the relevant objective function, constraints and information structure. The aim of this paper is to investigate typical cases and to derive general rules for optimal combinations of forest biomass and pretreatment methods in alternative situations. Mathematical models are defined, representing different versions of the forest biomass logistics, upgrading and pretreatment optimization problems. General rules of optimal decisions, based on these models, are derived and suggestions for future research and applications are given.