Monday, August 14, 2006

"Turning Slash to Cash" : Good Idea?

Technology Review
"A small company in Ottawa, Canada, says it has developed an economical way of turning North America's vast supply of forest waste, called 'slash,' into a carbon-neutral liquid for power generation and chemical production.
Its approach is built around a modular, quick-to-assemble pyrolysis plant that can follow logging companies into the bush and directly convert their leftover trimmings into a clean-burning renewable fuel.
The trimmings, also known as forest slash, are the unwanted branches, tops, stumps, and leaves that are removed during logging and typically burned in piles at the sides of roads.
It's a tremendous amount of wasted energy. In the United States alone, 16 percent of wood resulting from logging activities is slash, or 49 million tons in 2004, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. "