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Agricultural waste could be used as biofuel
Straw-powered cars could be a thing of the future thanks to new research from the University of East Anglia.
A new study pinpoints five strains of yeast capable of turning agricultural by-products, such as straw, sawdust and corncobs, into bioethanol — a well-known alcohol-based biofuel.
It is estimated that more than 400 billion liters of bioethanol could be produced each year from crop wastage.
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Why the timber business is surprisingly strong right now
Looking for a ray of hope in Canada's beaten-down commodity industries? Take a gander at forest company stocks. This sector has been almost counter-cyclical to the much larger energy and mining sectors for more than a decade. Over most of that period, producers alternated losses with profits, their capital allocation was suspect and share prices barely budged. But thanks to low expectations, a tree-killing infestation and a growing U.S. housing market, this sector is finally rewarding shareholders.
Wildfire critical in calculating carbon-payback time for biomass energy
Pennsylvania State University via Phys.org
Accounting for wildfire is essential in achieving an accurate and realistic calculation of the carbon payback period associated with converting forest biomass into energy, according to a new study. Researchers said their analysis of carbon-accounting methods is expected to inform the scientific debate about the sustainability of such conversion projects.
Kenya, Tanzania to combat timber smuggling
The East African
Tanzania and Kenya have sealed a bilateral agreement that would see key border posts put under tight surveillance in latest efforts to tighten noose on timber smugglers.
Whereas Tanzania reportedly loses $8.3 million annually to timber smugglers, its north neighbor Kenya suffers an estimated $10,000 loss, a 2012 study on illegal timber trade across the borders of the two countries indicates.
Family keeps small-time sawmill buzzing in New Hampshire
The Associated Press via U-T San Diego
On Bob Potter's farm, the whine of a saw is heard over the grumbling of a diesel-powered engine as he and his boys carry on a family practice begun nearly half a century ago.
Moving back and forth through the blade on a motorized carriage, long poplar logs that the guys harvested off their Gilmanton farm are cut into planks that they'll use this spring to build a new 30-foot-by-40-foot barn for some of their 85 head of beef cattle. New Hampshire has deep connections to timber that go back to the 1600s when the state sent white pine trunks to England to make ships' masts.
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From skyscraper to 'plyscraper': The tower blocks made from wood
If the 20th century was the century of the skyscraper, then the 21st century is shaping up as the century of the "plyscaper."
Despite its historical reputation for great city fires — London in 1666, the Great Chicago fire of 1871 and San Francisco in 1906 — wood is making a comeback as a construction material.
Hainan Airlines makes nation's 1st biofuel-powered passenger flight
Hainan Airlines, one of China's largest carriers, announced on March 28 it had completed the country's first passenger flight with biofuel, a milestone for the use of clean energy in the country's aviation industry.
The flight, which carried more than 100 passengers from Shanghai to Beijing on a Boeing 737-800, used biofuel made by Sinopec from waste cooking oil collected from restaurants.
Wood roof systems offer unique opportunities
Wood is increasingly becoming the building material of choice throughout British Columbia and beyond, as evident in the growing number of buildings featuring aesthetically striking wood roofs.
Wood roof structures, particularly in the low-rise residential market, are typically light frame construction: dimensional lumber joists or trusses sheathed with plywood. Mass timber, which consists of wood elements assembled into solid, uniform sections, are growing in popularity and offer a wide range of new possibilities.
Rentech receives $4 million to convert idle panel mills to pellets
Wood pellet producer Rentech Inc. will receive $4 million in aid from the Ontario government to convert two idle composite panel plants into pellet mills. At least 60 jobs will be created.
Funding will come from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation. Located in Wawa and Atikokan in northern Ontario, the mills will "turn Crown-owned wood materials that previously would not have been used or sold, into wood pellets to be used to produce electricity in local and international power production facilities," said the statement by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines.
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