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The heft and feel of a well-worn handle,
The sight of shavings that curl from a blade;
The logs in the wood pile, the sentiment of huge beams in an old-fashioned house;
The smell of fresh cut timber and the pungent fragrance of burning leaves;
The crackle of kindling and the hiss of burning logs.
Abundant to all the needs of man, how poor the world would be
Without wood.

Everard Hinrichs, quoted by Eric Sloane in A Reverence for Wood

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Wood Biomass Conversion Factors

These helpful conversion factors were published as Appendix B in the US Forest Service Woody Biomass Utilization Guide (2007).

1 green ton (GT) of chips = 2,000 pounds (not adjusted for moisture)

1 bone-dry ton (BDT) of chips = 2,000 dry pounds (assumes no moisture content)

1 bone-dry unit (BDU) of chips = 2,400 dry pounds (assumes no moisture content)

1 unit of chips = 200 cubic feet

1 BDT chips = 2.0 GT (assuming 50 percent moisture content)

1 unit of chips = 1.0 BDT chips

1 CCF (hundred cubic feet) roundwood = 1.0 BDU chips

1 CCF roundwood (logs) = 1.2 BDT chips

1 CCF roundwood (logs) = 1.2 units of chips

1 CCF roundwood (logs) = 1.2 cords roundwood @ 85 cu. ft.

1 Board Foot (BF) = 1 board foot measures 12-in by 12-in by 1-inch thick

1 MBF (thousand board feet) = 1,000 BF

1 GT (green ton) of logs = 160 BF of lumber

6 GT (green ton) of logs = 1 MBF

1 Standard chip van carries 25 green tons, or approximately 12.5 bone-dry tons (BDT) assuming 50 percent moisture content

When woody biomass is utilized in a commercial-scale (10+ megawatt (MW) electrical output) power generation facility, the following energy output rules of thumb apply:

  • 1 BDT fuel will produce 10,000 pounds of steam
  • 10,000 pounds of steam will generate 1 megawatt hour (MWH) of electricity
  • 1 MW = 1,000 horsepower
  • 1 MW = Power for approximately 750 to 1,000 homes

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