Biomass news and resources to learn more about coal-fired power, biomass availability, bioenergy, torrefaction, and forest and rangeland management. (For HM3 Energy specific news, see HM3 Energy News.
Wildfire smoke becoming a serious health hazard, USA Today (Oct 25, 2013)“Climate change will intensify U.S. wildfires, and the smoky air will cause respiratory problems in areas far beyond those burned, reports an environmental group Thursday that listed how each state fared in 2011.”
Bioenergy and Greenhouse Gases report, a study released by the Green Power Institute, the Renewable Energy Program of the Pacific Institute, reports that converting forest residues, agricultural and urban biomass waste, and gases from manure and landfills into energy helps reduce our greenhouse-gas emissions and replace a portion of fossil-fuel use.
Coal’s Assault on Human Health, a PDF publication by Physicians for Social Responsibility (Nov 2009). This report looks at the devastating impacts of coal on the human body. Coal combustion releases mercury, particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and dozens of other substances known to be hazardous to human health.
Cleaner Power Plants, an overview on the Environmental Protection Agency’s actions to reduce mercury and other toxic air pollution.
Biomass Availability, Bioenergy and Torrefaction
Glossary of Terms, courtesy of the Biomass Power Association
How Biomass Energy Works, from the Union of Concerned Scientists website provides a thoughtful review of biomass sources for energy. HM3 Energy agrees with their premise that sustainably-harvested wood and forest residues are a beneficial source of biomass.
U.S. Billion Ton Update, U.S. Department of Energy (2011). An update to the 2005 in depth “Billion Ton Study” of the potential biomass available within the contiguous United States based on assumptions about current and future inventory production capacity, availability and technology. Includes spatial, county-by-county inventory of potentially available primary feedstocks, price and available quantities for the individual feedstocks and modeling of resource sustainability.
Bioenergy and Greenhouse Gases, a white paper by Gregory Morris, Ph.D., Pacific Institute (May 2008). “Bioenergy production reduces atmospheric greenhouse-gas levels by enhancing long-term forest-carbon sequestration and by reducing the greenhouse-gas potency of the carbon gases associated with the return of biomass carbon to the atmosphere that is an intrinsic part of the global carbon cycle. These greenhouse-gas benefits are provided in addition to the benefit common to all renewable energy production of avoiding the use of fossil fuels. The value of the greenhouse-gas offsets that are expected to become available in the next several years should improve the competitiveness of energy production from biomass and biogas resources in the marketplace of the future…”
Torrefied Pellet Pursuit, Biomass Magazine (April 4, 2013). “In the U.S., commercial supplies of torrefied wood pellets are difficult to secure. What’s holding up market development?”
Forest and Rangeland Mangement
Woody Biomass Utilization Benefits – “The utilization of woody biomass has numerous direct and indirect societal, economic, and environmental benefits.”
Failure to thin brush may have worsened California wildfire, Reuters (Sept. 1, 2013). “A cluster of controlled fire and tree-thinning projects approved by forestry officials but never funded might have slowed the massive Rim Fire in California…”
Cost of fighting Oregon fires this year reaching ‘historic territory,’ The Oregonian (August 17, 2013). “The Oregon Department of Forestry has spent more than $70 million fighting major wildfires so far this summer, far more than it generally spends to handle fires on state-protected lands.”
Western Juniper: Its Impact and Management in Oregon Rangelands, a study by Oregon State University Extension Service.
Why are some forest fires so intense? PDF publication by Oregon Forest Resources Institute. “Nearly 40% of Oregon’s forestland is classified as Class 3 or at high risk of uncharacteristically intense fire because of dense, unnaturally overcrowded and dying trees. Another 45 percent is in Class 2, or at moderate risk.”
US Endowment for Forestry and Communities “works collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-reliant communities.”
Sustainable Northwest works with communities to innovate and solve critical natural resource challenges.
Oregon Forest Resources Institute, created in 1991 by the Oregon Legislature, “is a centralized gateway to shared ideas and collaborative dialogue regarding the delicate balance between the environmental, social and economic values provided by our forests.”
Pinchot Institute for Conservation, has a mission “to advance conservation and sustainable natural resource management by developing innovative, practical and broadly-supported solutions to conservation challenges and opportunities.”