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Title: Wood and coal cofiring in interior Alaska: utilizing woody biomass from wildland defensible-space fire treatments and other sources.

Author: Nicholls, David L.; Patterson, Stephen E.; Uloth, Erin.

Date: 2006

Source: Res. Note PNW-RN-551. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 15 p.

Publication Series: Research Note (RN)

Description: Cofiring wood and coal at Fairbanks, Alaska, area electrical generation facilities represents an opportunity to use woody biomass from clearings within the borough's wildland-urban interface and from other sources, such as sawmill residues and woody material intended for landfills. Potential benefits of cofiring include air quality improvements, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, market and employment development opportunities, and reduction of municipal wood residues at area landfills. Important issues that must be addressed to enable cofiring include wood chip uniformity and quality, fuel mixing procedures, transportation and wood chip processing costs, infrastructure requirements, and long-term biomass supply. Additional steps in implementing successful cofiring programs could include test burns, an assessment of area biomass supply and treatment needs, and a detailed economic and technical feasibility study. Although Fairbanks North Star Borough is well positioned to use biomass for cofiring at coal burning facilities, long-term cofiring operations would require expansion of biomass sources beyond defensible-space-related clearings alone. Long-term sources could potentially include a range of woody materials including forest harvesting residues, sawmill residues, and municipal wastes.

Keywords: Biomass, energy, wildland-urban interface, coal, Alaska

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Nicholls, David L.; Patterson, Stephen E.; Uloth, Erin. 2006. Wood and coal cofiring in interior Alaska: utilizing woody biomass from wildland defensible-space fire treatments and other sources. Res. Note PNW-RN-551. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 15 p.

 


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