Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 21, 2016

Business & Politics

Alcohol addiction claimed as basis for discrimination in BC human rights case

CBC News
January 20, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A B.C. man has filed a human rights complaint against lumber giant Interfor for firing him when he showed up at work with booze in his system after promising to get sober. In the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal complaint, Robert McDonald claims his treatment amounts to discrimination on the basis of a physical disability: alcohol addiction. Interfor filed an application to dismiss the complaint ahead of the hearing, but in a decision released last week, tribunal member Catherine McCreary refused. “Mr. McDonald submits that Interfor’s treatment of him relied entirely on stereotype and prejudicial attitudes,” McCreary wrote. …”In terminating Mr. McDonald’s employment, Interfor says that it did so because he represented a danger to the health and safety of himself and his co-workers.”

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Northern Pulp told to consult First Nation

Judge makes discussion a condition of imposing sentence on effluent spill guilty plea
Chronicle Herald
January 20, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

PICTOU — Northern Pulp pleaded guilty Wednesday to a charge under the federal Fisheries Act stemming from a 2014 effluent spill. Lawyers for the federal Environment Department and the mill arrived at Pictou provincial court with an agreed statement of facts and prepared to enter the plea and seek a sentence from Judge Del Atwood. However, Atwood refused to render a sentence until the Pictou Landing First Nation was consulted about the effect the spill had on the band. “The concern I have is courts have typically taken into account community impact in pollution-related offences,” Atwood told the lawyers. “I cannot simply ignore the long history between (the mill’s operators) and the Pictou Landing First Nation.”

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Fighting to stop illegal foreign paper dumping

By Congressman Rick Nolan
Princeton Union Eagle
January 19, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Low grade foreign government-subsidized steel isn’t the only commodity being illegally dumped into the U.S. marketplace costing us thousands of good paying jobs. Last week, four Republican colleagues joined me in urging the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to crack down on massive illegal dumping of foreign government-subsidized copier and commercial paper. Specifically, we are asking them to impose tough countervailing and anti-dumping duties against China, Indonesia, Brazil, Australia and Portugal. The evidence is clear and unmistakable. Between 2012 and 2014, those five nations nearly doubled their share of the U.S. paper market from 9.6 to 17.4%. That spike is primarily due to the illegal dumping of copy and commercial paper. Imports of those products rose by almost 72% over just those two years.

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Millworker delivers message at State of the Union address

Portland Tribune
January 20, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

When Steve Phillips was laid off from the WestRock mill in November, he knew the drill. It wasn’t his first time working at a mill that got shut down – it was his third. Phillips spent 30 years working at a mill in North Bend, before it was shut down and he moved to a mill in Albany. After six years that facility sold and was shut down in 2009. Both of those closures were certified for trade act assistance, which is applicable when a closure can be tied to foreign trade impacts. …When he learned Phillips’ story of being displaced three times, with two of the three mill closures receiving trade act certification and the Newberg petition still pending, Phillips’ experience was a clear illustration of the problems DeFazio points out in trade policies.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Recycling criticism contained faulty logic

By Sarah Pierpont, Executive Director, New Mexico Recycling Coalition
Albuquerque Journal
January 27, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The Albuquerque Journal printed William F. Shughart II’s opinion piece, “Recycling makes greenies go gaga, but it’s a real burden for the rest of us,” on Dec. 26. The article displayed a tortured logic and ridiculous analysis of the recycling industry. It discounts the energy savings from recycled commodities by conflating energy savings with economic incentives. This is a false correlation and a misleading approach. …According to the American Forest and Paper Association domestic paper mills consume 30.5 million tons of recycled paper each year and rely on fiber produced from old newspapers, magazines, catalogs, office paper and used corrugated boxes for more than half of their supply needs today.

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Forestry

Chilliwack MLA named parliamentary secretary for forestry

Chilliwack Times
January 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Premier Christy Clark has named Chilliwack MLA John Martin Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson. Martin will work with Thomson to manage Crown land, protect B.C.’s natural heritage and work with the province’s forestry sector, according to a government press release issued Wednesday. “John Martin has been a tireless advocate for a growing, diverse economy in the Fraser Valley,” Clark said in the release. “The communities that depend on a healthy forestry sector couldn’t ask for a more dogged, persistent champion to complement the work Steve Thomson has been doing for one of B.C.’s most vital industries.” The announcement was made during the Premier’s address at the BC Natural Resources Forum.

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B.C. resource sector up to the challenges: Clark

Prince George Citizen
January 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

It was not a rah-rah tone that Premier Christy Clark took when she spoke at the BC Natural Resources Forum on Wednesday. …Then Clark started to reveal what kind of a mood she was really in, underneath it all: a fighting mood.  Not a belligerent mood, but square-shouldered to the challenging winds of a softwood lumber agreement that needs to be negotiated with the United States, an oil industry that likely won’t be bouncing back anytime soon, a neighbouring province that is economically ill and others in Canada also gasping on fiscal fumes we are forced to ingest in our jurisdiction, and even a sentiment of opposition that doesn’t just seek to hold government accountable on environmental concerns or policy concerns but would prefer no industrial development at all.

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Forest minister won’t cancel requirement to harvest at Lantzville woodlot

Nanaimo News Bulletin
January 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Residents fighting to save Lantzville forest are looking at partial protection for an active woodlot as B.C.’s forest minister makes it clear he won’t end timber harvests. Organizers of Save Lantzville Forest, a grassroots group, are working on a new proposal to protect Woodlot 1475, a 256-hectare property in upper Lantzville, which is 96 per cent Crown-owned. The District of Lantzville recently released a letter from B.C. Forest Minister Steve Thomson which shows the community could request a reduction in the annual allowable cut of Woodlot 1475 if it purchased the licence, but the minister is not able to consider canceling requirements to remove timber all together. The purpose of the lot is to manage and harvest timber “as well as manage for other values,” he wrote.

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How British Columbia Is Moving its Trees

Motherboard
January 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Across North America there are strict prohibitions against the large scale movement of living populations. But for the past seven years the province of BC has allowed millions of trees to be planted toward the northernmost reaches of their natural range and beyond. The government is working with scientists who predict that our climate is changing so quickly that, 50 years from now, when the trees are fully grown, the conditions in the trees’ new homes will actually be more like their old ones. “It restores the tree to the environment for which they are best suited,” said Greg O’Neill, an adaptation and climate change scientist with the BC government, who helped design and implement the province’s assisted migration program. But while BC scientists think that they’ve acted just in time to prepare their forests for the future, no other province appears ready to adopt assisted migration as a strategy anytime soon.

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Forestry survey conveys concerns Powell River Peak

Powell River Peak
January 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A community economic development survey is giving City of Powell River council a venue to raise concerns on timber harvest within its municipal boundaries. The Union of BC Municipalities survey asks local governments to comment on the impact forestry decisions have had on communities and about the level of communication and public consultation from forest tenure holders on operational plans. Once compiled, the survey’s results will be presented to Steve Thompson, minister of forests, lands and natural resource operations. “I thought it was timely,” said councillor Russell Brewer, who also works for the provincial government as a professional forester, at council’s Thursday, January 7 regular meeting. “We’ve wanted to get an audience with the minister to talk about private-managed forest land. I thought this would be a great opportunity to communicate our concerns.”

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Sign on for a healthy forest — petition to ban herbicides in NB

Conservation
January 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

One of the most important issues concerning citizens of New Brunswick that the Minister of Natural Resources can address right away is the use of herbicides on our Crown forested lands. People from all over the province have joined with concerned citizens, community environmental organizations and the Conservation Council of New Brunswick — which has long advocated for a ban — by asking the government to get these chemicals out of our public woods. Just last month, forest activists from Kedgwick presented copies of a petition calling for a ban on herbicides to the NB Legislative Assembly with more than 1,000 signatures. 

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Forestry certification demonstrates environmental accountability

The Western Star
January 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Newfoundland and Labrador has positioned itself on the leading edge of environmentally-responsible forest management by achieving certification for its system, according to the Forestry and Agrifoods minister. Christopher Mitchelmore held a news conference in Corner Brook today to make the announcement of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001:2004 certification for its environmental management system. It enables the provincial government to explore the feasibility of further forest management certification for Crown lands from which wood products companies obtain their timber, according to the minister.

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Greens bash heads over how to deal with wildfires

Grist
January 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

There’s little doubt that wildfires are getting bigger, badder, and more damaging across the globe, but the question of how to deal with them is dividing environmentalists. …The consequences are enormous — especially in areas inhabited by people. And that’s the issue that’s most dividing environmental groups: how you balance effective fire policy, which may mean letting fires burn themselves out instead of suppressing them, with the fact that peoples lives and property are at stake. It was this concern that led 150 other environmental groups to write Congress in support of increased funding for the Forest Service. More than half of homes built since the 1990s are on the edges of wild lands, the Nature Conservancy’s Chris Topik told The Washington Post. “The essence is, there’s so many more people at risk. There are things we all really care about, like wilderness and wildlife, but you have to gauge it with the risks.”

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Forest Service rules Idaho wolf-collaring violated wilderness permit

The Missoulian
January 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Salmon-Challis National Forest issued an order of noncompliance to Idaho’s Department of Fish and Game for collaring four wolves in what was supposed to be an elk research project in a federal wilderness area. “Helicopter landings in the Frank (Church-River of No Return Wilderness) were not authorized, and constitute noncompliance with the terms and conditions of the permit,” Salmon-Challis Supervisor Chuck Mark said Wednesday. “We need to demonstrate that IDFG and the Forest Service are both able to redeem their respective responsibilities to manage and protect the state’s wildlife populations, and to administer and protect wilderness in accordance with the requirements of federal law. IDFG self-reported the violation right away which is a good first step toward making things right.”

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Forest Service Takes Action After Idaho Collars Wilderness Wolves

Associated Press in Boise State Public Radio
January 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service on Wednesday issued a notice of non-compliance to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game after the state agency violated an agreement by using a helicopter in a central Idaho wilderness to put tracking collars on wolves. The two-page notice includes additional requirements the state must follow when seeking approval for future landings in wilderness areas. …One Forest Service official called the mistake “unbelievable”. Environmental groups say they’re concerned the tracking collars could be used to find and kill the wolves.

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Industry: Tongass timber forecast flawed

Juneau Empire
January 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Alaska Forest Association Executive Director Owen Graham argues the demand analysis is based on a restricted timber supply, which artificially limits demand for Alaska forest products. “The analysis attributes the supply constraints to federal budgets and (National Environmental Policy Act) issues, but fails to acknowledge that its self-imposed standards and guidelines for its timber sale program have greatly increased the cost of harvesting timber sales,” Graham wrote in formal comments about the study. “These high costs are one of the primary reasons the agency has been unable to prepare economic timber sales.” …Graham has said the industry needs to harvest at least some old-growth
trees for about another 30 years to allow young, or second-growth,
stands to fully mature, which takes about 90 years for most trees in
Southeast Alaska.

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Town Halls begin with tree mortality

Sierra Star
January 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The first in a series of Town Hall meetings hosted by District 5 County Supervisor Tom Wheeler opened last week with, after introductions, a somber message from Denise Tolmie. “I saw tree mortality in the 1980s when I first started with the forest service,” said Tolmie, district ranger for the Bass Lake Ranger District. “But never to the magnitude we have right now. It saddens me, as I’m sure it saddens all of you. We’re seeing our forest change right in front of our eyes.” Cal Fire Unit Forester Len Nielson, with the Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit, agreed. “We know we’re surrounded by it,” Nielson said. “We’re consumed by it.”

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Timber-cutting trends in the Black Hills

Rapid City Journal
January 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


In a story published today, opposing stances were taken on whether timber cutting should be increased in the Black Hills National Forest. I made a chart that shows the historical amount of timber cut per year (see the chart below). It shows that after many years of lesser cutting in the 1990s, timber cutting has actually increased quite a bit in recent years, though not to the level of the 1980s.

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My Turn: Tongass transition plan lacks initiative

By DOMINICK A. DELLASALA and JIM FURNISH
Juneau Empire
January 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Change is not for the risk averse. It is scary stuff that takes us out of our comfort zones and into the unknown. It’s also how we adapt, meet challenges and improve outcomes for our communities and ourselves. People in Southeast Alaska know that better than most. Over the past quarter century, the region has been moving beyond boom-and-bust cycles of unsustainable resource extraction and export. Today, world-class, sustainably managed fisheries, tourism and recreation lead economic diversification that has replaced most old-growth logging. The time is past due for the Forest Service to ride the change wave.

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Forest Service nears finish line for long-term Tongass plan

Juneau Empire
January 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Alaskans are running out of time to give their input on the U.S. Forest Service’s plan to manage the Tongass National Forest into the 2030s. Feb. 22 is the deadline for comments on a plan that would wean the Southeast logging industry from older, larger, and more ecologically valuable trees and switch it to the harvest of younger, smaller trees. The plan has been in the works for almost three years and is scheduled to be complete by December. “I think this is the most complex project I’ve ever worked on,” forest planner Susan Howle told an audience of about 50 people Wednesday night at an open house in the Juneau Forest Service offices. According to Forest Service documents, the agency has five options to pick from. Each differs in detail, but the overall goal is the same: Transition away from cutting old-growth forest and switch to young-growth trees.

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County, PLA set to mediate over 2015 logging issue

PTLeader.com
January 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Jefferson County and Port Ludlow Associates (PLA) plan to sit down and start mediating Jan. 27 over logging the county says PLA did last year that was illegal and PLA insists it had a right to do. The mediation is to happen in Seattle, according to a memo from attorney Patrick J. Schneider of Foster Pepper PLCC, who was hired by the county to help it resolve the dispute. Mediator Phyllis Macleod, who has helped settle differences between the county and PLA in the past, was subsequently hired. Attorneys on both sides were to swap mediation memos by Monday, Jan. 25. PLA contends the county doesn’t have any authority over logging and that its timber harvests are legal.

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Deadly wildfires demand more state funding

by Peter Goldmark, Commissioner of Public Lands, Washington state Department of Natural Resources.
The Seattle Times
January 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

After two horrific wildfire seasons in a row, we need to prepare for the danger wildfire presents to our people, communities, forests and grasslands. Some legislators in both parties and Gov. Jay Inslee have declared willingness to increase funding. Yet, as the January rains fall in Olympia, the urgency fades for other lawmakers. That’s dangerous. The lessons from 2014 and 2015 must shape how we prepare for future fire seasons. I’m asking the Legislature now for $24 million to prepare our state for this fire season and beyond. This is roughly twice what Gov. Inslee proposed in his budget. We need more firefighters.

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Forest Service discusses Healthy Forest project for Alta Sierra

Kern Valley Sun
January 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

California’s forests have been taking a beating lately. The four-year drought combined with insect infestation and disease is causing tree mortality at an alarming rate. Last week, representatives from the U.S. Forest Service, Kern River Ranger District unveiled its plan for addressing the dead and dying trees on a small, but critical section of the Sequoia National Forest that surrounds the community of Alta Sierra, an area that has experienced a significant increase in tree mortality. The Summit Healthy Forest Project was discussed in detail during a community meeting held at the Kern River Ranger District office in Kernville. The Summit project is designed to increase forest stand resiliency to insects and disease by thinning trees and removing the dead or bug infested trees on up to 1,100 aces in and around Alta Sierra.

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LA GRANDE: Proper forest management would create jobs

My Eastern Oregon
January 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The National Forest Service has spent the past few years working on forest plan revisions for some Eastern Oregon forests, and if nothing else the process has shown just how important our national forests are to area residents. Thousands of public comments have been received according to Boise Cascade’s Lindsey Warness- all with a common theme: “We want to see them properly managed and taken care of, and we want to be able to reap the benefits from them- clean water, clean air, a steady supply of wood products for our local mills.” Warness says the federal government owns about 4.8 million acres of forest lands in Eastern Oregon, about 75% of the total forest lands in the region. Timber harvest on those lands has dropped 95% since 1986.

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Bevin Administration Terminates Kentucky Forestry Director

WKMS
January 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Gov. Matt Bevin has begun making changes among high-ranking employees in the state Energy and Environment Cabinet. Division of Forestry Director Leah MacSwords was terminated on Tuesday, a cabinet spokesman confirmed. It is a non-merit position and no reason was given for the termination. But MacSwords said she was never given a termination letter. Instead, she received notice that she was going to be demoted, and opted instead to retire. She has been with the state environment cabinet since 1985, and has served as the head of the Division of Forestry since 2001. In addition, she held the title of state forester. …MacSwords said she hopes that the administration moves quickly to fill her position, because having someone overseeing forestry in the state is essential.

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WestRock to close Uncasville paper mill by end of month

Norwich Bulletin
January 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

MONTVILLE – After a two-month closure last fall, the WestRock corrugated packaging plant in Uncasville will close its doors permanently by Feb. 1. The plant’s future had been uncertain since late last year. It closed in early October for what the company called an “indefinite idling.” But reopened in November. Montville Mayor Ronald McDaniel said he received word from a company representative that the plant would close by Feb. 1, but WestRock shared no other details about the closure. “They haven’t revealed any immediate plans for the plant or the surrounding property,” McDaniel said. The Depot Road plant, formerly known as Rock-Tenn, employs 87 people, according to the company.

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Quail surviving and thriving in South Jersey

Philly.com
January 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Bob Williams was startled during a recent walk through a Pinelands forest he manages in Chatsworth, Burlington County. Off to his side, a few feet away, came an explosion of wild fluttering wings. He’d flushed a covey of northern bobwhite quail. In an instant, the chickenlike birds scattered in every direction. “It was a wonderful experience. I hadn’t done that in 30 years,” said Williams, president of Pine Creek Forestry in Laurel Springs, who oversees a 14,000-acre property for Bill Haines of Pine Island Cranberry Co. …”As a forester, you take care of the forest, but you’re really taking care of everything,” including wildlife, said Williams, who prepared the property by selective tree-thinning and controlled burning. “To see something that was gone and then returned to the land . . . there’s nothing better than that.

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More efficient forest machines are shrinking the market

Canadian Forest Industries
January 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Swedish market for forest machines is shrinking. That’s the conclusion of a review of the past six years’ registrations of forwarders. The average reduction is 16 per cent. The manufacturers can see several reasons and the trend also applies to harvesters. “The machines are becoming more efficient, with a higher utilisation rate and longer lifespan,” explains Rolf Andersson, CEO of Rottne. “Because the felling volumes stay relatively constant from year to year, fewer machines are required.”  The trend is also apparent in the after market. Previously it was common to do welding repairs on frames and centre pivots. But stronger constructions now mean that welding is rarely done whatever the brand of machine.  

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Middle East’s first tropical forest bio-dome to be unveiled in Dubai

StepFeed
January 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Emirati development giant Meraas Holding has announced the launch of The Green Planet, the first-ever bio-dome in the Middle East to encompass an entire man-made tropical forest. …Through creating a tropical ecosystem with the biodiversity of more than 3,000 plants and animals, The Green Planet will offer visitors the magical experience of being in the tropics. The bio-dome will include a green canopy that will cover the rich tropical vegetation, in order to recreate the natural habitat of a variety of different species. It will also include the largest indoor man-made and life-sustaining tree in the world, which will reach a height of 25 meters. In line with the mission of becoming both an educational and recreational facility, the bio-dome will feature exhibitions and displays that will allow visitors the chance to explore the tropical environment through personalized encounters with the various plants and animals inhabiting it.

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EU Ambassador Calls for Protection of Forest

Khmer Times
January 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

European Union ambassador to Cambodia George Edgar has appealed to the government to take better care of the Prey Lang forest after visiting it and observing that the largest primary lowland dry evergreen forest on the Indochinese Peninsula is still under threat despite recent measures by the Prime Minister to curb illegal deforestation and illegal timber smuggling.  On a visit to the forest on January 13 and 14, Mr. Edgar met with the Prey Lang Community Network (PLCN), a volunteer team working to protect the forest from illegal logging, according to the European Union in Cambodia’s Facebook page. It added that Mr. Edgar was joined by Danish Ambassador to Cambodia Mikael Hemniti Winther in a trip organized by NGOs Danmission and Peace Bridge.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

From sawdust to petrol

KGGO
January 21, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

As world governments mull over global emission targets agreed at last December’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21), attention is turning to which new technologies can help them achieve this. Researchers at the University of Leuven say they have part of the answer, having devised a way to convert sawdust into valuable chemicals and the building blocks for gasoline. By developing a unique chemical process in their laboratory at the Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis, outside Brussels, they can convert the lignin in sawdust into aromatic chemicals and the cellulose into hydrocarbon chains. The hydrocarbons can be used either as an additive in gasoline or as a component in plastics. Cellulose is the main substance in plant matter, present in all non-edible plant parts of wood, straw, grass, cotton and old paper, and containing strong carbon chains.

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