iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Biomasfor: an open-source holistic model for the assessment of sustainable forest bioenergy

S Sacchelli (1)   , P Zambelli (2), P Zatelli (2), M Ciolli (2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 6, Issue 5, Pages 285-293 (2013)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor0897-006
Published: Jul 01, 2013 - Copyright © 2013 SISEF

Research Articles

This paper presents an open-source spatial analysis model (Biomasfor) that can quantify the availability of forest wood-energy biomass in the light of ecological and economic sustainability. Several multi-functionality parameters were evaluated to highlight the potential impact of biomass extraction on different forest functions. The multistep approach used and the model’s internal structure permit the use of the model with highly differentiated input datasets. The introduction of biomass demand evaluation allows the quantification of the wood-energy supply/demand. The analysis is focused on the province of Trento (northeastern Italian Alps). The results are based on a scenario evaluation characterised by several degrees of biomass extraction and by a sensitivity analysis of biomass price, as well as on a typology of mechanisation. The model outputs define a reduction in biomass availability with the introduction of technical, economic and multi-functionality parameters. Furthermore, considerations on territorial characteristics outline the importance of woodchip production as a means of avoiding carbon dioxide emissions and achieving low-impact reductions of the risk of fires. The model appears to be an effective tool in bioenergy planning, particularly for the following purposes: (i) the estimation of the biomass supply/demand ratio under different scenarios; (ii) a preliminary analysis of biomass quality; and (iii) the influence of local environmental, economic and logistical characteristics on biomass production.


Spatial Analysis, Bioenergy, Open Source, Forest Multi-functionality, Holistic Models, GIS

Authors’ address

S Sacchelli
GESAAF - Dipartimento di Gestione dei Sistemi Agrari, Alimentari e Forestali, Univ. di Firenze, p.le delle Cascine 18, I-50144 Florence (Italy)
P Zambelli
P Zatelli
M Ciolli
DICAM - Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Ambientale e Meccanica, Università di Trento, v. Mesiano 77, I-38123 Trento (Italy)

Corresponding author



Sacchelli S, Zambelli P, Zatelli P, Ciolli M (2013). Biomasfor: an open-source holistic model for the assessment of sustainable forest bioenergy. iForest 6: 285-293. - doi: 10.3832/ifor0897-006

Academic Editor

Luca Salvati

Paper history

Received: Nov 16, 2012
Accepted: Apr 02, 2013

First online: Jul 01, 2013
Publication Date: Oct 01, 2013
Publication Time: 3.00 months

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