Estimation of unused forest biomass potential resource amount in Korea

Sangho  Yun1   Sung-Min  Choi1   Joon-Woo  Lee2,*   Sung-Min  Park1   

1Korea Forest Engineer Institute, Daejeon 35209, Korea
2Department of Environment and Forest Resources, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Korea


Recently, the policy regarding climate change in Korea and overseas has been to promote the utilization of forest biomass to achieve net zero emissions. In addition, with the implementation of the unused forest biomass system in 2018, the size of the Korean market for manufacturing wood pellets and wood chips using unused forest biomass is rapidly expanding. Therefore, it is necessary to estimate the total amount of unused forest biomass that can be used as an energy source and to identify the capacity that can be continuously produced annually. In this study, we estimated the actual forest area that can be produced of logging residue and the potential amount of unused forest biomass resources based on GT (green ton). Using a forest functions classification map (1 : 25,000), 5th digital forest type map (1 : 25,000), and digital elevation model (DEM), the forest area with a slope of 30° or less and mountain ridges of 70% or less was estimated based on production forest and IV age class or more. The total forest area where unused forest biomass can be produced was estimated to be 1,453,047 ha. Based on GT, the total amount of unused forest biomass potential resources in Korea was estimated to be 117,741,436 tons. By forest type, coniferous forests were estimated to be 48,513,580 tons (41.2%), broad-leaved forests 27,419,391 tons (23.3%), and mixed forests 41,808,465 tons (35.5%). Data from this research analysis can be used as basic data to estimate commercial use of unused forest biomass.

Figures & Tables

Map of forest functions classification (a) and map of production forest (b).