A recent study commissioned by the Biomass Power Association (an organization representing 80 biomass power plants across the U.S.) compared the carbon intensity of a forest residue biomass power facility in New Hampshire to that of a combined cycle natural gas facility.
Dr. Madhu Khanna (of the University of Illinois Department of Agricultural/Consumer Economics) and Dr. Puneet Dwivedi (of the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources) found significant carbon benefits can be achieved through the use of organic residue based biomass instead of natural gas in power generation facilities.
The results showed immediate carbon savings of 115%, and 98% carbon savings over 100 years.
This “forest residue” is the leftover matter from harvesting wood fiber in a managed forest for paper mills and lumber mills. The leftovers include tops, limbs and other forestry byproducts are generated regardless of being used for power or just left to decay. If it’s not collected and used as biomass power, it will typically remain in the forest in slash piles – which are isolated piles burned safely in order to keep forests healthy. This kind of forest management is important, because unlike living trees that draw carbon from the atmosphere – dead tree leftovers release carbon into the atmosphere.
“The avoidance of carbon and methane emissions by removing from the forest and using materials that decay results in a significant GHG reduction over time. While the decay of these materials releases small amounts of methane consistently over time, the methane gas has a 21 times higher global warming impact on the climate than carbon dioxide. Even a small amount of avoided methane release can substantially increase the near term benefits of removing harvesting residues and using them for electricity generation instead of leaving them in the forest and continuing to burn natural gas for electricity.”
-Case Study: Carbon Intensity of Harvesting Residue-Based Electricity
The decay rate of forest biomass, the carbon/methane emissions that would have occurred if the organic leftovers stayed on the forest floor, and the incidental carbon emissions incurred during the harvesting/chipping/transportation process were all factors taken into account during the study.
Interested in learning more? Check out the full study, here.
As you probably know, wood pellets turn to sawdust when water is applied, because they absorb moisture immediately and return to the original state of clean wood fiber. Did you have some packaging damage that let in some snow or rain – and now you have leftover sawdust? Don’t throw it out, because you can put it to good use! Here are some of the ways wood pellets can come in handy – aside from heating.
It was early 2008 when Brian Grady, a professional sawyer from Maine, came up with the idea for reusable firewood. After months and months spent testing and researching, he created Fire Logs. The “logs” are handmade rectangular stainless steel baskets able to withstand temperatures up to 1400 degrees Fahrenheit – and designed to burn wood pellets.
Many experienced growers claim that using a sawdust mulch around blueberry plants helps them thrive. This is because these plants grow best in an acidic soil with a lot of moisture – which is what the sawdust provides. However, clean sawdust has apparently been harder to come by for small outfits and DIYers. This is where softwood pellets come into play!
We recently heard from a customer that he had run out of ice melt, but didn’t have anything to put down for traction on ice that had accumulated on his walkway overnight. He said his wife thought of throwing down some Cleanfire Pacific wood pellets on the snowy/icy area – and they were pleased with the outcome!
Of course, results and timing will vary based on the situation. But we think the idea of using a 100% natural wood fiber to make ice melt a bit quicker and to provide traction is great!
We decided to make a timelapse of wood pellets on ice to see what would happen. Here’s a sped-up close look of wood pellets soaking up moisture for about 20 minutes.
The White House has just released the United States Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization, a national U.S. strategy to decarbonize the economy over the next 34 years.
This report spans over 100 pages, and details the 2050 vision of economy-wide net greenhouse gas emissions reductions of 80 percent or more below 2005 levels. The White House explains:
“The MCS demonstrates how the United States can meet the growing demands on its energy system and lands while achieving a low-emissions pathway, maintaining a thriving economy, and ensuring a just transition for Americans whose livelihoods are connected to fossil fuel production and use,”
It’s that time of year where the bitter cold can really get the best of many homes. You might be considering some home updates, or feeling a cold draft you can’t locate – and you’ve thought about a professional assessment. Is it worth the cost? Check out this video by the U.S. Department of Energy. It provides some helpful insight into what a home energy audit is all about.
An audit can help you determine how much energy your home uses, where your home is losing energy, and which problem areas and fixes you should prioritize to make your home more efficient and comfortable.
No matter how expensive, updated or technologically advanced your heating system is – you could be losing significant amounts of heat through unexpected places in your home. You may be running tests yourself, which is great. But are you as thorough as a professional?
Mr. Ed Palmer joined the Woodpellets.com team in 2015 as the Operations Manager. As one of the many important moving parts of the company, Ed is responsible for ensuring the quality of delivery and distribution centers throughout our service region. This responsibility is essential for keeping deliveries timely and convenient, in order to make the customer experience a positive one.
Throughout his career, Ed has managed logistics across several industries, and is excited to now be a part of the Woodpellets.com team. Ed grew up In West Viriginia, and is the newest member of the team. In his free time, Ed enjoys fishing, boating, and off roading.
We asked Ed what he liked best so far about working for Woodpellets.com. His answer: “The team. Everyone is always looking for new ways to improve the customer experience. It’s really impressive and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
Two of the main contributing factors to what makes the Woodpellets.com experience different are – product quality assurance and the convenient delivery system. In order to explain these processes accurately, we let Joy (Quality Assurance Manager) and Dan (Delivery Logistics Manager) describe their main responsibilities – in their own words.
Quality Assurance Manager: My primary function is to work for our customers. I am the before, during and after the order point of contact – from Customer Service, to the burn experience at home. Basically, the service doesn’t stop with the delivery – because I’m there to make sure user expectations are met and (hopefully) exceeded.
There is only one word to describe the current market in wood pellets – unprecedented. Many of the changes that have happened in the pellet industry have been brewing for years, but the effects have really been felt by consumers since last spring. The appeal of wood pellet fuel has never been stronger, but that has driven some changes that every buyer of pellets will see.
New Stove Sales
Pellet stove sales continue to grow by leaps and bounds. The comfort and warmth generated by a pellet stove, combined with the run-up in heating oil prices and propane last winter, has convinced many households in New England to install a pellet stove. Many of the stove shops we work with in have let us know that their installations of new stoves are up as much as 50% so far this year and sales continue to be strong this fall. Anyone buying a new stove can see a wait time of several weeks for installation as the stores work to keep up with sales. These new stoves mean more people looking for pellets this fall.