Biomass and Renewable Energy

Officials look for market-driven approach to forest management

The forests on the eastern slope of the Cascades in the Wenatchee National Forest pose a problem. They have grown unnaturally dense, choked with small trees and underbrush. What used to be open forest, dominated by big, fire-resistant ponderosa pine, has filled in with Douglas fir and other species after decades of fire suppression and timber harvests. Now, the forests are at high risk for deadly insect infestations and destructive, high intensity wildfires.

Study finds wood pellet fuel has low carbon impact

The use of woody biomass for power generation, while giving off carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, still produces significant carbon savings with long-term environmental benefits.  The wood pellet coalition says it wanted to rebut claims that have found forest-based bioenergy, such as wood pellets, release carbon into the environment faster than growing trees can

New UK criteria ensures sustainable biomass

Biomass electricity generators could risk losing government subsidies if they fail to prove their fuel has come from sources that have been officially certified as “sustainable”, under new plans announced.  Climate Change Minister Greg Barker unveiled new sustainability criteria for wood-fuel, which aim to ensure any fuel used delivers lifecycle carbon emissions savings of more than 70% compared to coal and oil. 

Wood turbine towers on the horizon?

Steel was used in the early days of wind power and there hasn’t been any reason to switch to other materials. But recently, a group of researchers at Iowa State University’s Wind Energy Initiative are looking at something else, especially for taller towers.

In Germany, an outfit called TimberTower, has built a 100-meter wood tower topped with a 1.5-MW turbine. Glue-laminated timber panels were used in the construction.

Biomass fuels Oregon’s economy

A Wallowa biomass specialist will use $3.75 million to expand its facility and create as many as 14 new jobs.  Integrated Biomass Resources, a wood products manufacturer, borrowed the money through the BizCapital group, which is the small business lending division of Advantage Capital Partners, and the Oregon New Markets Tax Credit programs.  Integrated Biomass Resources believes the infusion will help it hire between 10-14 workers, with another eight construction jobs

New plant producing ethanol from biomass

INEOS Bio announced that its Indian River BioEnergy Center is producing cellulosic ethanol at commercial-scale.  The $130 million, 65-employee operation has a capacity of 8 million gallons of fuel annually, and represents the first commercial-scale production in the world using INEOS Bio’s gasification and fermentation technology for conversion of biomass waste into bioethanol and renewabl