Busines Briefs

By Biomass Magazine | January 10, 2020

PFI hosts fly-in on Capitol Hill
On Oct. 30, members of the Pellet Fuels Institute held a Washington, D.C., fly-in, meeting with selected senators, representatives and their staff. In one day, PFI members were able to meet with 16 different senators and 20 representatives.

The primary objective of the fly-in was to ask for support for provisions of the Biomass Thermal Utilization Act to be included in an anticipated green energy tax package being developed by House Democrats. A draft of the Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now Act, released in mid-November, included a tax credit for 30 percent of the installed cost of a residential wood pellet appliance.

Carbon Capture Coalition hires Stolark
The Carbon Capture Coalition announced the hiring of its first full-time staff member as the 70-plus member industry, labor and NGO coalition continues to expand its operations and increase the impact of its efforts to advance carbon capture policies and commercial deployment.

Jessie Stolark will serve as the Carbon Capture Coalition’s public policy and member relations manager. Based in Washington, D.C., Stolark will support the coalition’s growing and successful national policy and legislative work. She will be responsible for policy research, member outreach, policymaker and constituency engagement, and related communications.

Stolark joins the coalition from Third Way, where she has been a policy advisor managing the climate and energy program’s carbon capture and industrial decarbonization portfolio. In that role, she provided advice and counsel on carbon capture policy and served as that organization’s principal liaison to the Carbon Capture Coalition.

Previously, Stolark served as a policy associate at the Environmental and Energy Study Institute. She holds a master’s degree in applied geosciences from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and environmental science from Bryn Mawr College. She currently serves on the board of the Women’s Council for Energy and Environment.
US Gain purchases digesters at 2 Wisconsin dairy farms
U.S. Gain, developer, procurer and distributor of renewable natural gas (RNG), announced the purchase of anerobic digesters at two Wisconsin dairy farms, S&S Jerseyland Dairy LLC and Dallmann East River Dairy LLC, to expedite RNG development for the transportation and energy markets.

At both dairy farms, U.S. Gain is coordinating installation of biogas clean-up equipment to strip the impurities from the biogas so it can be injected into the natural gas pipeline system. Next, U.S. Gain will pursue RNG certification through the U.S. EPA and the California Air Resources Board so it can distribute through private natural gas fueling stations, its own Gain Clean Fuel network and other nontransportation outlets.

Xebec, Asja reach construction milestone on Genoa Landfill site
Xebec Adsorption Inc., global provider of clean energy solutions, and renewable energy project developer and operator Asja Ambiente Italia SpA are in the final construction phase of a 11.2-MW landfill gas to renewable natural gas plant in Genoa, Italy. Completion is scheduled for the end of 2019.

Asja is a major player in international power generation using landfill gas generated at municipal solid waste landfill sites. With this project, Asja is converting its Genoa landfill site installation to produce biomethane instead of electricity. Xebec’s pressure swing adsorption system was chosen for its lower initial investment costs, low operating and maintenance costs, flexible and stable performance, combined with high durability and reliability. Expected benefits from the transition of electricity production to biomethane are plant efficiency improvements, reduction of emission points from five to two, less waste production, greening of the gas supply and a longer period for monetizing the biogas.

Vecoplan expands its VHZ series of wood shredders
In response to market demands, Vecoplan has designed and built the VHZ 1600, a smaller and more compact design of the VHZ series shredders.

Wood processing companies can use this robust shredding solution to process chipboard, bark, cardboard, softwood, hardwood and solid wood leftovers, turning them into wood chips and material suitable for making briquettes. The patented ESC Drive is installed in the compact units. With a motor output of 55 to 90 kilowatts, this asynchronous motor, with its powerful frequency converter, is energy-efficient, inexpensive and economical in operation. Compared with competing products, it allows users to save up to 25 percent in energy, due to its improved efficiency. The belt drive features sophisticated slippage control plus extraneous material detection and fast reversing and restarting capabilities.

Sweet launches enclosed belt conveyor
Sweet continues its legacy of quality with the announcement of its new enclosed belt conveyor. The EBC expands on Sweet’s current offering of conveyors, which includes Flite-Veyor flat-bottom drag conveyors, Flite-Veyor round-bottom conveyors, formed channel-belt conveyors, and quick-key spool belt conveyors.

The fully enclosed belt conveyor, design patent-pending, features an auxiliary belt alignment roller, idler access doors, heavy-duty liners, a self-cleaning tail and built-in sensor ports. The hip roof allows snow and rain to easily slide off. Available with 24-inch to 60-inch belts, the EBC is designed for capacities up to 72,000 BPH. The conveyor features a heavy-duty, 45-degree CEMA C6 idler that is sealed for life and easy to maintain. U.S. prime G140 galvanized steel and a snub pulley are standard, and several options are available for customization.

EIA: Densified biomass fuel sales hit 900,000 tons in August 
The U.S. EIA recently released data showing U.S. manufactures produced 820,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in August, with sales reaching 900,000 tons, at an average price of $168.63 per ton for domestic sales.

The data was released as part of the November edition of the EIA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuels Report. The EIA collected data from 84 operating manufacturers that had a total production capacity of 11.91 million tons per year, and collectively had the equivalent of 2,293 full-time employees.

In August, respondents purchased 1.66 million tons of raw biomass feedstock, produced 820,000 tons of densified biomass fuel and sold 900,000 tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 195,382 tons of heating pellets and 625,896 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel in August reached 217,741 tons at an average price of $168.63 per ton. Exports in August reached 684,425 tons, at an average price of $173.59 per ton.
Inventories of premium/standard fell to 225,365 tons in August, down from 245,453 tons in July. Inventories of utility pellets remained relatively flat at 333,683 tons, compared to 333,181 tons in July.

HBPA supports new legislation to fund wood heater changeouts

The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association is strongly supporting the Wood Heaters Emissions Reduction Act of 2019. The bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Dec. 11, by Peter Welch, D-Vt., with Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., as the lead Republican. An identical bill was introduced in the Senate (S. 2274) by Tom Carper, D-Del. with Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, as the lead Republican.

WHERA would authorize the U.S. EPA to develop a grant program to provide local, state, and regional jurisdictions with federal funds to replace older wood-burning appliances with newer, cleaner-burning and more efficient options.