OT: Chatham House study reveals biomass not as carbon neutral as thought

On Fri, 24 Feb 2017 04:41:36 +0000, The Natural Philosopher

Actually, if properly dried, it is perfectly good firewood. It's very low density, so you get less energy out of it per unit volume than something like oak, but it burns very well. I'm using a couple of cu.m. of our coppiced willow at the moment and it's heating the house nicely
Of course if you're foolish enough to try and burn it as soon as it's been cut, it's terrible firewood..
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wrote:

Yebbut...could you fuel a 1GW power station with it? What area of willow would you need to have planted to do that, and what drying/storage capacity would you need before it's burnt?
OOI is your couple of cu.m of dried coppiced willow chipped/shredded or just loose stacked as rods, and how long does it last in your situation - days/weeks/months?
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Chris

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On 24/02/2017 10:08, Chris Hogg wrote:

Having read the newspaper article about this - my attention span is too limited for the CH study - it seems that US forests are chopped down, the wood is chipped, and then it's shipped across the Atlantic to be burned here. I don't think you have to do much of a study to realise that that is nowhere near carbon neutral. Why take perfectly good timber and burn it? All the waste bits, maybe, but that's not what's happening.
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In theory. When they started using biomass there was a lot of interest in the agricultural industry about growing for biomass power stations. It was generally either miscanthus or short rotation willow coppice which would probably have been chipped. I don't know if anyone is still producing biomass for power stations in the UK. It wasn't cheap enough and they probably couldn't produce the quantities neede, so it's mainly imported now.

It's used in a log boiler, so they're cut to length (about 20") and stored stacked under cover for a year or two to dry. The lot I'm using at the moment looks as if 1.5 cu.m. is going to last about 10 days, but the weather's warm at the moment. Over all we'll burn 15-25 cu.m. a year depending on weather, how warm we keep the house and if the wood is dense or not. We burn any dry wood, not just willow.
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It's well known that a small country like the UK was never going to be able to grow enough to make biomass viable. And if you can't do that, why bother?
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Market distortions caused by Government diktat/subsidy.
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On 24/02/17 10:08, Chris Hogg wrote:

yes.

Willow averages at about 0.5W/sq. metre, so you would need around 2 billion square meters or around 2,000 square kilometres..
So 14 kilometres square give or take.

Dont ask :-]

a cubic meter a day is not unheard of to heat a large house in scandinavia.
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45 kilometres square, Shirley.
Where we gonna find a square of land 45km on a side in the UK that's just sitting there doing nothing?
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On Fri, 24 Feb 2017 11:45:37 +0000, Tim Streater

Let alone up to 50 of them!
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On Fri, 24 Feb 2017 11:19:35 +0000, The Natural Philosopher

ITYM 45 km.sq.
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On Friday, 24 February 2017 11:19:38 UTC, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Wood can be dried in situ, still standing, by ring barking the tree. New timber could, I expect, be grown on the same land while the old is drying.
NT
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On Friday, 24 February 2017 04:41:37 UTC, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

It's perfectly fine. I have coppice willow myself. Cut down every five years in rotation.
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On Thursday, 23 February 2017 17:08:57 UTC, GB wrote:

In cold climates willow is grown on marshland and harvested in Winter when the marsh is frozen It regrows and can be harvested every five years or so. It's grown on on land unfit for other purposes.
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On Thursday, 23 February 2017 15:59:57 UTC, dennis@home wrote:

Full of shit as usual. Proper biomass forests are specially planted for the job. Usually a hybrid willow. When established it's cut down and regrows in about five years. http://mammothwillow.co.uk/shop/index.php?cPath $
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On Sun, 26 Feb 2017 08:32:42 -0800 (PST), harry

Drax is burning something around 5 million tonnes of biomass annually, virtually all of it wood chip imported from the southern states of the US, plus a little locally produced straw and willow. Yet only half of Drax is converted to biomass ATM. From your link, the yield of dried willow is 5 tonnes per acre, so that's one million acres just to fuel half of Drax and producing say 2GW, in round figures.
Willow is fine for fuelling the occasional domestic wood-burning stove, but as a fuel supply to provide a significant proportion of the nation's electricity, it hasn't got a hope.
See also Euan Mearns on the subject http://euanmearns.com/wood-pellets-drax-and-deforestation/
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