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US wood pellets doubled in 2013 due to European demand
Wood pellet exports from the U.S. nearly doubled last year, from 1.6 million short tons in 2012 to 3.2 million short tons in 2013. More than 98 percent of these exports were delivered to Europe, and 99 percent originated from ports in the southeastern and lower Mid-Atlantic regions of the country. Wood pellets are traditionally manufactured from wood waste that results from wood processing activities, but they can also be produced from unprocessed harvested wood, generally at a higher cost.
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$14.5 million in bioenergy, biomass funding from USDA
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development (RD) has announced up to $14.5 million in funding to two program funding through the 2014 Farm Bill. RD is accepting applications for companies seeking to offset the costs associated with converting fossil fuel systems to renewable biomass fuel systems. USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture is offering $2.5 million in grants designed to improve national energy security through the development of bio-based transportation fuels biopower and new bio-based products.
Destructive bug likely in New Hampshire
A state entomologist said there's a high probability a destructive beetle that targets ash trees is in southern New Hampshire, even though it hasn't been seen there yet. Forest officials working in Salem found a "significant" emerald ash borer infestation just a few hundred feet away over the Massachusetts state line. They advise homeowners in New Hampshire's Rockingham and Hillsborough counties to examine their trees.
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Could coffee perk up the biofuels sector?
Could you run your car on coffee? That is the question that researchers at the University of Bath believe they have answered in the affirmative, after revealing how a usable biodiesel could be extracted from old coffee grinds.
A team from the university's Center for Sustainable Chemical Technologies recently published research in the ACS Journal Energy & Fuels detailing how oil can be extracted from coffee ground by soaking them in an organic solvent through a process known as "transesterification."
Biomass energy built on straw rides the tides
David Williams, Chief Executive Officer at Eco2, explains the science behind his company’s work in biomass energy using straw and tidal power. He speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “The Pulse.”
Housing market recovery helps timber producers
Home construction in California is on the upswing as the housing sector slowly recovers from the dramatic downturn of the recession that saw home prices and new construction plummet.
Going hand in hand with the increase in home building is the demand for lumber for framing, moldings, doors, fences and other uses. California timber producers say they welcome the increased demand for lumber, but are held back by the regulatory climate in the state that cuts into their bottom line.
Study finds economical way to convert biomass to transportation fuel
The Red & Black
A study conducted by researchers at the University of Georgia may be the key for unlocking the future of more affordable transportation.
The paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, cites the use of newly engineered microbes during the biomass conversion process as a significant alternative to past methods of producing ethanol for usable transportation fuel.
Value of solar energy could be increased with the aid of thermal energy storage
Hydrogen Fuel News
Solar energy is gaining momentum, but like other forms of clean power, it is struggling to overcome problems regarding efficiency. In the U.S., solar power has moved from the realm of novelty to priority and the federal government has begun heavily investing in solar projects throughout the country. The problem, however, is that energy storage technology has not advanced at the same pace as energy technology itself. This means that there is a disparity between how much energy systems can produce and how much of this electrical power is wasted.
2nd largest US lumber producer may add sawmill
The nation's second largest lumber producer may be getting bigger. A news source reports that Sierra Pacific Industries is conducting a feasibility analysis to build a sawmill in Frederickson, Washington, that could employ up to 200 people.
Mark Pawlicki, SPI Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, told The News Tribune the site in question could be as large as 270 acres. Based in Anderson, California, SPI owns and manages nearly 1.9 million acres of timberland in California and Washington.
Iridescent films made from wood pulp cellulose may replace toxic dyes
Brightly-colored, iridescent films, made from the same wood pulp that is used to make paper, could potentially substitute traditional toxic pigments in the textile and security industries. The films use the same principle as can be seen in some of the most vivid colors in nature, resulting in colors which do not fade, even after a century.
Some of the brightest and most colorful materials in nature — such as peacock feathers, butterfly wings and opals — get their color not from pigments, but from their internal structure alone.
US Navy seeks 37 million gallons of biofuels
Ship & Bunker
The U.S. Navy says it is seeking at least 37 million gallons of drop-in biofuels for delivery starting in April 2015, as part of its efforts to reduce its dependence on petroleum.
"Expanding military energy sources improves the reliability of our overall fuel supply, adds resilience against supply disruptions, and gives the military more fuel options to maintain its readiness and defend the national security interests of the U.S.," the Navy said.
Invasive emerald ash borer attacks and kills ash trees in Somerset County, New Jersey
The City of Summit is alerting residents of a recent New Jersey Department of Agriculture announcement confirming that the emerald ash borer, an invasive beetle from Asia that has attacked and killed tens of millions of ash trees, has been found in Somerset County.
A landscaper investigating unhealthy trees in a retail area in Bridgewater last month alerted the Department. After receiving the tip, inspectors took samples and insect larvae were sent to the U. S. Department of Agriculture Systematic Entomology Laboratory where the specimens were confirmed.
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