Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 28, 2013

Business & Politics

More B.C. sawmills expected to close as beetle eats wood supply

Stockhouse
October 25, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Lumber and panel traders across North America abandoned their desks this week to descend upon the annual North American Wholesale Lumbermen’s Association meeting, this year in Las Vegas, NV, writes Keta Kosman in Madison’s Lumber Reporter. Skeleton crews left behind to handle the phones reported a quiet week but there was enough inquiry, and sales follow-through, to pop the price of benchmark dimension lumber item WSPF KD 2×4 #2&Btr by $2, to US$364 mfbm.

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B.C. lumber industry not expected to meet U.S. demand

Globe and Mail
October 27, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Plans by West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. and Canfor Corp. to close sawmills in the B.C. interior have raised concerns that lumber output in the region will lag demand driven by a rebound in the U.S. housing market. B.C. interior sawmills operated by firms such as West Fraser and Canfor have been largely relying on timber left over from years ago, when mountain pine beetles decimated forests in the region. The infestation of pine beetles began in the late 1990s and peaked in 2005.

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Sawmill workers wept in parking lot after hearing they would lose their jobs

Canadian Press
October 25, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada West

Workers at the Canfor sawmill in Quesnel cried and hugged each other in the company parking lot after hearing the facility would be permanently shut down and they’d lose their jobs. “We’re all in total shock,” said Baljinder Johal, choking back tears. “It was pretty emotional for the guys out there. For myself, I’ve got a wife and two kids and we haven’t decided what our future is going to be.” …Forests Minister Steve Thomson said the closure of the two sawmills in the province’s interior is not unexpected because of the pine beetle, although the Steelworkers Union said workers who are in shock obviously don’t feel that way.

This Canadian Press story was picked up by many Canadian papers including the Victoria Times Colonist and the Nanaimo Daily News

The Vancouver Sun ran their spin on the story – Tears, sorrow in Interior as sawmill workers learn of closures, by Jenny Lee

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Mill swap about ‘ensuring longevity’

Prince George Citizen
October 25, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada West

What happens next is now the question facing Quesnel and Houston. The West Fraser sawmill in Houston and the Canfor sawmill in Quesnel will permanently close five to eight months from now, the two companies announced Thursday. West Fraser and Canfor worked together on the decision, going so far as to swap hundreds of thousands of cubic metres of harvesting rights in order for their remaining operations to thrive. Canfor will keep its large mill in Houston running while West Fraser will maintain its large mill in Quesnel. “In essence, what we have done with West Fraser is exchange fibre. This was not about cash, it was 100 per cent about fibre exchange to ensure the longevity” of both companies in their remaining communities, Canfor president and CEO Don Kayne told The Citizen. 


Also picked up by the Victoria Times Colonist under the title Quesnel, Houston sawmills to close permanently

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NDP critic wants mill shut down plans

Prince George Citizen
October 25, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada West

Norm MacDonald wonders where the plan is in the wake of Canfor and West Fraser’s announcement that they are swapping large tracts of harvesting rights and closing smaller milld in order to keep a major mill each working in the towns of Houston and Quesnel. The NDP forestry critic and the co-chair of the recent legislative committee analyzing the Central Interior’s timber supply said the mountain pine beetle effects were clear, to an extent, but he is underwhelmed by the social safety net being offered to the two towns facing 400-plus job loses.

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Canfor’s Quesnel mill and West Fraser’s Houston mill to close

By Tom Fletcher
Prince George Free Press
October 25, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada West

Sawmills in Quesnel and Houston are to be closed next year as their owners trade timber cutting rights to maintain competing operations in the two B.C. Interior communities affected by mountain pine beetle infestation. Canfor Corp. announced it will close its Quesnel mill in March 2014, transferring its forest licence for the region to West Fraser to supply logs to its recently rebuilt Quesnel mill. West Fraser announced it will close its Houston mill next year, trading part of its cutting rights to Canfor to supply its Houston operation.

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Lumber Soars to Six-Month High on Canada Beetle Damage

Bloomberg
October 25, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Lumber futures jumped to a six-month high as two producers plan to close mills in British Columbia, fueling supply concerns as a beetle infestation decimates forests in the region. West Fraser Timber Co. said yesterday it plans to shut its mill in Houston, British Columbia, and Canfor Corp. will close its Quesnel site in the province. The Vancouver-based companies cited a timber shortage after forests were ravaged by the mountain pine beetle. Lumber futures have surged 22 percent since the end of May.

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Steelworkers react to mill closures

HQ Prince George
October 25, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada West

The United Steelworkers are reacting to two major mill closures announced, Thursday. Due to the lack of timber available after the mountain pine beetle infestation, Canfor announced it’s Quesnel sawmill will close in March, while West Fraser Mills in Houston will also close, in the second quarter of 2014. Frank Everitt, President of the United Steelworkers Local 1 -424 calls the news “shocking” and says he would have liked prior notice of the closure.

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Canadian lumber producers say higher demand in China, U.S. should boost prices

Canadian Press
October 27, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada West

There’s no sign that China’s appetite for lumber is waning despite its somewhat slower economic growth, according a top executive of West Fraser Timber who sees demand remaining strong not only for his company but for other producers as well. West Fraser vice-president Chris McIver says the Vancouver-based company has shifted its sales efforts inland from China’s coastal markets because it believes there’s still plenty of demand for lumber. “There’s tremendous need for lumber, whether it’s from us or from elsewhere in the world,” McIver said in a recent interview.

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Minister Thomson’s statement on mill closures in Houston and Quesnel

BC Government
October 25, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

BEIJING – In response to the announcements from Canfor and West Fraser about the closing of their mills in Houston and Quesnel, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson issued the following statement from Beijing, where he is concluding a forestry trade mission to Japan and China: “First, I wish to extend my sympathies to the workers and their families affected by these two closures. “I understand the companies are taking steps to address workers’ needs either through offering jobs elsewhere in the companies, or providing assistance in searching for other employment.

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Mayor and former MLA at odds over Quesnel mill closure

CKNW
October 25, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The mayor of Quesnel is putting on a brave face to news that Canfor is shutting down its Quesnel sawmill in March. Mary Sjostrom says the community has been planning for this. “This isn’t the first time for the city of Quesnel that we’ve lost a mill. You don’t like that to happen and I understand there are other communities in the same boat. Certainly my heart goes out to them.” …The former MLA for Cariboo North blasted the province and Quesnel council after Canfor closed its operations in the city. Bob Simpson says LNG, if it ever pays off, will have nothing to do with Quesnel in the interior of the province so to rely on it as fall back plan is absurd.

Quesnel gets to work to help those hit by closure of Canfor Sawmill from 250 News

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Paper & Forest Products – Trading Places: Canfor and West Fraser Swap Harvesting Rights

By Paul C. Quinn and Hamir Patel
RBC Capital Markets Equity Report
October 28, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada West

Slightly positive. Canfor and West Fraser announced an agreement to exchange forest tenure rights, along with sawmill closure plans. Exchanging Harvesting Rights – NA’s two largest softwood lumber producers have entered into an agreement to exchange forest tenure rights in response to declining timber availability due to the MPB infestation. …More Mill Closures from MPB – Canfor has announced that it will be closing its Quesnel sawmill (240 mmfbm/yr) in March 2014 due to the lack of availability of timber in the Quesnel region

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Tembec – A Not So Obvious Way To Benefit From Rising Lumber Prices

By Terry Schumacher 
Seeking Alpha
October 28, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Lumber prices should move significantly higher in both the near-term and longer term, and owning the stock of Tembec is a good way to benefit from this. Most investors gravitate towards the stocks of the large lumber producers… However, any given change in lumber prices causes a much larger change in EPS relative to the stock price for Tembec than for most of these other lumber producers. This effect is so strong that rising lumber prices and the positive effect it has on Tembec’s EPS can be a catalyst for the stock price to move significantly higher.

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New Hampshire investor in torrefied wood has drawn more than $142M in tax breaks, state loan

Bangor Daily News
October 28, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Cate Street Capital had never before run a paper mill, and arguably the company’s biggest reason for coming to Maine is to try a commercial untested technology without contractually guaranteed customers or suppliers. But the New Hampshire investment group, its subsidiaries and its investors have received at least $142 million in tax breaks and a guaranteed loan from Maine and the federal government since 2011, officials say.The state government’s forest products industry advisor, Rosaire Pelletier, told FAME that Cate Street’s pellet mill and all the investments promised by torrefied wood could create as many as 1,500 jobs across the state. If it works.

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Forest industry exports from Latvia grew by 8.4% in January-August

The Baltic Course
October 28, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

… Latvia’s main forest industry export partners were Sweden with 12.3%, Great Britain with 12.3% and Germany with 12% of total forest industry exports. Forest industry imports in the first eight months of 2013, were 20% more than in the corresponding period in 2012. Latvia’s main forest industry import partners were Lithuania with 21.2%, Poland with 12.9%, and Estonia with 11.3% of total forest industry imports.

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Forestry

Three Letters to the Editor on the topic of BC Tenures and Land Allocation

Letters by Jonathan Lok, Anthony Britneff and Ray Travers
The Province
October 25, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

NDP changed position – Jonathan Lok
We are surprised to see the negative response from NDP forest critic Norm MacDonald to Forest Minister Steve Thomson’s letter on area-based tenures, suggesting that his comments are not true.

It’s a forest giveaway – Ray Travers
The forests minister has to know more than he is saying. Allocation of private forest tenures on Crown land conveys an interest to the licensee that they can buy and sell without the minister’s permission. 

Public isn’t fooled – Anthony Britneff
In a lame response to Ben Parfitt’s Oct. 20 article – “Are big-five forest firms about to get a windfall?” – Forests Minister Steve Thomson fails to address the central issue of the public interest.

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Tree-planting boss denies discrimination at human-rights tribunal

Globe and Mail
October 24, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A supervisor at a B.C. tree-planting camp says African workers were not victims of discrimination – although the Punjabi-speaking supervisor admits he doesn’t know the meaning of some of the slurs allegedly used. Testimony continued Thursday in the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal case involving the Golden, B.C., camp. Fifty tree planters originally from Africa allege they were forced to endure squalid conditions by their employer, Khaira Enterprises Ltd., because they were black.

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Victim in float plane crash was reluctant about making the trip, relative says

Victoria Times Colonist
October 28, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada West

…The pilot of an Air Cab Cessna 185 had left Coal Harbour that morning and picked up Slavik, 58, and another man in Port McNeill before heading southeast to West Cracroft Island. The aircraft was preparing to land in a confined area near the logging camp when it slammed into a hillside about 20 metres from the shoreline, said the Transportation Safety Board. …Slavik grew up in Vancouver and attended B.C. Institute of Technology to study forestry. …“All his business was generated around the forest industry in B.C.,” Bush said.

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Plans to log Dakota Creek watershed ‘disappointing’

Sunshine Coast Reporter
October 25, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada West

Local government officials and environmentalists are decrying the decision by BC Timber Sales to move ahead with plans for logging about 53 hectares of old-growth forest in the Dakota Creek community watershed on Mount Elphinstone. The timber sale was deferred last month after environmental groups raised concerns, and one of the cutblocks — the 15-hectare Roberts Creek headwaters forest — was removed from the sale. The remaining four cutblocks in Dakota Bowl, however, were posted for sale by BCTS on Oct. 10, with Nov. 7 set as the expiry date for the sale.

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How did this woman repay $26,000 in student debt? She planted trees

Globe and Mail
October 27, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Andrea Barnett left university at 22 with an undergraduate degree in political science and philosophy. She was also saddled with $26,000 in student-related debt. Because her parents earned too much money, Ms. Barnett did not qualify for government student loans. ..Forestry-related work is tough but it can be lucrative. Ms. Barnett estimates that she was earning between $250 and $300 a day. But the key, she says, is that “living in the bush” freed her from having to pay for things like rent, an Internet connection and a gym membership.

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Groups protest logging in Qualicum Beach watershed

Oceanside Star
October 24, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada West

Vancouver Island conservation groups rallied in Cathedral Grove Tuesday against Island Timberlands’ expansion of logging operations. Almost 60 protesters rallied in the parking lot of Cathedral Grove, unfurling banners and leafletting tourists. The groups included the Wilderness Committee Mid-Island Chapter based in Qualicum Beach, Port Alberni Watershed-Forest Alliance, Save the Day based in Roberts Creek, Wildstands Alliance based on Cortes Island, Friends of Stillwater Bluffs near Powell River, and Ancient Forest Alliance based in Victoria.

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Global Forest Governance

Yale School of Forestry
October 25, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States



Ben Cashore is Professor of Environmental Governance and Political Science at Yales School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. His research interests focus on non-state market-driven environmental governance, the impact and opportunities of globalization and internationalization on domestic and local environmental policy, corporate sustainability initiatives, and comparative environmental policy. He is a prolific author of books and articles that integrate public policy, corporate social responsibility and international environmental governance.

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Rocky Barker: Opponents wave bloody shirt at forest swap

Idaho Statesman
October 28, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: US West

A proposal by Idaho’s two Republican senators and Rep. Raul Labrador to start talks on writing a bill to exchange of 39,000 acres of private timber in the Lochsa River watershed for national forest has opponents out in force. Two letters to the Idaho Statesman suggested the proposal was nefarious because the private land is owned by billionaire timberman and developer Tim Blixseth. And one suggested that conservation groups like the Idaho Conservation League and Trout Unlimited were part of a secret conspiracy to jam the exchange down Idahoans’ throats because they hired timber industry lobbyist Mark Rey.

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Forest policy is wasting a vital resource: Our View

Mismanagement is costing Wisconsin badly needed jobs.
Green Bay Press Gazette
October 28, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

…There is a legitimate need to preserve the forests for ecological purposes as well as economic ones. But what was striking in the report was just how much agreement there is among the experts. The U.S. Forest Service harvest plan sets target levels for the forest based on sound research and environmental concerns. And each year, the actual numbers of board feet harvested from the forests falls well short of the targets. If the targets had been reached, the Forest Service could have sold 1.3 billion board feet of wood in the past decade.

County, state management may be answer in forest from The Green Bay Press Gazette Northwoods needs timber solutions: Readers react from The Green Bay Press Gazette

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Trees survive dieback for longer

Belfast Telegraph
October 25, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Trees in a Somerset plantation have survived ash dieback for far longer than previously thought possible – suggesting there may be potential to slow the spread of the disease in the British countryside. The National Trust said only 10% of the 6,000 ash trees at the Holnicote plantation, near Minehead, are showing any signs of the disease, despite having been infected for five years longer than any other tree in the UK so far.

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Palm Oil Trade Destroying Last Sumatran Tigers

Eco-Warriors to the rescue.
The Malibu Times
October 26, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: International

… ‘The War Against Nature,’ and in particular the unscrupulous palm oil industry has been on a frenzied and unimaginable destructive rampage throughout the remaining Indonesian rain forests. The few remaining Asian rhinos, elephants, orangutans and tigers are doomed, but does anyone really feel their pain? Unregulated palm oil production not only wipes out exquisite rain forests and crucial peatland bogs that are the life-blood for Sumatran tigers, orangutans, rhinos and elephants, it razes Earth’s only insurance policy (giant intact rain forests) from absorbing carbon dioxide from human-induced burning of 85 million metric tons daily of fossil fuels. 

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Amazon Rainforest is ‘at Higher Risk of Tree Loss’

By Alex Kirby, Climate News Network
Kitsap Sun
October 28, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: International

LONDON Researchers say the southern part of the Amazon rainforest is at a far higher risk of dieback than the models used in the most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The research team, led by Professor Rong Fu of the University of Texas, say that this is because the forest is drying out much quicker than projected. If the damage is severe enough, they say the loss of rainforest could cause the release of large volumes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and could also disrupt plant and animal communities.

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Australia’s biggest wood-chipping company admits koala mistreatment

ABC News Australia
October 28, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: International

In July, 7.30 reported on thousands of koala facing injury or death as gum plantations were logged, and now the company involved has responded to an investigation and sanctions by preparing to publicly apologise for harming koalas, and a warning this report contains disturbing images.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Electricity from pellets shows quick carbon savings

Biomass Magazine
October 25, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, United States

A new report has determined that wood pellets imported to Europe from the Southeast U.S. and British Columbia, Canada, for electricity production immediately or very rapidly contribute to climate change mitigation. The report, titled Forest Sustainability and Carbon Balance of EU Importation of North American Forest Biomass for Bioenergy Production, was prepared by the European Biomass Association, BC Bioenergy Network, U.S. Industrial Wood Pellet Association and Wood Pellet Association of Canada.

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Consultations roll in on Chase pellet plant

October 28, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Five of eight stakeholder referrals for a proposed wood-pellet plant have already been returned to the Village to Chase with less than a week until deadline. Village corporate officer Larry Randle said Interior Health, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, Ministry of Environment, Chase Fire and Rescue and the Kamloops-Thompson School District have provided or promised input in writing by the Wednesday deadline. Randle is still awaiting word from the Adams Lake, Neskonlith and Little Shuswap Indian bands, he said.

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Forest waste used to develop cheaper, greener supercapacitors

October 28, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, United States

…Many of today’s supercapacitors use activated carbon – usually from a fossil-fuel source, Jiang said. …In wood-biochar supercapacitors, the wood’s natural pore structure serves as the electrode surface, eliminating the need for advanced techniques to fabricate an elaborate pore structure. Wood biochar is produced by heating wood in low oxygen. The pore sizes and configurations in some woods are ideal for fast ion transport, Jiang said. The new study used red cedar, but several other woods such as maple and cherry also work well.

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USDA announces wood-to-energy deal

Biomass Magazine
October 25, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

The USDA has announced a new partnership with the Alliance for Green Heat, the Biomass Power Association, the Biomass Thermal Energy Council and the Pellet Fuels Institute that aims to expand the use of wood energy, helping to improve the health and safety of U.S. forests. The partnership agreement focuses on promoting wood energy nationwide as a means to address fire risks, bolster economic development in rural areas, improve air quality and meet renewable energy goals.

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Biomass opponents ignore climate-change science

The Gainsville Sun
October 26, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho said letting the United States default would bring stability to the economy. Anti-biomass crusader Paula Stahmer said woody biomass isn’t carbon neutral. They both ignore facts that don’t support their preconceived ideology… The International Panel on Climate Change and U.S. science policy organizations such as Oak Ridge National Laboratory biomass from sustainably harvested forest debris is carbon neutral. Forests are natural carbon dioxide vacuums. Investing in every sustainable wood product — paper, wood floor, every truss — is permanently sequestered carbon dioxide. Florida’s forests cover half of our land, according to the inventory. 

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Climate change link to wildfires ‘complete hogwash’, says Australian PM

The Associated Press
October 25, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The Australian government staunchly rejected arguments that climate change is causing the wildfires ravaging parts of eastern Australia following a record hot start to the spring season. “That is complete hogwash,” Prime Minister Tony Abbott told News Corp. Australian newspapers in an interview published on Friday. Environment Minister Greg Hunt backed his prime minister, saying no individual event can be linked to climate change.

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General

Consultations roll in on Chase pellet plant

October 28, 2013
Category: Uncategorised

Five of eight stakeholder referrals for a proposed wood-pellet plant have already been returned to the Village to Chase with less than a week until deadline. Village corporate officer Larry Randle said Interior Health, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, Ministry of Environment, Chase Fire and Rescue and the Kamloops-Thompson School District have provided or promised input in writing by the Wednesday deadline. Randle is still awaiting word from the Adams Lake, Neskonlith and Little Shuswap Indian bands, he said.

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Forest waste used to develop cheaper, greener supercapacitors

October 28, 2013
Category: Uncategorised

…Many of today’s supercapacitors use activated carbon – usually from a fossil-fuel source, Jiang said. …In wood-biochar supercapacitors, the wood’s natural pore structure serves as the electrode surface, eliminating the need for advanced techniques to fabricate an elaborate pore structure. Wood biochar is produced by heating wood in low oxygen. The pore sizes and configurations in some woods are ideal for fast ion transport, Jiang said. The new study used red cedar, but several other woods such as maple and cherry also work well.

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