Back to the pulp meets energy idea

Great to get back to the news reading…

This one goes well with my other post on Canada’s pulp and paper situation. Way to go Norway:)

Norwegian paper manufacturer Norske Skog announces it will, in cooperation with forest owners cooperatives, establish a joint venture to develop and produce next-generation wood-based biofuels. A prototype facility for biodiesel will be built at its Follum mill in Hønefoss. The single plant will produce between 4 and 6 per cent of Norway’s total diesel fuel consumption.

Start moving Canada.  Don’t get left in the dust….

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2 thoughts on “Back to the pulp meets energy idea

  1. Jay Godse says:

    Interesting…first the finances: How much will it cost to produce each gasoline-equivalent litre of fuel? Or another way, what does the price of oil have to be for them to make a profit selling this stuff?

    Next…the environment. How long does will it take Norway to grow enough wood to feed these power plants? Or, another way, how much forest will they lose every year (if any) to feed these plants?

    I like the idea of biodiesel because it is probably one of the most direct ways of going from solar energy capture (photosynthesis) to usable fuel. However, with the intricate web of subsidies, I’m not sure if there is truly an economic case for large-scale biomass production from wood. If biodiesel consumes forest faster than it can be replaced, then I’m not sure if there is an environmental case for it either.

    Cheers, Jay

  2. janeporter says:

    Ok, took me a while to respond but here goes:

    Norske Skog is already a paper manufacturer so it’s not really a question of them using the wood (they’re already using it for making the paper) it’s a question on how efficient they use the waste (black liquor – i.e. wood based fuel leftover from making the paper). – profit wise – they’re putting the money into efficiency and new technologies to make another line of business out of the resources they already have. Also, the article says that the project is in cooperation with the forest owners cooperatives – so most likely, the forest owners won’t deplete their stocks in irresponsible ways.

    Can’t exactly tell you the finances (i’m sure it was a rhetorical question anyways;) but I do know of cases where pulp and paper mills have used black liquor as a fuel for their own operations thereby decreasing their own costs and sometimes, they are soooo efficient that they produce excess fuel – enough so to give back to the community’s grid (extra profit).

    Also, even if we compared this to the price of oil now… oil is just going to go up (supply and demand)… and the cost of using waste as fuel will most likely only go down as the technologies become more and more available.

    Agreed with the stance that biodiesel can have negative environmental impacts too. (i.e. agrofuels (corn subsidies that put pressure on food costs and all of the resources that go into agriculture etc.) but energy that comes from waste, that is still from a renewable source, is a good thing.

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