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Manufacturers Can Control: Raw Material Costs

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Roadside Chipping

Challenge: Many ethanol producers prefer to use feedstocks of higher quality. Making such a choice may lead to lower availability and higher demand for this type of raw material, driving up material prices.

Producers or manufacturers compete with each other to get the best materials at the least cost. A producer may need to look for raw materials further from the facility. This impacts the transportation cost.

Solution: Manufacturers need to identify the least cost wood feedstocks that meet their needs, including forest residues:

  • tree tops, trunks, and branches left over from a timber harvest,
  • whole logs not otherwise utilized for other industries,
  • wood shavings, wood chips, trimmings, sawdust, bark from lumber mill wastes.

The collection process is called biomass harvesting. Biomass materials may undergo pre-processing by chipping or other method before being transported.

Raw Material Sources