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BioEnergy Program Starts at UNBC

By 250 News

Tuesday, June 30, 2009 02:31 PM

UNBC Interim President Dr. Charles Jago,  holds a handful of wood pellets, which are the seeds of new research  at the University
Prince George, B.C.- A research project aimed at showing the world the benefits of bio energy, has officially started at UNBC.
With half a million dollars from the Federal Government, and a year’s worth of pellets, the project will be the primary heat source for the I.K. Barber Enhanced Forestry Lab.
Currently, the lab pays about 36 thousand dollars a year to heat the building with natural gas.   Part of the research will look at the cost savings.
The system was up and running during a special media event today. It is quiet, and the small boiler has a bag house to limit emissions to levels below 20 parts per million.
The   system is expected to use 300 tonnes of pellets per year and supply should not be an issue   “There are plants producing 600 thousand tonnes of pellets per year within a 100 km distance of UBC says John Swaan of the Canadian Wood Pellet Association.
Dr. Charles Jago says the research planned will measure all of the material and energy in and out to complete the first energy balance of pellet heater “By the end of the year, we are confident that we will also have the cleanest pellet system in North America and unique made-in the north solutions for testing and monitoring emissions.”

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I wonder where the 600 thousand tonnes of pellets per year that are presently being produced are going and what they are being used for.

Is it possible that they are being used as bio fuel?????

Is is possible that they have been used as bio fuel for the past 10 or more years????
So, the wood pellets are being produced near UBC and being shipped to UNBC for burning? Am I missing something here? Of course, pine pellets are the lowest grade, so maybe shipping is the only option.
There are three plants within 100 km
By age with the oldest first

1. Vanderhoof
2. Prince George
3. just north of Dunkley

The fourth one is about 140km south of PG

These plants are a bit on the quiet side, but there are rumours they may not be able to sell all their production anymore. Perhaps there is someone who could provide us with a bit more information on that.

They are biofuel and that is what they are used for, with small amounts used for cat litter unless there is another use I am notaware of. Am always willing to learn new uses for these pellets.

Nechakogal ... I am assuming someone forgot the N in UBC. They do not produce pellets anywhere near UBC as far as I know.
Have you seen that pellet plant near Dunkley its an embarrassment to BC. I was driving down there a couple weeks ago and I thought there was a forest fire. Two valleys were filled with smoke and then you come across this messy mill right on the side of the highway that seems to have no pollution controls. I am sure that the smoke is blowing all the way to PG when you have a wind from the south! If this is an example of how pellet plants should be run in BC we don't need them.

Also the Pellet plant in PG seems to be putting out lots of smoke more so on the weekends? OR maybe thats just a coincidence?
With the current price of $170 per tonne for pellets and a consumption of 300 tonnes per year my calculator comes out at a fuel cost of $51,000 per year.

Natural gas is $36,000 per year. I guess the new math they teach at UNBC can explain the "cost savings" they are expecting.

I suppose it will work out if they keep getting free pellets each year.
I assume the $170/tonne is also the price at the manufacturer's gate. They have to be transported, offloaded, and stored. Not as user friendly and fuel friendly as natural gas piped in.

In addition, I believe that they will be pulverized before being blown into the furnace as fine dust for full incineration.

Since it is a university research program I would think that they will compare the total effect of one against another, including oil and electricity.
Interesting comments.
I have noticed the situation at the Dunkely Pellet plant on 2 occasions recently. On a third occasion nothing much was visible. It is not unlike the new pellet plant south of PG.