NC State
BioResources
Velarde, G. J., Pirraglia, A., and Saloni, D. E. (2013). "Capacity, production, and consumption assessment of the U.S. South Atlantic wood pellet industry," BioRes. 8(4), 5908-5924.

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.
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