Wood Waste Market Research Study

U.S. Forest Service maintenance projects produce millions of tons of wood debris annually. This renewable waste could be a lower-cost alternative to petroleum-based propane for heating.

ISTC researchers, in collaboration with the University of Illinois, Western Illinois University (WIU), and the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus examined the scientific, economic, and cultural characteristics that would support the expansion of wood energy markets based on low-value wood residues. The project's goals were to:
  1. promote the use of wood to displace the propane currently used for space heating within the Greenhouse, Nursery, and Floriculture Production sector (NAICS 1114) in Illinois, and
  2. evaluate the compatibility of grain farming and animal production facilities, care facilities, correctional centers, schools, universities, etc. with the use of wood as fuel.

The team addressed the feasibility/capability of various wood thermal heating systems for use in greenhouses. To do this, they built on a UIUC/ISTC project previously funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation, which found that pelletized prairie grasses grown on roadside rights-of way areas can be successfully used as fuel for heating, while also offering economic and environmental benefits.

Case Studies

Access the Data

Access to the data collected for this project is available through a University of Illinois Box folder: go.illinois.edu/illinois-biomass-data-files.

Other Resources


Grant Opportunities


Grant studies wood waste for heat viability was published in: