Just as many communities are turning to composting to turn food waste into something useful, using woody biomass as a renewable energy source is a smart idea.
Working Forests Action Network

It’s so true---what’s waste to one person may be the next great idea to another.

Biomass---a routine by-product of sustainable forestry practices---is attracting a great deal of attention as a new way to produce renewable, carbon-neutral energy that can be sourced and created right here.

Just as many communities are turning to composting as a way of turning food waste into something useful, using renewable biomass for energy production is smart business and smart policy.

And using biomass in the production of steam, heat, electricity or biofuel is a growing industry that Washington State can take the lead in developing with the support of our leaders in Olympia.

As was reported on the One Voice Blog, the research and development on biomass is just one more area in which forestry and science can move us forward on environmental goals and also rehabilitate mismanaged federal forests.  From the blog:

…[A]nother type of biomass process is getting some attention: pyrolysis. The woody biomass is still burned, but it's burned in a low-oxygen kiln to produce not electricity but liquid (bio-oil), charcoal (biochar) and gas (syngas). The bio-oil and the biochar, as of now, have the most lucrative potential. 

[Last October], the Washington Department of Natural Resources hosted a demonstration near Cle Elum highlighting the power of pyrolysis. … 

The bio-oil produced in pyrolysis is attracting special attention. The oil has the potential to be converted into car fuel, plastic, asphalt or heat for homes… What's unique about the fast pyrolysis machine on display in Cle Elum is it's mobile, which means it could be transported deep into timber areas.

This is especially critical in a timber state like Washington, where the federal forests are so mismanaged that the trees are dying from insect infestation and massive wildfires.

We think most of you will agree that the prospects for an expanding biomass industry here sound like a win-win-win for Washington.
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