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No federal funding guarantees for forestry peace deal projects
ABC via Yahoo Finance
The Federal Government has defended the time it is taking to distribute $100 million in federal funding attached to the forestry peace deal.
The money was announced by the previous federal Labor government to help diversify the economy after the downturn in the forest industry.
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Biofuels' future threatened by political uncertainty
Engineering & Technology Magazine
Early this year, U.S. researchers unveiled a very simple chemical treatment that could release – literally – a vast resource of renewable energy.
By adding a little sulphuric acid to a plant-derived, innocuous liquid called gamma-Valerolactone, young chemist Dr. Jeremy Luterbacher, Professor James Dumesic and colleagues from the University of Wisconsin-Madsion, created a solvent that dissolves the tough waste plant matter that feeds advanced biofuel production.
'Rural' forests nurture healthy socio-environmental activity — scientists
Policymakers and conservationists often overlook the importance of rural forests and the local knowledge that has sustained them for centuries, according to a report published in the journal “Ecology and Society” that reflects on the way sustainable development policies have affected rural forests. Management of rural forests relies on complex practices that domesticate trees, ecosystems and landscapes to serve human needs, researchers said, citing earlier studies. In this domestication process, they take advantage of natural vegetation dynamics rather than combating them as in conventional agriculture.
presents an integrated reference combining silvicultural and forest planning principles with principles of habitat ecology and conservation biology. Receive an exclusive 25% discount off this title. Visit CRC Press and enter promo code FPS14.
Associations release renewable energy outlook paper
Multiple renewable energy trade association have teamed up to produce a single report that contains current market reviews, outlooks and policy recommendations for each respective sector, including biomass power, biomass thermal, waste-to-energy, ethanol, biodiesel and advanced biofuels. According to contributor Bob Cleaves, president of the Biomass Power Association, the industry added up to more than 750 MW in 2013, a large portion of which is being generated from large-scale projects.
Refined and reclaimed plywood furniture by Ivan Christianto
Plywood is a versatile material which can be cut, molded or bent to create affordable furniture. Indonesian designer Ivan Christianto uses reclaimed plywood and pine to create this series of distinctive furniture that explores emotional sentiments brought by strolls through the bustling city of Jakarta.
According to Design Milk, Christianto's commode "Bosen," the first of his collection "Mari Bermain Rasa" was "inspired by boredom" and is made mostly with materials that he found during his long walks.
Devastating storm results in positive outcome
Ameresco's biomass cogeneration facility, located at the U.S. Department of Energy Savannah River Site in Aiken, S.C., is utilizing storm-damaged wood as a result of a major ice storm that hit the southern region this February. Timber damage affected 24 counties across 1.5 million acres, according to the South Carolina Forestry Commission.
Biomass emissions question arises again
Hard to imagine a subject that would find The Wall Street Journal and Grist in line with each other’s thinking, but burning wood for energy has achieved it. Neither outlet seems to view the topic positively. Both have cited the scientific work of Dr. Mary S. Booth, a former Environmental Working Group scientist who now works for the Partnership for Policy Integrity.
Dual turning point for biofuels
The New York Times
There is an old joke in the energy business that advanced biofuels are the fuel of the future, and always will be.
A Spanish company, Abengoa Bioenergy, has bet $500 million on robbing that joke of its punch line. In the middle of a cornfield here it is building a 38-acre Erector set of electrical cable and pipe that will soon begin producing cellulosic ethanol, which it calls a low-polluting alternative to petroleum products.
Surface-modified nanocellulose hydrogels for wound dressing
Cellulose is a biopolymer consisting of long chains of glucose with unique structural properties whose supply is practically inexhaustible. It is found in the cell walls of plants where it serves to provide a supporting framework – a sort of skeleton. Nanocellulose from wood – i.e. wood fibers broken down to the nanoscale – is a promising nanomaterial with potential applications as a substrate for printing electronics, filtration or biomedicine.
Sawtimber, pulpwood markets improving, but challenges remain
Mississippi Business Journal
Markets for Mississippi’s sawtimber and pulpwood are bouncing back from the economic recession, but the industry is not improving across the board.
“Slowly but surely, markets for sawtimber are beginning to grow again after the sharp declines seen after the collapse of the U.S. housing market and the ensuing recession,” said James Henderson, associate Extension professor of forestry at Mississippi State University.
United Nations panel says biofuels beneficial
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC) released their "Bioenergy and Climate Change Mitigation: An Assessment" report in Berlin that confirmed that biofuels production is economically beneficial and that Indirect Land Use Change modelling is unverifiable. "The report from the IPCC is further proof that biofuels contribute to local economies and that Indirect Land Use Change modelling is nothing more than a flawed theory," stated Bliss Baker, spokesperson for the GRFA.
Study of dead wood in old-growth Iranian forest provides information for forest management
Dead wood, such as old stumps and logs, is often overlooked when examining forest's vitality; however, new research from old-growth forests in Iran point out the importance of this often-overlooked forest feature.
"Dead wood is great habitat for wildlife, provides a sheltered environment for young seedlings, holds soil and moisture on the site and stores carbon," said Carolyn Copenheaver, associate professor of forest ecology in Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources and Environment. "So woody debris management is important for conservation, but it requires baseline measurements of relatively undisturbed mature forests, which haven't yet been done in some parts of the world."
EPA loopholes allow biomass facilities to create more toxic pollution than coal
One of the biggest alternative energy sources in the U.S. has been accused of being just as polluting to the environment, if not more so, as coal, according to a new study.
Biomass plants, which burn wood waste to produce electricity, are producing more toxic emissions than coal-fired plants, thanks to federal regulatory loopholes, says Mary Booth, director of Partnership for Policy Integrity, a nonprofit environmental organization. In her report, Booth says biomass facilities produce 50 percent more carbon dioxide than coal plants.
Global biofuels output drops for first time since 2000
In 2012, the combined global production of ethanol and biodiesel fell for the first time since 2000, down 0.4 percent from the figure in 2011. Global ethanol production declined slightly for the second year in a row.
Biodiesel now accounts for over 20 percent of global biofuel production, writes Tom Prugh in the Worldwatch Institute's latest Vital Signs Online trend.
Old lumber is a trend for some of the best new homes
San Angelo Standard-Times
Reclaimed lumber is among the most environmentally friendly building materials because, as any 12-year-old can explain, recycling is good for us and the planet.
The wood is beautiful. A floor of salvaged antique heart pine glows with the patina of decades, even centuries. Every piece of barn siding is uniquely weathered, which gives a one-of-a-kind appeal to walls and furniture.
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