Woody biomass residue from short rotation plantations as well as biomass from harvest blocks which is normally burned, will be used in a variety of trials.
The innovative case studies will take place in northern Ontario and Nova Scotia as part of the first phase of the “innovative woody biomass mid-term supply chain optimization research program.
The Canadian Wood Fibre Centre (CWFC) is planning to look at a variety of novel equipment (like on-site densification units) to answer the following questions: What are the most efficient ways to process woody biomass at the source so it can be transported efficiently and economically?
What systems will be the most efficient to produce end products like briquettes, pellets, bio-char, bio-oil and activated carbon?
Tim Kennedy, wood fibre specialist for the CWFC, said the purpose of the research is to try to link woody biomass harvesting and processing options to the end product and to develop a whole system that determines the best mid-supply chain options for delivering woody biomass in a way that best suits the production of specific end products cost effectively.
He goes on to say they are not just looking for heat and power creation, but they have not ruled that out.
One densification system that will be investigated is the production of densified cylindrical biomass logs. They can be produced in a variety of lengths depending on the transportation requirements. The raw material will be chipped, dried, ground and then pressed into the densified logs.
Researchers at the Verschuren Centre at Cape Breton University and BioEnergy Inc. in Sydney have developed and tested equipment to produce briquettes, torrefied pellets, bio-char, bio-oil and activated carbon. They will provide feedback on what type of feedstock works best for the manufacture of a particular end product.
CWFC will look at the potential end products and then work backwards toward the best and most appropriate technologies to be used at the biomass source to produce feedstocks with the right consistency and also the most economical to transport.
For more information contact Tim Kennedy at 1-780-435-7212 or Tim.Kennedy@NRCan-RNCan.gc.ca. Video blogs will also be available online as part of the Natural Resources Canada’s Innovation Hub.
The information in this article was taken from an article by Tony Kryzanowski in the May 2014 Logging and Sawmilling Journal.
Similar kinds of research should be taking place on every Timber Supply Area in this province. To start with we should be looking at separating cull logs from the finer tops and branches so we could look at innovative ways to store and process these products in the future.
Jim Hilton is a professional agrologist and forester who has lived and worked in the Cariboo Chilcotin for the past 40 years. Now retired, Hilton still volunteers his skills with local community forests organizations.