National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA): A federal law enacted in 1969 that requires all federal agencies to consider and analyze the environmental impacts of any proposed action. NEPA requires an environmental impact statement for major federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the environment. NEPA requires federal agencies to inform and involve the public in the agency´s decision making process and to consider the environmental impacts of the agency´s decision.

Native lignin: The lignin as it exists in the lignocellulosic complex before separation.

Natural gas is approximately 80-99% methane, with the remainder being mostly other hydrocarbons (ethane, propane, butane, etc.) as well as some nitrogen, oxygen, water, CO2, sulfur and various contaminants. see SyngasBio-syngasFuel gasLandfill gasProducer gas.

Natural Stand: A stand of trees grown from natural seed fall or sprouting.

Negotiated Sale: A timber sale in which the buyer and seller negotiate a price for the standing timber. The standing timber is either marked or is in a delineated area.

Net heat of combustion: see lower heating value.

Net present value: The sum of the costs and benefits of a project or activity. Future benefits and costs are discounted to account for interest costs.

Net Metering: For those consumers who have their own electricity generating units, net metering allows for the flow of electricity both to and from the customer through a single, bi-directional meter. With net metering, during times when the customer's generation exceeds his or her use, electricity from the customer to the utility offsets electricity consumed at another time. In effect, the customer is using the excess generation to offset electricity that would have been purchased at the retail rate. Under most state rules, residential, commercial, and industrial customers are eligible for net metering, but some states restrict eligibility to particular customer classes.

Neutral detergent fiber (NDF): Organic matter that is not solubilized after one hour of refluxing in a neutral detergent consisting of sodium lauryl sulfate and EDTA at pH 7. NDF includes hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin.

Nitrogen oxides: (NOx) A product of photochemical reactions of nitric oxide in ambient air, and the major component of photochemical smog.

Nitrogen fixation: The transformation of atmospheric nitrogen into nitrogen compounds that can be used by growing plants.

Nominal inflation rates: Price inflation rates including the rate of general inflation in the economy.

Nonattainment area: Any area that does not meet the national primary or secondary ambient air quality standard established (by the Environmental Protection Agency) for designated pollutants, such as carbon monoxide and ozone.

Non-condensing, controlled extraction turbine: A turbine that bleeds part of the main steam flow at one (single extraction) or two (double extraction) points.

Nonforest land: Land that has never supported forests and lands formerly forested where use of timber management is precluded by development for other uses; if intermingled in forest areas, unimproved roads and nonforest strips must be more than 120 ft wide, clearings, and so on, must be more than 1 acre in area to qualify as nonforest land.

Nonindustrial private: An ownership class of private lands where the owner does not operate wood processing plants.

Non-renewable resource: A non-renewable energy resource is one that cannot be replaced as it is used. Although fossil fuels, like coal and oil, are in fact fossilized biomass resources, they form at such a slow rate that, in practice, they are non-renewable.

NOx: Oxides of nitrogen. Air pollutants that can be released from various types of combustion processes, including biomass combustion.

NREL: The National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

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