Tanker Truck Collapses, Spills Ethanol in Kenilworth, NJ

- by Katie Lannan, November 19, 2014,  NJ.com

Firefighters called to the scene of what was originally described to them as a "small spill" Wednesday afternoon instead found 500 gallons of ethanol that had leaked out of a collapsed tanker truck.

The truck, carrying 7,000 gallons of ethanol, split as it was offloading its contents at a North Michigan Avenue business, said borough Fire Chief Lou Giordino.

"The tank itself just collapsed and broke open," he said.

Firefighters called the county hazardous materials team and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's emergency response team to the scene. Fire departments from nearby communities, including Union Township and Elizabeth, also assisted with the cleanup.

College Trash Habits Cause Concern, as Does Incinerator in Chester

- by Bobby Zipp, November 20, 2014,  Swarthmore Phoenix

Two weeks ago, a group of the Green Advisors conducted a waste audit of Kohlberg Hall and the Science Center. The purpose of the annual audit is to create a visual representation of the amount of waste produced by those buildings and test how well the Swarthmore community knows what to compost, recycle and put in the trash. Spearheaded by Green Advisor coordinators Kelley Langhans ’16,  Indy Reid-Shaw ’17 and Laura Laderman ’18, a team of GAs spent a day sorting through the 347 pounds of waste that was produced by Kohlberg and the Science Center on a single day and recorded the amount of waste in each of the three categories that was incorrectly disposed of. They found that out of everything that had been placed in trash bins, 35.3 percent of it was actually trash, and the rest could have been composted or recycled. Trash at Swarthmore is burned at Covanta Waste facility in Chester, the largest energy-from-waste incinerator in the country, which is located about eight miles away from the college.

More Wood to be Burned for Energy in 2015

- by Erin Voegele, November 14, 2014, Biomass Magazine

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the November issue of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, which includes updated forecasts for the use of wood and biomass fuels in U.S. heat and power production.

The EIA predicts that wood biomass will be use generate 118,000 MWh electricity per day in 2015, up from 116,000 MWh per day in 2014 and 109,000 MWh per day in 2013. Waste biomass is expected to be used to generate 58,000 MWh of electricity per day next year, up from 54,000 MWh per day this year and 55,000 MWh per day last year.

The electric power sector is expected to consume 0.262 quadrillion Btu (quad) of wood biomass and 0.277 quad of waste biomass next year, up from 0.25 quad and 0.259 quad this year, respectively. The industrial sector is expected to consume 1.198 quad of wood in 2015, down from 1.25 quad this year. The industrial sector is also expected to consume 0.0169 quad of waste biomass next year, down from 0.172 quad this year. The commercial sector is expected to consume 0.091 quad of wood biomass and 0.046 quad of waste biomass next year, compared to 0.079 quad and 0.046 quad this year, respectively. The residential sector is expected to consume 0.571 quad of wood next year, down slightly from 0.580 quad this year. Across all sectors, the U.S. is expected to consume 2.123 quad of wood biomass next year, down from 2.164 quad this year. The U.S. is also expected to consume 0.492 quad of waste biomass next year, up from 0.478 quad this year.

SOS! National Day of Action to Save Our Southern Forests

-By Emily Zucchino, October 28, 2014, Dogwood Alliance


Today’s biggest threat to Southern forests is the growing biomass industry. The wood pellet industry is expanding at a rate that is impossible for Southern forests to sustain. Our beautiful forests are being clear-cut, processed into pellets and then shipped to Europe to be burned for electricity.

 

We know that our forests aren’t fuel, and that’s why we’re sending an SOS to EU policymakers to Save Our Southern forests.

 

On November 13th, as the wood products industry meets in Chesapeake, VA to celebrate the destruction and export of our incredible forests, people from across the US are coming together for a National Day of Action to send an SOS to Save Our Southern forests. With 20 existing wood pellet facilities and 33 proposed, it’s crucial that we show EU policymakers that the biomass industry is bad for our environment, our communities and our economy. Join us in sending an SOS of more than 10,000 messages to EU policymakers.

 

Join us on November 13th to send an SOS to Save Our Southern forests.

PLEDGE TO TAKE ACTION NOW!

 

The increased demand for wood as a fuel source in the EU and particularly in the United Kingdom is driving the expansion of wood pellet manufacturing and export in the Southern US. We call on policymakers in the EU to hear our SOS and take action to stop the destruction of these forests.

The large-scale burning of wood pellets is not a solution to climate change or a feasible alternative to coal.

 

Mounting scientific research shows that burning wood pellets manufactured from trees will increase near-term carbon emissions and accelerate climate change. A recent report released by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change confirms that all scenarios in which whole trees or coarse woody residuals are used for wood pellets produce a result that is not carbon beneficial.

 

Additionally, our living forests provide many benefits.

 

Standing forests are our best defense against climate change through gathering and storing carbon.

 

Forests provide our communities with clean air to breathe, water to drink, and natural protection from flooding and hurricanes. They are home to countless species of plants and animals found nowhere else on Earth. Cutting them down as a solution to the climate crisis is bad policy and makes no sense. We can no longer invest in forest destruction; we need to focus on forest conservation.

 

Protect our bottomland wetland forests!

Join us on November 13th to send an SOS to EU policymakers.

Help us reach our goal of 10,000 messages!

Biofuel Company Files for Bankruptcy

- by Katie Fehrenbacher, November 11, 2014, Gigaom.com

Biofuel company KiOR, which has become a symbol of the difficulties of venture capitalists investing in clean technology startups, finally filed for bankruptcy this week, many months after shutting down its biofuel plant and operating on fumes, unable to pay its debts. Many, including myself, have been predicting this for awhile and thought it would come a lot sooner. But affiliates of early investor and major shareholder Vinod Khosla, as well as Bill Gates (also an investor in Khosla Ventures), have been funding the company’s day-to-day operations, keeping it going throughout the year.

Affiliates of Khosla could end up with the assets of KiOR, as they’ve placed the only bid in the sale process, and if there are no better offers, KiOR plans to sell the assets to “senior lenders,” which means funds affiliated with Khosla. Senior lenders agreed to convert $16 million of senior secured debt into new equity in the deal. KiOR interim CFO Christopher Artzer said in the filings that after an asset sale or reorganization, KiOR will continue research and development efforts on its biocrude development technology.

Indiana Ethanol Facility Fined $9,600 for Clean Air Act Violations

- by Seth Slabaugh, November 11, 2014, The Star Press

Cardinal Ethanol has paid a $9,600 fine to settle a complaint that it violated its Clean Air Act operating permit.

The penalty is insignificant in light of the grassroots, investor-owned company's profitability — $26.4 million net income for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2013.

President Jeff Painter said revenue and income data for fiscal year 2014 are not available because an independent audit has not been completed.

But according to Securities and Exchange Commission information, the company's net income for the third quarter of fiscal year 2014 totaled $29.4 million.

Until now, Cardinal Ethanol had been the only biofuels plant in East Central Indiana that had not paid a civil penalty for alleged air or water violations. Those violations usually occur during planned shutdowns for maintenance or start-ups.

"We paid the assessment in order to expedite this settlement," Painter said.

According to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, the company did not take reasonable steps to restore an air pollution scrubber's operation to normal operation as soon as practical during planned shutdowns in 2011-13.

The complaint also accuses the company of failing to record visible emissions of bag house exhaust around Christmas time in 2012.

50-Megawatt Biomass Incinerator Completed in Woodville, Texas

- October 28, 2014, HartfordBusiness.com

Glastonbury construction firm Gemma Power Systems has completed the 49.9 megawatt construction of a biomass plant in Woodville, Texas, three months ahead of schedule.

The plant to be run by the East Texas Electric Cooperative will operate on chipped forest waste. Construction of the facility began in 2012.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Gemma served as construction manager.

Gemma's subsidiary Gemma Plant Operations will run the plant for the electric cooperative under a separate contract.

 

34-Megawatt Biomass Incinerator Proposed for Michigan's Upper Peninsula

-  by Andy Balaskovitz, November 10, 2014, Midwest Energy News

Developers from metro Detroit have plans to build a $100 million, 34 MW biomass plant in the central Upper Peninsula, about 20 miles south of an aging coal plant that is the ongoing focus of the region’s energy crisis.

The company building the plant, Marquette Green Energy LLC, says it would run on a combination of biomass and tire-derived fuels and a smaller amount of natural gas to start. The developers say it’s a step forward as the region scrambles to figure out how to avoid major rate increases in the short term and build new generation for the long term.

“I call it stealth development,” said Barry Bahrman, a partner in the project and a fifth-generation Upper Peninsula native. “It’s developed to a point now when we can let people know there’s part of an answer in place. … Local generation is what the U.P. needs.”

The project has received an air quality permit from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, which Bahrman said makes it the first tangible generation project to surface since the Presque Isle Power Plant closure started making headlines.

Beetles, Burns, and Biomass Energy | November issue of The Biomass Monitor

It's a bird...It's a plane...It’s the November issue of The Biomass Monitor, the nation’s #1 publication tracking the health and environmental impacts of biomass energy!

Inside this issue:

- Will National Forests Be Sacrificed to the Biomass Industry?

Is Biomass All It’s Cut Up to Be?

The Forest Service and Collaboratives Garden Our Forest

...and more!

Please share the November 2014 issue of The Biomass Monitor with your friends, colleagues, neighbors, media, and elected officials! 

Subscribe to monthly email issues!

 

 

Biomass Energy Drives Wood Shortage in Nova Scotia

-  Rachel Brighton, October 10, 2014, The Chronicle Herald

[More evidence of biomass energy competing for limited wood source. - JS]

Opening up long-term access to western Crown lands will relieve some of the pressure that has been building in the forestry sector this year.

This week the province announced that 16 sawmills and manufacturers had been granted 10-year allocations on the former Bowater lands and other Crown land west of Highway 101.

Many sawmills had been crying out for this Crown access since late 2012, when the province acquired the assets of the defunct Bowater Mersey Paper Co.,including its vast tracts of timberlands in the southwest of the province.

This spring the province granted temporary access to these lands to 12 sawmills and two other players in the forestry industry: Louisiana-Pacific Canada Ltd., which produces hardboard siding in Lunenburg County, and Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corp.

Emera Energy, which operates a biomass plant in Brooklyn that produces electricity for Nova Scotia Power Inc., was also allowed to harvest on Crown land this year, under a separate agreement with the province.

The new allocations secure access for mostly the same group of mills that gained the spring licences, but with a few left out and a few more added. Northern Pulp’s access to western Crown land has also been assured for the next decade.

Alongside these allocations, the province has a separate Crown land agreement with Port Hawkesbury Paper LP.

As well, Nova Scotia Power has become a significant buyer of biomass, through independent contractors, to feed its power plant in Point Tupper.

The allocations conclude a year in which there has been acute price competition for firewood and low-grade hardwood, spiked by expanding demand for biomass at Nova Scotia Power’s Point Tupper plant and, as some sawmills and contractors maintain, by Northern Pulp’s acquisition of hardwood pulpwood.

There has also been a logjam in getting wood out of the forest into the market, caused in part by a major contraction in the number of forestry contractors and truckers.

Some households felt the force of these market factors this year, when the price for firewood shot up after last year’s heavy winter. Some firewood suppliers told me their customers were hoarding wood for fear of a shortage, making the problem worse.

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