By Sabina Dhungana, Forest Products Specialist
This is a sample of biochar produced from coarse woody biomass.
What is Biochar?
Biochar is a pure carbon product made from organic material that is generally produced through a process called pyrolysis. Pyrolysis is the decomposition of organic matter at elevated temperatures in an environment with limited oxygen.
Biochar Production and Opportunities for Wood Businesses
Biochar can be produced using woody biomass such as wood chips, sawdust, shavings or bark that is generated from timber harvesting or as a by-product of wood products manufacturing.
Biochar production systems can be classified as either pyrolysis or gasification systems. The pyrolysis of biomass results in three main products: a solid (bio-char), a liquid (bio-oil), and a gas (syngas). Furthermore, pyrolysis becomes self-sustaining as syngas that is produced combusts, generating additional heat for the production process. Gasification on the other hand produces smaller quantities of biochar in a directly-heated reaction vessel with introduced air. Although pyrolysis systems result in higher concentrations of biochar, both production systems can be developed as mobile or stationary units as per the need and availability of the feedstock. Continue reading “Biochar: An Emerging Market for Underutilized Woody Biomass”
By Collin Buntrock, Forest Products Team Leader
The Forest Products Services program recently worked with the Technology Services Section in the Division of Forestry to develop an interactive mapping tool highlighting Wisconsin’s primary wood-using mills.
The new mill mapping tool highlights Wisconsin’s primary mills.
The goal of the mapping tool is to facilitate better marketing of forest products by connecting value-added industries with Wisconsin’s primary mills and by assisting forest managers and loggers with identifying markets for harvested timber. Mill data can be refined by county, species processed, products utilized, and products sold and then downloaded for later reference.
Wisconsin’s primary forest products industry consists of firms that manufacture logs and pulpwood into wood and paper products. Specific examples include sawmills, veneer plants, pulp mills and firewood processors, as well as companies that manufacture products such as composite panels (e.g. oriented strand board, particleboard), shavings, utility poles, wood pellets, and log buildings.
Mill data featured in this tool is collected by Forest Products Services staff as part of the USDA Timber Product Output survey. The FPS program will refine this dataset beginning in early 2019. It should be noted that a subset of mills opted-out of the mill dataset. Therefore, you may be aware of additional mills that are not included in the mapping tool.
If you know of a business that would like to be included in this mapping tool, please send an email to a staff member on the Forest Products Services team and include their contact information, species and products utilized, and products produced.
Written by Scott Lyon, Forest Products Specialist
Many communities have expressed greater interest in local goods and services over the last few years; as a result urban wood recycling efforts have increased in Wisconsin. The increase of trees killed by invasive insects and disease caused many municipalities to seek alternative uses for urban wood rather than disposing material in a landfill. Recent efforts to market this growing source of material and develop ways to recycle urban trees within communities led Wisconsin to become one of the leading states in urban wood utilization. Continue reading “Markets growing for urban wood across Wisconsin”
In July, the Wisconsin Statewide Wood Energy Team hosted a free webinar titled, “Wood Energy Systems and Forest Industry Companies: When Are They the Right Fit.” Thirty people attended the webinar. The webinar addressed why wood energy is a good fit for sawmills and other forest products manufacturers. The webinar presenters also covered topics such as the production of heat from wood, combined heat and power that produces heat and electrical power, how wood energy can help with residue management, and what tools are available to look at the feasibility of a project. Some example projects were also highlighted to show how wood energy is benefiting actual companies. For those of you who missed this webinar, please visit the Wisconsin State Wood Energy Team website for educational videos, case studies, tools, and other information to learn more about whether wood energy is the right fit for your home or business.
In the wave of EAB and amid some park reconstruction projects, the folks in the village of DeForest thought, “why don’t we put some of these trees to work for us.” After decades of providing shade and shelter, several large ash trees came down in Fireman’s Park. Park staff thought it would be fitting to reuse what they could from these stately trees whose fate had been sealed by EAB, which was confirmed in DeForest in 2015. Continue reading “Unique project: DeForest using thermally modified ash from their parks, for their parks”
A delegation of six forestry businesses from Wisconsin, along with representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection and Scott Lyon from the Department of Natural Resources, participated in a trade mission to China on March 20-April 4, 2018. The purpose was to explore and expand markets for Wisconsin’s forest products. Continue reading “Wisconsin delegation explores China market”
Looking for outlets for selling mill residues this year? Check out the updated Midwest Biomass Exchange – a free online marketplace designed to help buyers and sellers of woody and agricultural biomass. Users can place ‘For Sale’ and ‘Wanted’ ads for selling biomass that can be used as fuel for heating and power generation, or as feedstock for other manufacturing processes.
The site is hosted by Heating the Midwest, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the use of woody and agricultural biomass for thermal energy and power. Updated from the old Minneapolis Biomass Exchange, the new site focuses more closely on biomass that can be used for fuel, and on serving the Midwestern area in the USA and Canada. For more information, visit the site or contact Dave Neumann at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Forest Products Specialist Sabina Dhungana, Sabina.email@example.com, (608) 220-4531
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources – Division of Forestry and University of Wisconsin-Wood Products Extension will be conducting a survey with Wisconsin’s secondary wood products manufacturers. This survey will be used to update the Wisconsin Wood Users Industry Directory. The directory, last updated in 2009, is not currently available, but we plan to have the updated version online at our forestry products section of the DNR website.
The goals of this survey are to determine the impact of the secondary wood industry on Wisconsin’s economy, update the Wisconsin Wood Using Industry Directory, determine residue availability, and develop an understanding of educational and training needs for the success of your business.
If you are a secondary wood manufacturer, please be on the lookout for a survey to arrive in the mail over the next few weeks. If you do not receive a survey and would like to be part of the directory, please contact Scott Lyon at firstname.lastname@example.org or (920) 360-3722.
Written by Forest Products Specialist Scott Lyon
If you’re near Wauwatosa, stop by and check out this urban wood art exhibit – Fresh Perspective Art Collective’s 2nd Annual “Urban Heroes, Urban Wood” Black History Month Show. Notable Black Milwaukeeans have painted and drawn on salvaged wood from Milwaukee’s ash trees. The exhibition runs from February 16 – March 16. For more information check out https://www.artsinmilwaukee.org/events/urban-heroes-urban-wood-2005.
For more information contact Ellen Clark, Urban Forestry Communication Specialist at (EllenA.Clark@wisconsin.gov) 608-267-2774.
By Dwayne Sperber, owner, Wudeward Urban Forest Products and appointed member, Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council
When a company has publicly committed to corporate social responsibility, environmental conservation, or working with and through the local community, a new construction project is the time to put these philosophies into action. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done.
Designs may get drawn up with the best sustainably-minded intentions — locally-sourced, low emissions, recycled, reused, energy efficient, the list goes on. But as familiar as the design and construction industries are with using environmentally-friendly materials, most of these products do not come in standard sizes, colors or volumes. And they don’t always fit seamlessly into a standard construction management process. Continue reading “Making room for sustainable sourcing”