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Yakima Valley biomass residues market

Research Achievements

Yakima Valley biomass residues market

Capital investment in a bioenergy project creates a regional market for biomass residues. Working in collaboration with the Department of Natural Resources of the Yakama Nation, IGERT Trainees investigated the impact of a Yakima Valley biomass residues market on the Tribal goal to eradicate invasive Russian Olive (Eleagnus angustifolia) trees from wetland areas. Current Russian Olive eradication efforts use mechanical harvesting, followed by piling and burning of the residues. The thermochemical properties and composition of Russian Olive was measured to determine the fuel value of these invasive plants, and an eradication cost model was developed. Assuming a market value of $40 per bone dry tonne delivered, we showed that the Yakama Nation invasive tree eradication program could be self-funding over the entire reservation. Currently, the landscape treated for invasive tree removal is limited by funding, so a market for residues can greatly expand the acres of restored landscape.