Wood to Biofuel plant proposed in Maine

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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,815
Northern NH
https://bangordailynews.com/2017/03...heart-of-240m-biomass-venture/?ref=relatedBox

For those not familiar with the area, the towns of Millinocket and East Millinocket were towns built expressly to support two local papermills that for period of time were the largest in the world. They made newsprint and lots of it but given the decline in demand for newsprint the mills finally closed several years ago after the "bones' were picked at by various scavengers and con men. There really is no reason for the towns to exist other than the mills and in general both are depressed. The mill in Millinocket is mostly torn down, but the facility in East Millinocket was in relatively untouched shape until the final indignity of ripping down the buildings and equipment for scrap recently started. Many out of state folks are buying houses for dirt cheap in these towns for vacation homes as right down the road is more backwoods and lakes then most folks could imagine for recreation.

The concept of turning scrap wood into liquid fuel has been around since before WW2 its always been the case where the cost was much higher then drilling for oil. With government incentives come the con men and the US has already been bilked a couple of times on these ventures, the highest profile having been CBS Sixty Minutes darling Vinod Khosla extracting a lot of money to build a plant http://www.ajc.com/business/warnings-ignored-range-fuels-debacle/OGq6tJq3lEFyuXnZtFHZaO/. For some reason they don't talk about that project in interviews. Nevertheless behind the financial chicanery there is real product and maybe these new folks will hit on it. There is similar less refined product already being made in Canada that is shipped to the northeast for heating a hospital and colleges so there is market its just scaling it up big enough to cut down the unit costs.

Hopefully the Millinocket venture is going to be based on making a profit by actually making a product instead of financial manipulations as the region could sure use jobs. About a 1/4 of the state of Maine is accessed by private logging road network that ends up in either Quebec or right down the main street of these two towns.
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,846
Northern Maine
I travel the area frequently. There are many other issues that played into the current state of affairs and stripping the mills of their valuables is only touching the tip.

Surprisingly there is still some logging going on along the Golden Road but nothing like it was. I'd love for the mills to continue somehow. Hopefully a mix of paper, pellets and some other aspect like building products but relying on pure paper is never coming back.
 

georgepds

Minister of Fire
Nov 25, 2012
878
....

The concept of turning scrap wood into liquid fuel has been around since before WW2 ....

There were also vans running on wood stoves. "Wood gasification is a proces whereby organic material is converted into a combustible gas under the influence of heat - the process reaches a temperature of 1,400 °C (2,550 °F)....Wood gas consists roughly of 50 percent nitrogen, 20 percent carbon monoxide, 18 percent hydrogen, 8 percent carbon dioxide and 4 percent methane"

It worked.. but not really well "The large amount of (deadly) carbon monoxide produced calls for some precautions"

See


http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2010/01/wood-gas-cars.html
 
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Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,920
SEPA
We are going through yet another phase in our history where fossil fuel interests are in control, and technological innovation in that industry has kept the prices low enough to prevent economics from taking over in regard to technologies such as wood liquification, etc. I hope I live long enough to see the tipping point where this is no longer the case, and net carbon neutral technology takes over. In the meantime, the ice is melting, the reefs are dying, the water is rising. And I don't have much faith left that the tipping point for the green technology economics comes before the tipping point for the glaciers and reefs.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,815
Northern NH
One thing to note, the DOE had done a fairly extensive study that indicated that at best intensive forest crop management along the northern border forests could sustainably replace one third the demand for transportation fuels.

One of the firms proposing the project is called Stored Solar, that's what wood is, its the result of photosynthesis, pulling CO2 out of the air using energy of the sun and converting it to carbon and oxygen. Fossil fuels are the same thing, they just have the advantage of having millions of years to collect and get refined.
 

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,920
SEPA
One thing to note, the DOE had done a fairly extensive study that indicated that at best intensive forest crop management along the northern border forests could sustainably replace one third the demand for transportation fuels.

One of the firms proposing the project is called Stored Solar, that's what wood is, its the result of photosynthesis, pulling CO2 out of the air using energy of the sun and converting it to carbon and oxygen. Fossil fuels are the same thing, they just have the advantage of having millions of years to collect and get refined.
Yep, and that's the big difference, releasing millions of years of stored energy in 2 or 3 hundred years.