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Author Topic: Woody Biomass Demand Update  (Read 8796 times)

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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Woody Biomass Demand Update
« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2008, 09:50:07 AM »
Culm is the part shale/part coal that gets tossed out of the processing.  I believe its also called clinker coal.  It is mainly in the deep mine sections.  We have a few areas that are higher than the mountains. 

There isn't a high btu value, so it is hard to transport to any given location.  But, they work OK as a stand alone where the fuel costs are next to nothing.  They must be using the burnt stuff for fill or cinders. 
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Woody Biomass Demand Update
« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2008, 03:13:21 PM »
Right now the price for hog fuel hovers around $36/ton I believe and one small operator I know says he nets about $3-4/ton profit. One large operator sends about 200 loads a week to a 35 MWatt plant in Fort Fairfield Maine. These operations involve chipping large woody debris as well as the limbs of low grade wood.

The University, Forestry Centre and Hospital in Fredericton have been heated by hog fuel for years and I think the annual cost is about $3 Million compared to $24 million from stove oil. Those figures are 3 years old I think. All the residue comes from Irving's saw mill in Chipman and some from the Ranger School sawmill. Many mills here that still operate have cogen or are considering it, the electricty bill for a pulp mill on the grid is astronomical. I think some farmers are even using ashes from some operations down south. We don't use ashes on farm fields up this way because of potato production. Ashes will scab up the tubers. Nothing wrong with them, but you know how consumers are, the produce has to look perfect to sell.
Move'n on.

Offline Gary_C

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Re: Woody Biomass Demand Update
« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2008, 08:58:02 PM »
The demand for biomass is growing rapidly and the supply is diminishing.

A local feed store that sells bagged dry wood shavings is now quoting deliveries eight months from now because of shortages of supply. Seems most of the dry wood comes from dropoffs from window manufacturers and the housing market downturn has cut that supply back.

Also the compost people are having a hard time finding wood chips for their compost piles.

And there are boilers that were fired with chips from the tops of trees that are having to shut down because not enough trees are being cut right now.

Are we going to see trees cut just for the biomass in the near future as there is growing demand that is not being met right now?
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Woody Biomass Demand Update
« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2008, 09:56:31 PM »
Only if they're willing to pay the price.  A lot of those biomass burners were put in when the price of hauling and production was real cheap.  With the increase of energy, there is an increase in the cost of production. 

Penn State did a study a good number of years ago about growing biomass with hybrid poplar.  They showed it could be done, and you would be using an 8 year rotation, even in the colder regions of the country.  None of those plantations were ever developed due to lower costs from waste products.

In Europe, they use the understory to grow wood like beech and ironwood.  They only grow it to firewood size and are on a 20 year rotation.  They allow the overstory to grow with a much longer rotation than what we use.  If they can do it, I don't see any reason we couldn't do it. 
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Woody Biomass Demand Update
« Reply #24 on: August 28, 2008, 02:51:08 AM »
Western Europe has more intensive management of their forests and haul distance is short. Most provinces in Canada and some states are larger than most of those countries. A lot of unmanaged woodlots here, where over their some counties have a high participation rate. Most woodlots owners here make decisions on current needs with no long term goals. Just about every plan I've seen written, was used as a free cruise to bargain with loggers on price and volume. Incentives to do the right thing were used by owners to hire the next logger at lower stumpage to clearcut the rest of the wood. How do I know? Just work around a forest products marketing board, grab a box of plans (only board employees have access without owner permission)  and go for a ride.  ;)

If you had 4 regional biomass plants here, you'd still get people hauling wood from this one to the one on the far end because the price per tonne was a couple bucks more. ::)

One sawmill here has been feeding hog fuel to the heating plant for the University and Hospital needs for 25 years at least. Good chips go to their pulp mill. Needs to be more of those type projects. They said they save $millions on fuel from burning wood. There is other interests at play here though, when you have the largest oil refinery in the country losing sales to a big customer, government. Guess whose hog fuel is going to that boiler? The refinery owner's. :D That may have changed recently, since the saw mill has been shut down for a few months. They said they need more private wood to keep it going. But, most of us don't agree. They want more crown allocation so they don't have to harvest their own or buy from private if they can help it. They would get private if the price was fair. The largest NB forest company, paying the lowest price for wood tells me they don't need it. Doesn't supply and demand work for everyone? ;)
Move'n on.

Offline WDH

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Re: Woody Biomass Demand Update
« Reply #25 on: August 28, 2008, 07:32:26 AM »
In the market today, there is a balance between lumber production, chip production, and bark/sawdust production.  All the current by-products from sawing lumber are already spoken for in the market.  So bark/sawdust that is being produced today is not sitting around piling up in piles.  It is being sold already as boiler fuel and other products.

Therefore, woody biomass to meet new demand for energy production will have to come from new sources of supply, or take over the existing supply and drive the current users out of business.  New processes will be required, and sources of woody biomass will have to be explored. 
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Woody Biomass Demand Update
« Reply #26 on: August 28, 2008, 10:06:37 AM »
Very good point WDH. And you can't run a business based on these responses:

"I might cut some wood in September"

"I don't know when I'll start cutting"

"Maybe I'll cut some wood later"

.....from potential suppliers.
Move'n on.

Offline WDH

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Re: Woody Biomass Demand Update
« Reply #27 on: August 28, 2008, 05:48:58 PM »
The Bio-fuel plants could use several hundreds of loads of material a day, so it is a logistical challenge.  Chipping tops from current logging jobs will be important, but that will not be nearly enough to fuel these facilities.  Other creative sources, like cull hardwoods, will be required.  Too bad they cannot use greenbriar and grapvines :).
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Woody Biomass Demand Update
« Reply #28 on: August 28, 2008, 07:02:42 PM »
Add dogwood, choke cherry, mountain ash, willow, alders, cow shades and pin cherry to the list.  :D

I'm serious about those pin cherry especially, wouldn't get a faster growing tree and all within roadside reach. We get tree buts of 8-10 inches in 12 years here on road side berms and about 45 feet tall.
Move'n on.

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Woody Biomass Demand Update
« Reply #29 on: August 29, 2008, 05:46:15 AM »
But, you could add woody debris to the list.  That would include stuff that currently goes to landfills.  Housing debris, industrial debris, tree trimmings, etc.  For example, when they do roadside trimmings in my area, they just blow it on the ground. 

Shrub wood could be used as long as the economics support it.  Heck, we even import wood pulp to make paper.  If the price is right, you could import chips from tropical plantations. 

The biggest problem is how power companies price energy coming from biomass plants.  They price it below coal.  The economics go out the window unless you have a secondary steam user. 
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline Cedarman

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Re: Woody Biomass Demand Update
« Reply #30 on: August 29, 2008, 06:39:50 AM »
In Oklahoma where we grind cedar air dried to about 12 per cent before it hits the grinder we get about 10 tons of fiber per acre.  Some acres produce 20 tons and in dense stands 50 tons per acre. Remember, we are hauling fiber at 12 per cent not biomass saturated with water. There are literally millions of acres of this stuff available in the plains states.  The only competition is with mulch and that market can be saturated quickly.  A 100 loads per day means 200 acres of clearing per day of just cedar.  If they took the junk hardwood then that would be 100 acres per day.  Forest service is paying 500 bucks per acre to do thinning in AZ with the companies taking the small wood (14" and smaller to sawmills, chipping and biomass)

There is a huge amount of material that is available away from the normal production areas.
I am in the pink when sawing cedar.

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Woody Biomass Demand Update
« Reply #31 on: August 29, 2008, 11:41:20 AM »
I think that too often when you start talking biomass, everyone immediately starts to think in terms of their relative area and their particular place in the industry.  There's a lot of potential in a number of areas.  But, sometimes you gotta think outside the box, or get a bigger box.   ;)
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Offline WDH

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Re: Woody Biomass Demand Update
« Reply #32 on: August 29, 2008, 01:32:39 PM »
Another thing to think about is location.  You cannot afford to transport green wood residue very far.  Maybe there will be a technology to efficiently dry it at the point of production, otherwise, having an abundance of biomass in an area may not be enough.  Using woody debris currently going to landfills really makes sense.  Maybe the landfills could accumulate the material and a chipping contractor could serve a number of landfills in an efficient manner.
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Woody Biomass Demand Update
« Reply #33 on: August 29, 2008, 01:35:54 PM »
Hard to get folks in some areas to separate cardboard boxes, let alone broken wooden pallets and tree limbs.  ;)
Move'n on.

Offline Gary_C

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Re: Woody Biomass Demand Update
« Reply #34 on: August 29, 2008, 03:11:20 PM »
Using woody debris currently going to landfills really makes sense.  Maybe the landfills could accumulate the material and a chipping contractor could serve a number of landfills in an efficient manner.

This is already being done some places here. The Minnesota Power Plant just south of Duluth has been accepting construction waste or any wood fiber that can be chipped. The largest source of material has been housing contractors that now have a place for the dropoffs and waste wood from housing construction rather than paying tipping fees at the landfills.

The major drawback has been that it all has to be chipped before you can deliver it to the power plant. However there is now a chipping operation near the power plant that will chip small loads so hopefully that will work out for the homeowners or remodelers.
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Offline WDH

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Re: Woody Biomass Demand Update
« Reply #35 on: August 29, 2008, 08:19:28 PM »
That could create some new jobs.
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline Woodhog

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Re: Woody Biomass Demand Update
« Reply #36 on: September 01, 2008, 02:38:26 PM »
There is a lot of "Biomass" used around here by the local paper mill.

They want all they can get.

They only forgot to pay for it...

They pay 31 dollars per tonne and the supplier has to pay the trucker 10.00 per tonne to haul it to the plant.

That leaves $21.00 per tonne to cut, forward to the landing..

What a joke.

The funny part is I see truckloads going in there from some poor  souls who must have failed  Economics 101...

Offline underdog

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Re: Woody Biomass Demand Update
« Reply #37 on: September 01, 2008, 04:59:30 PM »
They do not utilize it here. I guess??
There used to be local places to sell paperwood. They would put it on trains. All gone.
The last local place that took way wood just closed.
Now we have to haul a minimum of 50Mi to sell non sawmill  type wood.


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