Today over one-third of all K-12 students in Vermont attend a wood heated school and Vermont is home to the greatest concentration of installed modern wood heating systems in North America.
The industry’s growth in Vermont is attributed to a high dependence on expensive heating oil, a wealth of forest resources, a culture of active forest management, supportive state policies, and on-going technical and support services from the Biomass Energy Resource Center (BERC) and its partners.
Malheur Lumber Co. plans to add 20 to 30 jobs to their John Day Mill, going beyond a single shift for the first time since 1998 as a result of strong collaboration efforts and the launch of the 10-year stewardship contract on the Malheur National Forest.
Wood fibers have potential to clean up oil spills thanks to a chemically modified nanocellulose sponge developed by Swiss wood researchers Empa. The material is highly absorbent, but light enough to float on the service and can be used from recycled wood materials and other cellulose-containing remains such as recycled paper, wood, and agricultural by-p
Australian scientists have engineered a new technology which converts coal or biomass into a water-based slurry called micronized refined carbon (MRC) which has the potential to slash emissions by as much as 50%. According to CSIRO Energy Group Executive Alex Wonhas, this technology is capable of halving carbon dioxide intensity as well as significantly reducing power costs.
The Willow Crop Green Energy power producing program was developed in Hughesville, PA with an $8,000 grant through the PA Energy Development Authority. The plant sources its power from shrub willow hybrids, which are converted into wood chips as biofuels. European governments have been using this alternative energy source since the ‘70’s.
In the heating season ending in 2013, the Forest Service credited its Wood to Energy Grant Program with helping 24 facilities, including 13 schools or school systems, replace upward of 900,000 gallons of heating oil with locally produced wood chips and pellets that provide the same energy output for less than half the price. The $11.4 million in funding to support these projects in Maine came from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
By inserting a piece of code isolated from a Chinese herb into the DNA of a poplar tree, scientists at the University of British Columbia, Michigan State and University of Wisconsin-Madison have produced a tree designed for easy deconstruction. These trees can be sterilized to prevent “gene flow” and can be planted on agricultural land d unsuited to food crops, preventing competition.
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