Past Speaker Events

Fast Pyrolysis of Biomass: Fuels and Chemicals
Sedat Beis, DOE Research Fellow Candidate, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Friday February 13th, 2009

Wood Science & Technology Seminar: Influence of Hot Water Extraction on Cell Wall
Juan Paredes, Graduate Student Thursday
February 5th, 2009

Hydrolysis of Near Neutral Hemicellulose Extracts Catalyzed by Sulfue Dioxide
Rory Jara, Graduate Student Monday
January 26th, 2009

Printeast Bioenergy Market: A Large Landowner Perspective
Steve Robe, Plum Creek
Monday December 15th, 2008

Pre-Hydrolysis of Phenyl Glycosidic Bond in a Model Compound
Sagar Deshpande, Graduate Student
Monday December 8th, 2008

Overview of Liquid Fuels from Biomass by Thermochemical Conversion
Douglas Elliot, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Tuesday November 11th, 2008


Synthesis and Characterization of Cobalt Catalysts in Silica Supports with Variable Pore
Isaac Tyrone Ghampson, Graduate Student Friday October 31st, 2008

graduate seminar

Development of High-Throughput Screening Technique for Screening Catalyst of Bio-Oil
Richard Nelson, Graduate Student Friday October 31st, 2008

graduate seminar

Life Cycle Assessment of Bio-ethanol from Forest Resources (Hemicellulose)
Gurbakahash Bhander, Graduate Student Monday October 27th, 2008


Characterization of Mechanically and Enzymatically Produced Nanometer Scale Cellulose Fibers from Wood Pulp
Nazia Siddiqui, Graduate Student Tuesday October 14th, 2008

graduate seminar

It’s Time to Celebrate Everything FBRI
FBRI meeting Thursday October 9th, 2008


Designing the Forest Biorefinery
Presented by Paul Stuart and Virginie Chambost Monday October 6th, 2008
3:00pm – Soderberg Lecture Hall, Jenness Hall

There is little argument over whether the North American forestry industry is in crisis. The corporate strategy for many forestry companies in recent years has centered on company mergers and continuous belt tightening. Merger activity has undoubtedly been critical, however it is clear that alone, it is not enough – a new business model is essential. The North American forestry industry leadership has begun to discuss the need for “transformative changes”. One possibility for this change is the so-called forest biorefinery. This presentation will define an implementation strategy being considered by some forestry companies for producing “green” products in addition to pulp and paper products from a biorefinery, some of the risks facing these companies, and how they might systematically analyze opportunities using systems engineering techniques in order to mitigate the risk.

Biosketch – Paul Stuart

Paul is a Professor in the Chemical Engineering Department at École Polytechnique of the University of Montréal, where he has been Chairholder of an NSERC Environmental Design Engineering Chair entitled Process Integration in the Pulp & Paper Industry ( since 2000. Prior to joining academia, Paul worked in process design consulting as Company Associate and Manager of Process Engineering at Beak Consultants Limited, as Partner and Manager of Environmental Services at Simons Environmental Group, and as Director of Process and Environmental Engineering at H.A. Simons Limited in Montreal (later AMEC). Prior to working in the consulting field, he received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from McGill University. Paul is a past President of the Canadian Society of Chemical Engineering (CSChE), is Chair of the Canadian Design Engineering Network (CDEN), serves on Canada’s National Advisory Board on Energy S&T (NABEST), and is Principal Consultant for his one-man consulting company – Processys Inc.

Heterogeneous Catalytic Reduction of Perchlorate in Water
Presented by Keith Hurley Monday September 29th, 2008
3:00pm – Solderberg Lecture Hall, Jenness Hall

In an effort to make a catalytic system more compatible with water treatment a heterogeneous catalyst has been developed that promotes the reduction by hydrogen of perchlorate ion in water under mild conditions. The perchlorate ion, ClO4-, is today widely regarded as a contaminant of ground and surface waters, as well as soil, throughout the United States, with over 400 recognized contaminated sites in 35 states. The argument for perchlorate remediation is the preferential uptake of perchlorate over iodide by the thyroid. Current perchlorate remediation strategies are largely limited to ion exchange (IX) or bioremediation. The chemistry of perchlorate is dominated entirely by kinetics, and its high kinetic barrier to reduction makes it effectively inert to reduction by typical nucleophilic reducing agents or to complexation. This talk will discuss the synthesis and characterization of the new supported rhenium catalyst and will explain its unique catalytic activity in terms of a mechanism which involves a bifunctional mode of operation.

I’m Away: Thoughts from an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow
Presented by Dr. Darrell Donahue Friday September 19th, 2008
2:10pm – Soderberg Lecture Hall, Jenness Hall

In March 2007, Dr. Donahue was selected from a field of nearly 300 applicants to become one of the 12 National Defense and Global Security Fellows who were part of the 43rd class of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellowship program.  The goal of this annual fellowship program is to place scientists and engineers into science policy positions in the executive and legislative branches of federal government.  Once selected the Fellows are allowed the choice of several different governmental office for placement.
Dr. Donahue selected the Office of Health Affairs within the Department of Homeland Security for his fellowship placement.  During the presentation, Dr. Donahue will discuss the place of science in developing public policy within the federal government.  He will also provide examples of some of the projects he took part in during his yearlong fellowship.  Some anecdotes about being a “professor in government” will be offered.

REU Participant Presentations
YR2 REU Students Thursday August 7th, 2008

final presentations

Environmental Aesthetics: Does it Matter When it Comes to Forest Biomass Harvesting
Presented by Dr. Jessica Leahy Thursday July 31st, 2008
3:00-4:00pm – Soderberg Lecture Hall

Seminar is part of our REU speaker series.

Assembling Materials from Nanoscale Building Blocks
Richard Siegel, Rensselaer Nanotechnology Center and Materials Science and Engineering Department, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Monday July 28th, 2008
1:00pm – Bangor Room, Memorial Union

The past decade has seen an explosive growth worldwide in the physical, chemical, and biological synthesis and study of a wide range of nanoscale building blocks with unique properties. Great strides are now being made worldwide in our ability to assemble these nanoscale building blocks to create advanced materials and devices with novel properties and functionalities. The novel properties of nanostructures are derived from their confined sizes and their very large surface-to-volume ratios. The former give rise to unique size-dependent properties in the nanoscale (1-100 nm) regime, while the latter gives rise to the ability of nanoscale additions to conventional material matrices to dramatically change the host material’s properties. A perspective of this important research area will be presented based upon specific examples from our work in the Center for Directed Assembly of Nanostructures supported by the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Initiative of the U.S. National Science Foundation. Examples will be given of directed assembly of nanoparticles, nanotubes, and hybrid structures containing these and polymers or biomolecules, to make new materials and devices that possess enhanced mechanical, electrical, optical, or bioactive properties, as well as some multifunctional combinations thereof. The opportunities and challenges facing the worldwide research community in moving forward in this area will be considered.

The Role of Forest Operations to the Forest Bioproducts Industry
Presented by Dr. Jeff Benjamin Thursday July 24th, 2008
3:00-4:00pm – Soderberg Lecture Hall

Seminar is part of our REU speaker series.

Hemicellulose Extraction of Mixed Southern Hardwoods
Sefik Tunc, Ph.D Thesis Defense Thursday July 17th, 2008
10:00am – Soderberg Lecture Hall

Hemicelluloses derived from biomass are presently underutilized. In order to develop more profitable biorefinery processes, the mechanism responsible for hemicellulose removal by pretreatments must be further explored. The hydrothermal dissolution profile of the main wood components, cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin, of a hardwood mixture during autohydrolysis were investigated. The effect of time and temperature on the extraction yield and the dissolution yield of major wood components (cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin) can be expressed by a single relationship as a function of P-factor. The composition of a precipitate formed by addition of 4 parts of ethanol to hemicellulose extract was determined. Almost all lignin in the ethanol precipitate is bound to low molecular weight carbohydrates. However, the majority of carbohydrates present in the precipitates is found to be lignin free. Lignin-Carbohydrate Complexes (LCCs) are also quantified in the present study. Four LCCs have been identified and their development during autohydrolysis has been determined.

Forest Biorefineries Producing Pulp, Biofuels, Chemicals and Polymers
Presented by Dr. Adriaan van Heiningen Thursday July 17th, 2008
3:00-4:00pm – Soderberg Lecture Hall, Jenness Hall

Seminar is part of our REU speaker series

What is Graduate School and Why Go?
Dr. Dan Sandweiss & Mr. Scott Delcourt Thursday July 10th, 2008

REU presentation

Thermal Conversion of Biomass to Fuels and Chemicals
Dr. Clay Wheeler Thursday July 3rd, 2008


Formation of Soot Precursors during the Pyrolysis of a Biomass Model Compound
Dr. Shiju Thomas, Louisiana State University Thursday June 26th, 2008

One of the major issues in the thermo chemical conversion of biomass is the formation of soot. Soot formation is undesirable as it can lead to catalyst deactivation. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) formed during the pyrolysis and combustion of solid fuels like coal, wood, and biomass are widespread environmental pollutants and precursors to soot. Some PAH are also known to exhibit carcinogenic and mutagenic activity. Hence, understanding the chemical reactions responsible for PAH formation is of utmost importance.

To better understand the reactions leading to the formation of PAH from complex solid fuels, pyrolysis and oxidation experiments have been performed in an isothermal laminar-flow reactor, using the model fuel catechol (ortho-dihydroxybenzene), a phenol-type compound representative of structural entities in coal, wood, and biomass. Catechol pyrolysis experiments have also been performed in the presence of 1,3-butadiene, a major product of the pyrolysis of coal, wood, and biomass. Experiments have been conducted over a temperature range of 500-1000 oC and at a fixed residence time of 0.3 s.

The pyrolysis products are analyzed by high-pressure liquid chromatography with diode-array ultraviolet-visible absorbance detection and mass spectrometric detection, by gas chromatography with flame-ionization and mass spectrometric detection, and by nondispersive infrared analysis. Analysis of the catechol pyrolysis products has led to the identification of 13 C1-C6 non-aromatic species, 5 one-ring aromatics, 7 oxygen-containing organics, and 101 PAH. Of these, 50 (including 47 PAH) have never before been reported as products of catechol or any phenol-type fuel.

Product quantification reveals that catechol’s relatively labile O-H bond and capacity for generating oxygen-containing radicals accelerate both fuel conversion and the pyrolysis reactions leading to 1- and 2-ring aromatics and PAH. Among the C1-C5 species, 1,3-butadiene appears to be the most important intermediate and source of growth species in PAH formation from catechol. The results are consistent with the C2 and C4 radicals being the dominant growth species. Reactions responsible for the formation of the C1-C10 products from catechol are discussed. A tentative PAH formation mechanism during catechol pyrolysis is presented.

Sustaining Maine’s Forest Resources-Past Experiences and Future Outlooks
Ken Laustsen, Maine Forest Service Thursday June 26th, 2008
3:00-4:00pm – Soderberg Lecture Hall

Exploring the Chemistry of Hemicellulose
Dr. Ray Fort Thursday June 19th, 2008


Processing Options for Production of Fuels and Chemicals from Lignocellulosic Biomass
Dr. Peter van Walsum Thursday June 12th, 2008


Forest Biorefineries in the United States; Where are we? Where are we going?
Dr. Stephen S. Kelley, Department Head, Department of Wood and Paper Science, North Carolina State University Wednesday June 11th, 2008
11:00am – 204 Nutting Hall

Seminar Abstract: With growing concerns over increasing fuel prices, green house gas emissions and the national security issues surrounding reliance on imported oils there is an increasing interest in technologies that allow for sustainable production of fuels from domestic biomass resources. There are a wide variety of technologies that can be used to convert lignocellulosic biomass into liquid fuels, including fermentation of sugars, biomass pyrolysis, and production of liquid fuels from biomass derived syngas. Currently the forest products industry has a welldeveloped manufacturing infrastructure, and well-established biomass collection protocols that could be used to help launch the production of biofuels and bioenergy. This talk will highlight the potential impact for bioenergy and the technical challenges that must be overcome for wide spread deployment.

Introduction to Forest Bioproducts Research Institute
Dr. Hemant Pendse, FBRI Research Director Thursday June 5th, 2008

REU Seminar

Biomass as the New Carbon. Conversion of Renewable Feedstocks into Chemicals and Materials
Professor Joseph J. Bozell, Forest Products Center – Biomass Chemistry Laboratories, University of Tennessee Wednesday May 28th, 2008
1:00pm – Soderberg Lecture Hall, Jenness Hall

Biomass offers the opportunity of becoming a viable and economical source of raw materials for the production of chemicals because renewable feedstocks are numerous, sustainable, and domestic. Ever-improving methods of agriculture and biotechnology could ensure a continuing, environmentally friendly supply of these materials. Yet, despite the availability of an almost inexhaustible domestic source of raw materials, the use of renewables lags far behind the use of nonrenewables, particularly in the production of chemicals. What stands between the concept and realization of a vibrant renewables to chemicals industry is technology development. This seminar will discuss some of the rationale behind the use of renewables as chemical feedstocks, and illustrate these principles with an overview of research being carried out in our laboratories, including activities in biomass separation, and chemical conversion of the components of these separations (carbohydrate and aromatics) into production of nanostructural materials, chemical building blocks and polymers.

High throughput technologies for biomass characterization
Nicole Labbe, Univ. of Tennessee Monday April 21st, 2008
1:10pm – Soderberg Lecture Hall, Jenness Hall

Rapid methods to measure chemical composition and properties of materials and manufactured products are indispensable to control their quality and to optimize their processes. Analytical spectroscopy such as near infrared, mid infrared and laser induced breakdown spectroscopy are useful methods that can be developed as high throughput technology and can be implemented as quality and process control tools in an industrial environment. These methods become outstandingly effective when coupled with statistical analysis to classify materials and predict various of their properties. In the biorefinery industry, rapid techniques are needed at many stages to provide analytical support for the processes that convert biomass into fuels and chemicals. These tools can be employed to characterize the biomass as it enters the plant, monitor chemical changes during the processes, evaluate products and residues to assess overall process efficiency. This seminar will focus on several high throughput analytical techniques and will address the several steps that are involved in the development of rapid analysis method for characterization of biomass in a biorefinery.

Biomass Energy: Business Considerations
Sean Casten, President and CEO of Recycled Energy Development Monday April 14th, 2008
1:00pm – Soderberg Lecture Hall

Technical Considerations -The term “Biomass fuel” is about as useful a descriptor as “Fossil Fuel”, but lots of biomass projects & project developers assume a degree of homogeneity that doesn’t exist. Biomass as a fuel is complicated by: ash considerations, moisture content, supply consistency over the life of a project, competing uses & impacts on economics, emissions variation by type (fugitive and combustion).

Value considerations — Most rules of thumb make implied – and often incorrect – assumptions about use. Many assume that the primary value is thermal. REC markets transform these economics. Cogeneration is often ignored. Technology assumptions typically assume wet fuel and compromised efficiencies-there are often opportunities to use other thermal sources to dry fuel

Market considerations. Markets are changing faster than conventional wisdom – this creates significant business opportunities. The ethanol boom has increased the value of animal feed while deflation of the US dollar has created significant export markets for all commodities – including biomass. Shifting landscape of REC and carbon markets – and the 2007 Energy Bill- are increasing the value of bioenergy and creating arbitrage opportunities. The general energy market volatility makes stability of biomass attractive, but there are very few “bioenergy experts” to capitalize on these opportunities.

Sean Casten, President and CEO Recycled Energy Development

Sean Casten has worked in the on-site power industry for ten years.  In 2005, the U.S. Combined Heat and Power Association (USCHPA) identified Sean as a “CHP Champion” in recognition of his leadership toward greater national use of clean, efficient, and reliable combined heat and power. He is the 2007 chairman of USCHPA and the founding (2005) chairman of the Northeast Combined Heat and Power Initiative, both organizations dedicated to advocacy before state and federal energy regulatory agencies and legislatures. Sean holds a B.A. from Middlebury College, a M.S. in Biochemical Engineering from Dartmouth College and a Master’s in Engineering Management from Dartmouth College.

Prehydrolysis of the phenyl glycosidic bond in a model compound
Sagar Deshpande, Graduate Seminar Friday April 11th, 2008
2:10pm – Soberberg Lecture Hall, Jenness Hall

Chemical pulping of wood leads to fiber yields of only about 50 % because most hemicelluloses and almost all the lignin end up in the spent pulping stream. The latter is combusted for steam and electricity generation. The heating value of wood carbohydrates is only half that of lignin. Therefore a more economical use of hemicelluloses is extraction as oligomers from wood chips prior to pulping followed by conversion to high value-added products such as ethanol, polymers and chemicals.

Recently, it has been shown that all lignin in soft wood is chemically linked to carbohydrates and especially to the hemicelluloses by covalent bonds (Lawoko et. 2005). The main LCC bonds proposed are of the ester-, α-ether-, phenyl glycosidic- and carbon-carbon type. Selective cleavage of LC bonds will be essential when extracting hemicellulose mostly free of lignin in an extraction step prior to pulping.

In this study the cleavage of the phenyl glycosidic bond of a model compound, phenyl-β-D-glucopyranoside, was studied at practical wood pre-extraction conditions. A method involving a combination of GC-MS and GC-FID has been developed to quantify the degradation products, glucose and phenol, as well as the remaining amount of model compound. Thus, the degree of cleavage of the phenyl-glucoside at different extraction conditions has been determined from three inputs:

  1. The amount of glucose formed
  2. The amount of phenol formed
  3. The amount of phenyl-glucoside left.

The differences in the yields obtained from the three determinations will be discussed. The GC-MS analytical method is advantageous in that secondary degradation product, if any, are also identified and quantified, making it possible to determine the reaction mechanism.

Anaerobic Fermentation of Hemicellulose Present in Green Liquor and Hot Water Extractse to Carboxlic Acids
Rakhi Baddam, Graduate Seminar Friday April 11th, 2008

Please come support Rahki during his graduate seminar.

Improved Analytical Methods for Compositional Analysis of Biomass Feedstocks and Process Streams
Dr. Kevin Chambliss,
Baylor University Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry Monday April 7th, 2008
2:00pm – Soderberg Lecture Hall

“A major focus of research in my group is directed at development of improved analytical methods for compositional analysis of biomass feedstocks and process streams. The availability of rapid and robust approaches, resulting in quality analytical data, is paramount to comprehensive technical or economic valuations of biomass-to-ethanol conversion. One recent effort has focused on identification and quantification of previously unknown ‘extractives’ in two leading feedstock candidates. Results indicate that aqueous extracts of both corn stover and switchgrass contain fermentable sugars in both monomeric and oligomeric form, as well as a variety of potential co-products that could be used to offset the cost of producing bioethanol…. The seminar will focus on problems and solutions affiliated with making quantitative analytical measurements in these complex media. The potential of these analytical efforts to impact existing and future bioprocessing paradigms will also be emphasized.”

Biological Conversion of Hemicellulose Extracts from Wood
Sara Walton, Graduate Seminar Friday March 28th, 2008
2:10pm – 100 Jenness Hall

The hemicellulose fraction represents approximately one-fourth of woody biomass and has the potential to be converted into value-added products such as ethanol. Hemicellulose can be extracted from wood using alkaline chemicals at high temperature and pressure without degrading the cellulose fraction of wood. The resulting extraction liquor is a dilute stream containing oligosaccharides, lignin and acetyl groups from the wood, and sodium derived from the alkaline treatment. The solution does not contain high enough sugar concentrations for direct fermentation into ethanol to be economically viable because too much energy would be needed to distill the final product. To increase the sugar available for ethanol fermentation, two concentration methods were investigated: thin film evaporation and tangential flow membrane filtration. Evaporation was able to increase sugar content, but also increased sodium and acetyl content, which proved toxic to fermentation. Membrane filtration was able to concentrate only the oligosaccharide and lignin without affecting the sodium or acetic acid concentrations.

Characterization of Mechanically and Enzymatically produced Nanometer Scale Cellulose fibers from Wood pulp
Nazia Siddiqui, Graduate Seminar Friday March 28th, 2008
2:10pm – 100 Jenness Hall

With a goal of producing cellulose nanofibrils on a large scale in an energy efficient manner, both mechanical and enzymatic processing was used to produce nanometer scale cellulose fibers from wood pulp.

Extraction of Hemicellulose from Wood: Achieving an accurate Mass Balance
Presentation by Rory Jara
Advisor: Adriaan vanHeiningen
Graduate Seminar Friday March 21st, 2008
2:10pm – Jenness Hall, Room 100

Hemicelluloses can be extracted from biomass using different technologies. Some of them partially degrade cellulose during the process such as with steam explosion and dilute-acid pre-extraction. Because of the heterogeneous composition of biomass (cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin), hemicelluloses can not be extracted selectively and lignin and cellulose also are present in the final liquor. The interest of transforming pulp mills into an Integrated Forest Biorefinery (IFBR) is increasing nowadays due global and local concerns. The aim of this new concept is the removal of approximately 10% based on the original wood while minimizing cellulose degradation during the process. Then, the extracted hemicelluloses may be used for production of valuable by-products such as ethanol, acetic acid or polymers, while the extracted wood is converted into traditional forest products such as oriented strand board and paper. The present work is focused on extraction of hemicelluloses using hot water. In order to understand the chemistry of the process an accurate mass balance is of high importance. Several chemical analysis methods are involved in the determination of all components in the solid and liquid phases after extraction. The mono-sugar composition of both the extracted wood phase and the liquid phase were determined by HPAEC. The total lignin content was determined as the sum of the precipitated lignin and that remaining in the liquid phase. The precipitated lignin was determined gravimetrically and that in the liquid phase by UV-Vis Spectrometry. The acetyl group content was determined as acetic acid by HPLC analysis. Degradation products such as furfural and hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) were also determined by HPLC. The gravimetric extraction yield was calculated by comparing the amount of oven dry extracted wood before and after extraction. This presentation will review technologies for the extraction of hemicelluloses from biomass. Also, overall and wood component (lignin, hemicellulose and cellulose) mass balances will be presented for different extraction conditions during the hot water extraction process. Difficulties to obtain an accurate mass balance will be discussed.

Next Generation Bio-Ethanol
Dr. Cesar Granda, Texas A&M University Monday February 25th, 2008

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Granda to UMaine.

A Nordic Perspective on Forest Biorefineries, Value Added Wood Products, and Nanocellulose Properties and Possible Uses
Dr. Tom Lindstrom Wednesday February 20th, 2008
2:00pm – Soderberg Lecture Hall, Jenness Hall

FBRI announces the visit of Dr. Tom Lindstrom who will offer a  forest bioproducts and nanocellulose presentation on Wednesday, February 20th at 2 PM, Soderberg Auditorum, Jenness Hall.

Dr. Lindstrom is associated with STFI-Packforsk in Stockholm, Sweden, one of the world’s leading R&D companies in the fields of pulp, paper, graphic media, and  packaging.  He is Program Director for the BioFibre Materials Research Centre (BiMaC), Dept. of Fibre and Polymer Chemistry and Technology, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden.

He will discuss “ A Nordic Perspective on Forest Biorefineries, Value Added Wood Products, and   Nanocellulose Properties and Possible Uses.”

Value Added Wood Products, and Nanocellulose Properties and Possible Uses
Dr. Tom Lindstrom, STFI-Packforsk (Stockholm, Sweden) Wednesday February 20th, 2008

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Lindstrom to UMaine.

The Well in the Woods: Investigating the life cycle consequences and industrial ecosystem opportunities of a forest bioproducts economy
FBRI Speaker’s Bureau presents a Life Cycle Assessment seminar Monday November 26th, 2007
11:00-12:00pm – 104 Nutting Halle

All FBRI faculty and students are invited.

Harvesting Biomass for Energy in Minnesota: An Assessment of Guidelines, Costs, and Logistics
Dalia Abbas, University of Minnesota Wednesday September 19th, 2007
12:00 PM – Nutting 204

The emerging market for renewable energy in Minnesota has generated a growing interest in utilizing more forest biomass for energy. However, this growing interest is paralleled with limited knowledge of the environmental impacts and cost effectiveness of utilizing this resource. Three areas related to biomass harvest will be addressed in this presentation.

European Research Trends for the Wood Chain
Arno Fruhwald, University of Hamburg Thursday September 13th, 2007
12:00-1:00 PM – AEWC, 2nd floor conference room

The European Forestry-Wood-Sector is developing well and receives increasing interest from policy makers and the industry. Including Russia a forest cover of more than 1 bm ha (significantly more than North America) and a sustainable production of timber of more than 500 million m³/a in the EU gives the basis for an increased share in industrial product markets and for the provision of renewable energy. After wind, biomass is considered the second important source of renewable electricity in the EU by the year 2020 (total share of renewable energy is planed for 50 %!)