Heat — Chips, densified wood
The most efficient way to get energy from wood is to create heat. Since the caveman days this has been true, but new technologies allow the burning of wood with reduced emissions and greater efficiency.
Wood densification (pellets) is possible now using forest thinnings. Wood chips are used directly in systems ranging from schools to hospitals and entire communities are being heated with distributed heat systems utilizing heated water circulated in insulated pipes buried in the ground.
Lessons from the Northeastern U.S.
A 1993 survey of biomass installations in the Northeast and adjacent regions found 43 schools, 26 hospitals, 17 colleges, 22 greenhouses, six correctional institutions, and 20 commercial or industrial facilities that are using biomass fuel.
Case Studies in the Sierra Nevada
From old timber mill to thriving greenhouse: Lessons from Cedar Mill Eco-farm
Nestled in the small Sierra town of Pioneer an innovative greenhouse is operating with the asistance of wood generated from restoration projects in local forests. This Amador County eco-farm demonstrates that low-value forest thinnings can be converted into value-added products - in this case tasty, organic tomatoes and cucumbers. To learn more about this promising local business enterprise and the great example that it is seting for other communities and businesses in the Sierra visit our profile page on the Cedar Mill Eco-farm.