2010 Feb. 4: RAWSEP View: Revisiting Wood Gasification Part 1

2010 Feb. 4: RAWSEP View: Revisiting Wood Gasification Part 1
 
RAWSEP is talking about Industrial Gasification
 
1.  Last time we checked, Industrial Gasification was not perfected.  If gasificers produce a syngas similar to natural gas, with complete carbon capture of emissions, that would be perfected gasification.
 
2.  Outdoor Wood Boilers are not "wood gasifcation".  If the percentage of gasification is 1%, that is not wood gasification.  They emit smoke, prima facie evidence of lack of gasification.  They do not provide low emissions or carbon capture.  They are not efficient.  They are not clean energy.  Yet they are allowed to claim "wood gasification" in advertising. 
 
When last we looked at wood gasification, it was not perfected.  1% wood gasification should not be allowed to be given the designation "wood gasification", but apparently Outdoor Wood Boilers which demonstrably produce massive amounts of smoke can still be labeled "wood gasification".  Residents like RAWSEP members are the canaries in the (local) coalmine who are telling elected officials again and again that production and emission of particulates is not compatible with human health or climate health, and that despite the manufacturer’s claims, burning wood is not wood gasification and therefore not clean energy.  Listen to the local evidence before burning is carried out on a larger scale without reduction of emissions and without carbon capture from wood burning or gasification.
 
On the other hand, wood gasification is something that industry is working on.  Perhaps there is a plant with 99% gasification.  What would emissions from a true wood gasification plant look like?  There would be no smoke.  There would be much less particulates than wood burning.  Has this been achieved?  Stay tuned for more information.
 
Maine critics are talking about the President’s $ for Biomass Plan announced yesterday
 
1.  Don’t make it easier to cut down trees in Maine (Natural Resources Council of Maine).
2.  Trees are not limitless in Maine (Maine Forest Service).
 
But critics of the so-called federal B-CAP program say it’s not good policy to simply throw money at biomass producers.

"The Biomass Crop Assistance Program is not a good idea, we believe, because all it is doing is paying landowners for practices that they’re going to engage in anyway, and it’s just making it easier to cut down trees," says Nick Bennet, staff scientist for the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

Bennet says the state’s forests are already heavily used by industries, including pulp and paper, wood pellets, lumber and biomass. "And there simply isn’t a lot more wood out there," he says. "The latest data from the Maine Forest Service show that we’re harvesting about as much wood as we’re growing right now, so there is not a limitless potential of wood in Maine’s forests."

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