Alaska Coal Firm Acquires Pellet Mill
Officials with Alaska-based Usibelli Mines, Inc. recently announced the company has acquired Superior Pellet Fuels of Fairbanks, which produces wood pellets and briquettes for local markets. New Usibelli subsidiary Aurora Energy Solutions is also installing a new generation wood kiln that will utilize waste heat from a nearby Aurora coal-fired power plant.
The project is part of an overall effort to improve air quality in Fairbanks, where firewood is the primary mode of heating but the market is mostly green wood, leading to higher emissions. Fairbanks has been out of compliance for years with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency air quality standards because of local temperature inversions during cold winter weather that concentrate pollutants at low levels in the community, creating health hazards.
The kiln, supplied by SII Dry Kilns, will produce dry firewood that burns much cleaner, up to 7,000 cords annually. Officials with Superior Pellet Fuels say the acquisition will also allow financing for long-needed expansion and a move to year-round production. The projects will provide regional residents with more local options for low-emissions wood fuel. A small local natural gas utility is expanding in the area, but it still relies on trucked in liquified natural gas.
A major reshuffling of candidates for the Arizona Corporation Commission may bring new life to a derailed effort that would expand biomass utilization in the state to help facilitate much-needed forest thinning and restoration efforts. A state court judge recently threw multiple candidates off the ballot due to irregularities in signature-gathering, including an incumbent and the commission’s biggest biomass supporter…
A $5.8 million grant from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection was awarded to the State University of New York (SUNY) at Cobleskill for a gasifier project that converts woody biomass into clean burning fuel. The grant project is led by SUNY Cobleskill visiting professor David Waage and uses his patented inclined rotary gasifier, initially funded by…
On May 27, Jennifer Jenkins, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, Enviva, and Roger Ballentine, President, Green Strategies, hosted a webinar based on a paper the two published May 6 called Seeing The Forest: Sustainable Wood Bioenergy In The Southeast U.S. The hour and a half long presentation touched on the major topics of the paper, while also including a question and answer portion from participants…
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