– by Jake Davies, July 21, 2016, Farmers Weekly
Irish agri-tech firm BHSL has agreed a US$3m (£2.27m) deal with the state of Maryland to trial its manure-fired biomass boilers in the US.
One of its patented systems has already shipped, and is due to be fully operational by October, according to the company.
BHSL contributed two-thirds of the investment required to set up the system in the US.
Maryland is one of six states that surround Chesapeake Bay, a region devastated by intensive agriculture.
– by Kenneth Miller, July 22, 2016, Take Part
Photo: Max Whittaker
At WasteExpo 2016, the annual conference of the National Waste & Recycling Association, some 600 exhibits fill three cavernous floors of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Gleaming garbage trucks are on display, along with scrap metal shredders, conveyor belt systems, and pumps for spritzing deodorizer onto fetid landfills. Video screens show trash being sorted or baled, compacted or pulverized, by machines that resemble oversize Tonka toys.
The exhibitors are mostly male, and their fashion sense runs to the functional. Company-logo polos in cheerful colors predominate, tucked into khakis over middle-age paunches. But at the booth operated by a company called Sierra Energy, the vibe is different. The men’s shirts are black, and the tails hang over skinny jeans. There are women, too, in arty black dresses. The booth itself conveys an air of Zen-like mystery. What the hipsters are selling is nowhere to be seen. Instead, tufts of grass sprout from sleek pots on blond-wood tables. A banner shows two views of a trash heap—one in its unlovely natural hues, the other in a soothing shade of green. Superimposed on the images is a kind of koan: “I AM NOT GARBAGE. I AM FUEL. MONEY. OPPORTUNITY.”
– July 21, 2016, Bioenergy Insight
Wood processing specialist Canfor has opened two new wood pellet plants worth C$58 million (€40.3m) in Canada’s British Columbia.
The two plants, located at Fort St. John and Chetwynd, were built at Canfor’s existing sawmills and have a combined annual production capacity of 175,000 tonnes of wood pellets, Prince George Citizen reports.
The Chetwynd plant began operations late last year, while the Fort St. John plant reached full operations earlier this year.
– by Anna Simet, July 21, 2016, Biomass Magazine
Algae as a biomass crop has great potential but is currently cost prohibitive.
The use of energy crops like miscanthus and switchgrass has slowed in recent years but is poised for intense growth.
The U.S. maintains the capability to produce over 1 billion tons of renewable biomass each year.
The aforementioned are some conclusions of the recently released, 448-page 2016 Billion-Ton Update, a second follow-up to the original 2005 Billion-Ton Study that examines the technical feasibility of a billion-ton annual biomass supply chain by 2040. On July 19, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute held a briefing to discuss the update, its methodology and data collection strategies, findings and goals.
Opening the briefing was Alison Goss Eng, program manager at the U.S. DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, who discussed the history of the initiative and the evolution of the report over the past 11 years, and added details of each update.
“We feel confident there is enormous U.S potential to produce biomass, on the order of more than a billion tons annually,” she said. “Every time we do this analysis, we get more confident in this number.”
READ MORE at Biomass Magazine
– July 16, 2016, BTEC
On July 14, the House of Representatives passed, on a vote of 231 to 196, the FY17 Interior Appropriations Bill (HR 5538). As we have noted, the measure includes language preventing EPA or other federal departments or agencies from regulating CO2 emissions from forest bioenergy. If enacted, the provision would essentially remove the barriers embedded in the Clean Power Plan for states to use biomass as a compliance pathway. Although 179 amendments were offered on the bill during floor consideration, there was no amendment to strike the “carbon neutrality of forest biomass” provision and the bill passed with that language intact.
Last week, the Senate voted 84-3 to proceed to a conference committee on negotiating energy bills that both chambers passed this spring. The Senate conferees are: Senators Murkowski (R-AK), Barrasso (R-WY), Risch (R-ID), Cornyn (R-TX), Cantwell (D-WA), Wyden (D-OR), and Sanders (I-VT). Congressional staff will be working over the August recess to resolve differences between the House-passed and Senate-passed bills. The goal is to have a compromise package prepared before the November election, but the reality is that timeline may slip into later November or December.
READ MORE at BTEC
– July 18, 2016, Bioenergy Insight
The global death rate from air pollution will skyrocket in the next few decades lest the energy buckles down and significantly reduces its emissions, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says.
In the Energy and Air Pollution special report under the World Energy Outlook, IEA says an estimated 6.5 million death are caused by air pollution annually.
Of these deaths, 3.5 million are connected with energy poverty and the use biomass and kerosene for cooking and lighting that affects 2.7 billion people worldwide.
Another three million deaths are linked to outdoor air pollution caused by traffic and industry, mostly in cities.
The agency report states that the majority of air polluting emissions come from energy production and use due to “unregulated, poorly regulated or inefficient” fuel combustion.
– July 15, 2016, Portland Press Herald
Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection has issued final permits for trash-to-energy company Fiberight for a $69 million facility in Hampden.
The nonprofit Municipal Review Committee, representing 187 municipalities, intends to contribute $5 million to the project. It contends it’s cheaper and more environmentally friendly than using an existing incinerator operated by Penobscot Energy Recovery Company. Penobscot Energy will lose subsidies and its contract with the MRC in 2018.
Critics have raised concerns about whether Fiberight has the money and technology to produce biofuel from solid waste on a commercial scale.