Province Puts Money Into Bio-Economy Research
By 250 News
Prince George, B.C. – The Province is giving $700 thousand dollars to FP Innovations to gauge the extent of the bio-economy in B.C.. That project will also help industry identify cost-effective fibre for new projects, including areas which have been hit by the Mountain Pine Beetle.
The province hopes this investment will help forest companies create new jobs as they turn what is now considered a waste product into a valued bio-product.
FPInnovations will also assess mills in the B.C. Interior for opportunities to add innovative bio-product streams to their current operations. These products could be a combination of energy, green chemicals and other bio-materials, which can reduce waste, create jobs and improve the mills' bottom lines.
Products being made from wood fibre today include renewable fuels, textiles, light-weight plastics, food additives, pharmaceuticals and oil. On the drawing board are things like bio-active paper products, including facial masks that deactivate viruses; composites for airplane structures; jet fuel additives; and a substitute for petroleum products used to manufacture rubber for tires.
FPInnovations will also examine how trucks used in the forest industry can reduce emissions and save energy, which may include using bio-fuels produced in B.C.
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Coal has many negative side effects like mercury. If those plants where to run a blend of charcoal with their coal they would reduce the harmful fallout from the electric power plants in their communities.
If the logistics was available to get pine beetle killed trees turned into charcoal, and then shipped via container back hauls to Asian power plants, then that would enable local distribution of BC charcoal for cooking fuel in an effort to reduce deforestation in third world countries saving many endangered species and making efficiencies of carbon release into the environmental cycle.
IMO that is what carbon trading was supposed to fund, but the politics of insider finance hasn't found enough profit motive yet to make it work that way.
Time Will Tell
Innovation is strangled by rudundant environmental regulation that doesnt allow us to build facilites that are good for the overall economy and environment.
I just identifed the problem... Now do i get a cut of the $700,000?
Modern coal power plants only emit .5% of the mercury in the air. Forest fires, volcanoes, And yes Chinese coal plants which are not built to world standards.
The amount of of charcoal we could supply would not even be able to put a needle into Asian energy requirments.
The world today uses about 500 guads of energy, one quad equals about one coal train 3700 miles long. In 50 to 70 years the world will be upto 3000 quads.
Whatever happened to tonnes, in this case, as a measurement?
Up to now, a quad is something I ride along a trail. :-)
In some places the local environment is utterly devastated to provide cooking charcoal and not a tree can be found impacting air quality, wildlife, rainwater runoff, and the utility of the value other trees could otherwise have.
I think if one was to look at the global picture and the win win scenario that could be created, then in that case maybe tax breaks and spending on carbon offsets to make the economic model work should be looked at. Value to the communities would be created by having people working in the bush to bring hard woods to the plant, or beetle kill trees, or clean up of cut block sites... and further efficiencies could be had throughout the logistics chain.
IMO if forest companies were on board it would be a way for them to spend their own carbon offsets within their own industry supplementing their own operations... and in the process gaining an environmental seal of approval they could use to market themselves as ethical wood.
Time Will Tell
It looks to me that Alterna focused to much on selling charcoal as a replacement to coal for Alberta coal plants. Going head to head directly with coal in a province like Alberta isn't the easiest route to get something like that going. That and I think All-wood is doing well with whole log chip plants, so that's the focus of their enterprise at this time.
I think if Alterna took the focus of carbon offsets and selling to power plants on South Pacific islands as an enabler for the cooking charcoal market they would have a winning business model.