The Forestry Source - August 2010 - (Page 1)
News for forest resource professionals published by the Society of American Foresters August 2010 • Vol. 15, No. 8
Fast Pyrolysis Update: Second Generation Prototype Closer to Commercial Scale
Consultants on Consulting: Talking with James Houser, CF, of James Houser Consulting Foresters, LLC. As part of The Forestry Source’s ongoing series of interviews with forestry consultants, Society Affairs editor Joseph Smith recently spoke with Houser about how he runs his business, the forest management services his company provides, and how the business of consulting has changed during his career. Page 8. New members key to Lake Superior chapter’s resurgence. Imagine you’re an SAF member who has just moved to a new state and you discover that the SAF chapter in your area has dissolved. This was the situation that Matt Riederer found himself in when he moved to Minnesota in 2009. Page 9. Thank you 25- and 50-year members. This August, the following SAF members reached their 25 and 50 year anniversaries as members of SAF. Page 11. Field Tech: Soil viewer extension brings soil data to your GIS. The US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service recognized the difficulties users were encountering when using the Soil Survey Geographic Database and created software, Soil Data Viewer (SDV), to aid in utilizing the data. Page 12. Here’s how to value precommercial timber stands. There are several ways to value a premerchantable timber stand. Which method is correct? To find out, consider the examples in this installment of Here’s How To.... Page 13.
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ne of the most promising biomassto-energy technologies under development is fast pyrolysis. Previous articles in The Forestry Source have reported on the testing of the technology (“Fast Pyrolysis Demonstration Shows Promise of Biofuels from Wood,” October 2009) and one of the main products (Biochar, a Byproduct of Biofuels, Improves Soil, Restores Carbon,” May 2008). As you may recall, the fast pyrolysis process uses heat to extract bio-oil and biochar from a range of biomass feedstocks. In the demonstration described in the October 2009 article, the very smallscale fast pyrolysis reactor processed just 10 pounds of clean, dry wood chips to make 0.6 gallons of bio-oil and 2.5 pounds of biochar. This June, a larger, more advanced fast pyrolysis reactor underwent testing at the same location on the Umpqua National Forest in Oregon. Eric Twombly, recently retired after 36 years as a forester with the US Forest Service and now president of Biochar Products Inc., leased the plant from its Canadian maker, Advanced BioRefinery Inc. (ABRI), of Ottawa, Ontario. Twombly said the ABRI machine is capable of processing about one ton of fuel every 24 hours—if the machine runs flawlessly. So far, getting the reactor to operate
Eric Twombly (under the hat) and Jim Archuleta with the demonstration fast pyrolysis reactor on the Umpqua National Forest in June.
smoothly for long periods has been Twombly’s main mission. Until installing a new airlock in June, he was able to run the plant for about 21⁄2 hours at a time before the mechanism clogged because there was too much char in the oil. The fast pyrolysis process starts with a chain flail that pulverizes feedstock to the consistency of coarse sawdust, which is fed by an auger into a gas-fired dryer be-
fore it is passed into the reactor. Inside the reactor, superheated steel beads are swirled with the fuel, heating it to 350° to 500°C (900° to 1200°F) within one second, forming char and vapor. The char is (See “Pyrolysis” page 3)
Forest Carbon Marketplace
Inside MeadWestvaco’s Real Estate Business: An Interview with James H. Hill
D E PA RT M E N T S
2 4 11 12 13 14 15 From the Leadership In Brief Science & Technology Field Tech Here’s How To... People in the News Classifieds
By Steve Wilent eadWestvaco (MWV) bills itself as a “global leader in packaging and packaging solutions,” and indeed most of the company’s sales— more than $6 billion in 2009—come from those key businesses. Land sales represent a tiny fraction of overall income—about 1.5 percent of the first quarter 2010 revenue of $1.4 billion. However, MeadWestvaco sees the sales of bits and pieces of its 750,000 acres in five southeastern states, plus New York and Maine, as an integral part of its future. In June 2010 MeadWestvaco launched a new website, www.mwvlandsales.com, which is designed to facilitate the sale of parcels to private individuals and groups. Shortly after the website went live, I spoke with James H. Hill Jr., vice president of the company’s Community Development and Land Management division. Hill, a long time SAF member, oversees MeadWestvaco’s forest management, land sales, and community development operations. Tell me about the Community Development and Land Management division. We have built a sustainable real estate business that generates cash to help support the growth of MWV’s packaging business, while at the same time providing fiber to our company’s mills and to other
What Makes an “Improved Forest Management Project” Improved?
MeadWestvaco has built a sustainable real estate business, said James H. Hill Jr., vice president of the company’s Community Development and Land Management division.
mills that we choose to service. That includes managing the land for the many resources that come from our forests, as well as looking at our portfolio and deter(See “Hill” page 4)
By Matt Smith s I write this third Forest Carbon Marketplace column, the debate on greenhouse gas regulation in Washington, DC, is reaching a fever pitch. With time running out before the summer recess, President Obama and prominent Democrats are pushing hard for an energy bill. Senators Lieberman, Kerry, Snow, and a host of others are actively debating and bartering over who and what should be capped for greenhouse gas emissions, when, for how long, and by what means. Pressure on these parties seems to be mounting, forcing compromise, trade-offs, and the cashingin of political capital on both sides of the aisle. As someone whose future is somewhat tied to the success of this federal legislation, I feel a little bit like my nineyear-old on the night before Christmas. I’m crossing my fingers for a surprisingly good outcome, and I hope I’ve done enough to avoid getting a lump of “fossil fuel” in my stocking. Perhaps by the time this column is published, the content and direction of energy legislation will be clear—and then again, perhaps it won’t be. Either way, individuals and groups (See “Marketplace” page 6)
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Forestry Source - August 2010
The Forestry Source - August 2010
From the Leadership
Science & Technology
Here’s How To...
People in the News
The Forestry Source - August 2010