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.
We love how creative our customers are. Have you seen our recent blog showing off some of their ideas on how to reuse wood pallets? Check out this project submitted by Kevin, of Massachusetts:
He explains, “I’ve been a home-brewer for more than 30 years. We all have cases for 12 oz bottles, but not for the larger ones that come in a variety of shapes. It was very labor intensive but worth it to make my own cases that hold 8 big bottles each. These two stack on top of each other. Each case will turn out a little different from the last because or the varying dimensions of the pallet wood.”
Do you have any pallet reuse projects you’d like to share? We invite you to post them to our Facebook community!
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.
We tagged along with Rob (one of our NH drivers) on a 1-ton Value delivery of Cleanfire Wood Bricks. You’ll see in the video below that the forklift is mounted on the back of the truck, which parks in the road. The driver lowers it down to the ground, uses it to remove the fuel from the truck, and then drives it up the driveway to place the pallet where he’s instructed.
The video below shows the entire delivery, and is a great example of a seamless experience. Knowing his wood bricks would be dropped off that morning, the home-owner moved his car out of the way to keep the path clear for Rob. At the time of ordering, he requested the pallet to be placed in the driveway, about 10 feet in front of the shed.
As you can see, the customer isn’t present for this driveway delivery. As long as your instructions are clear, and you let us know exactly where you’d like your fuel, our driver can handle it in most situations without your physical presence. Our driver will do everything possible to safely deliver your pallets where you want them. Of course, we have your contact information in case something comes up.
Whether you order in increments of 50 wood pellet bags (1 ton) or 75 bags (1.5 tons) – they will be delivered on wooden pallets. Recently, we asked our customers to submit photos to our Facebook page of how they reuse their pallets and wood pellet bags for a chance to win a free Woodpellets.com delivery voucher. Check out our favorites below!
Long Outdoor Table: Todd, a Woodpellets.com customer from New York, explained: “We needed a table for a get together. Rather than buying more wood, I used left over studs for the frame, and pallet wood around it.”
When the little stretches of warm days transition into consistent summer weather – you’re ready to let your pellet stove go on vacation. But, there are extra steps you should consider taking to protect your precious heating investment.
Turn off your stove and unplug it from the surge protector, or unplug the entire thing. Why do you need a surge protector? Most modern pellet stoves have a circuit board that can be damaged without protection from even small electrical surges caused by power outages. Be sure to check your manual for information on electrical recommendations.) Once you’re fully disconnected, make sure it’s completely cooled off before moving forward.
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!
Although we rolled out our improved online shopping cart a couple of years ago, we’re still getting surprised reactions from customers about it. Did you know that you can select multiple products to add to your purchase when ordering from Woodpellets.com, both by phone and online? If you’re speaking to one of our experts by phone, just ask him or her about adding another type of fuel to your order.
If you’re shopping online, simply select your desired brand and the number of tons you’d like from your zip code’s gallery. Once it’s added to your cart, select the Continue Shopping button that will appear on a pop-up box. This will bring you back to the gallery, where you can select another type of fuel. Continue this until you’re ready to view your cart, make any changes, select your delivery type and check out.
Why is this mix and match by the ton option important? Well, you might want to set up a strategic burning strategy for the next heating season. If you have been burning hardwood pellets, you might be curious about upgrading to softwood. Or, you might want to try something new. Perhaps you already burn softwood pellets, but you’re thinking about burning a softwood with a higher heat output during those extra cold months. Comparing your burning and heating experience with different types of wood pellets will help take care of those pellet curiosities.