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Brazil's plywood exports to the US expected to rise in 2014
Brazil’s sawnwood exports to the U.S. increased from 70,000 cubic metres in 2012 to 86,000 cubic metres in 2013 reflecting a recovery of demand. Moreover, exports of pine plywood to the U.S. also increased, from 40,000 cubic metres in 2012 to 120,000 cubic metres in 2013. For 2014, exports of plywood to the U.S. are expected to be as high as 140,000 cubic metres, ITTO reported.
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A wood-fueled camp stove/grill that charges your iPad
Mother Nature Network
The thermoelectric wizards at BioLite are back with a new, Kickstarter-funded device that, once again, marries off-grid cookery with gadget charging. BioLite, Brooklyn, New York-based purveyor of biomass-burning outdoor cookstoves that magically charge your gadgets so that you never have to freak out about the fact that you’re a good 30 miles away from the nearest wall outlet, has taken to Kickstarter to crowdfund a new wood-powered product that offers “advanced off-grid cooking" for groups.
Defining function from 'genomic dark matter'
Functional annotation allowed researchers to identify biomass-degrading enzymes in the 35 percent of genes in a genome that are considered "genomic dark matter."
Identifying 17 putative biomass-degrading cellulases from the content of more than 5,500 microbial genomes is of use to bioenergy researchers working on efficiently converting plant biomass into advanced biofuels.
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Lumber liquidators, others importing illegal Brazilian wood
Hardwood Floors Magazine
Environmental advocacy group Greenpeace has accused Lumber Liquidators Inc., among other U.S.-based wood flooring importer/retailers, of importing forest products from suppliers sourcing wood illegally. This is the second report to scrutinize Lumber Liquidators’ foreign import operations. The report was released by Greenpeace after it conducted a two-year investigation into the Brazilian Amazon timber sector.
Timber buildings: Why and how Australia's poised to build them bigger and better
Architecture & Design
Imagine standing in a supermarket filled with building materials, tasked with collecting the products you will need for your project. Automatically, you turn towards the concrete and steel aisles, but wait, was that wood?
The unassuming middle child, timber is often forgotten when it comes to structural applications, but has the potential to revolutionize the way Australian buildings are being constructed. More specifically, it is engineered timber which can be used in both residential builds and larger-scale, multi-story projects.
Biomass as a primary fuel for replacing natural gas and district heating
Biomass covers around half of our total renewable energy consumption and is expected to also contribute to half of the EU 2020 renewable energy target. As the political discussion on energy security is "heats up", biomass is being considered a primary fuel for replacing natural gas and district heating. But how sustainable is it? Scientific experts, policymakers and NGO and industry representatives addressed this question at the recent European Biomass Association conference in Brussels.
USDA and NNI partner for Nanocellulose Commercialization Workshop
The National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) is pleased to announce the National Nanotechnology Initiative's partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service to host Cellulose Nanomaterials – A Path Towards Commercialization.
The primary goal of the workshop is to identify the critical information gaps and technical barriers in the commercialization of cellulose nanomaterials with expert input from user communities.
US company gets forestry contract
The Dominion Post
Cutting rights to 12 forests in the Wellington and Wairarapa region in New Zealand, have been sold to a U.S.-based company.
The Greater Wellington Regional Council made the decision to sell the rights to Resource Management Service LLC (RMS) at a closed meeting on May 15.
While Greater Wellington will continue to own the land, RMS will hold cutting rights for the forests for at least 60 years.
Senators want feds to support biofuels
U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-North Dakota, flanked by five other Democratic senators, and producer/processors from their states, launched an effort to re-up federal support for biofuels.
Heitkamp emceed a conference call and phone press conference in Washington, D.C., involving Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken of Minnesota, as well as Dick Durbin of Illinois, Maria Cantwell, Washington, and Joe Donnelly, Indiana and producers or processors from several states.
DCNR preserving seeds of ash and other tree species that are facing threats
Inside the envelopes that are delivered to the Pennsylvania Nursery every fall is a future forest.
The envelopes contain the seeds of ash trees, which are collected by staff from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and sent to the agency’s Pennsylvania Nursery during a brief two-week period each fall. The effort may be the last chance for ash trees in the state, which are being infested with the emerald ash borer.
Long winter chills Home Depot quarterly sales
Home Depot saw its first-quarter earnings rise 12.5 percent, but the results missed expectations after a long winter cut into the home-improvement retailer’s spring selling season.
Home Depot said May 20, that its profit was $1.38 billion, compared to $1.23 billion in the year-ago period. On a per-share basis, earnings climbed to $1 from 83 cents.
Louisiana-Pacific takeover of Ainsworth Lumber falls apart
Louisiana-Pacific Corp has backed away from its planned takeover of Ainsworth Lumber Co., blaming the split on demands for more asset sales from Canadian and U.S. regulators, the companies said recnetly.
Tennessee-based Louisiana-Pacific said last September it would buy its Canadian peer for about $1.1 billion, including debt, in a push to expand into Asia and other international markets.
Climate change, forest fires drove widespread surface melting of Greenland ice sheet
Rising temperatures and ash from Northern Hemisphere forest fires combined to cause large-scale surface melting of the Greenland ice sheet in 1889 and 2012, contradicting conventional thinking that the melt events were driven by warming alone, a Dartmouth College-led study finds. The findings suggest that continued climate change will result in nearly annual widespread melting of the ice sheet's surface by the year 2100, and that a positive feedback mechanism may be set in motion.
Biofuel producers fear impact of RFS revisions
33 advanced biofuel companies, led by the Advanced Ethanol Council and Biotechnology Industry Organization, have sent a letter to President Barack Obama in expression of industry concern about a proposed rule for the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
In the letter, the companies highlight their concerns about how the current proposals will impact the biofuel production industry.
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