LANDSCOPE: THE BIO-FUELS ALTERNATIVE?

Ron Wenrich woodtick at kaley.net
Fri Jan 28 13:06:46 EST 2000


<wafcdc at americanlands.org> wrote in message
news:9bdf81bd&2.2.16.20000127175819.5f47e0a8 at pop2.igc.org...
> From: "wafcdc at americanlands.org" <wafcdc at americanlands.org>
> Subject: LANDSCOPE: THE BIO-FUELS ALTERNATIVE?
>
> LANDSCOPE: News and Views from American Lands - January 27, 2000
>
> THE BIO-FUELS ALTERNATIVE?
>
> The Clinton Administration has proposed more than doubling the budget
> for the development of "bio-fuels" from crops, corn stalks and trees,
> according to Reuters.  The goal of the research is "making biomass a
> viable competitor to fossil fuels as an energy source and chemical
> feedstock," said a White House memorandum.  The budget request follows
> an Executive Order signed last August that proposes tripling the use of
> bio-fuels by 2010.
>
> . . . At present, tens of millions of tons of trees are burned every
> year for energy production.  The  Administration's request to triple the
> use of bio-fuels will mean more native forests being cut for fuel.  A 25
> megawatt biomass power plant needs 275,000 tons of fuel a year - about
> the same consumption as a small chip mill.  Once the plant is built it
> must be fed.  Agricultural wastes and leftover woody materials cannot
> meet this demand.  A further concern is the involvement of Monsanto and
> others to develop genetically modified tree species for biomass.  For
> more information contact Denny Haldeman at mailto:denny at voy.net or
> 423/886-2993.
>
I helped to site a wood burner, which used the trash steam for a food
processing plant.  I think the 20 meg plant used about 210,000 tons.  At
that time, we used primarily sawdust and chips from sawmill operations.
They are now taking some chips from landclearing operations as well.  This
is all material that has very little market value, in my area.  This 20 meg
plant wouldn't even touch the amount of material available from doing
silvicultural improvements to the surrounding forested area.

Of course the alternatives to bio-fuels are coal, nuclear, or imported oil,
of which very few are co-gen operations.  Or we could turn down the heat and
turn out the lights.

RDW






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