Biomass Boiler Addresses Alaskans’ Environmental, Economic Concerns-Blog.fc2

http://marionyusef.blog.fc2.com/

Crown Capital Eco Management – The heavily forested city of Ketchikan, Alaska, is built on rock and surrounded by water. Every commodity that comes into Ketchikan must arrive by sea or air. The use of fuel oil is problematic for both economic and environmental reasons because the oil must be obtained and refined elsewhere and transported (using additional fuel). What’s more, fuel oil is subject to price instability.

Southeast Alaska Discovery Center in Ketchikan, which provides information to more than a million visitors each year, is the site of a pilot biomass boiler system now coming to life. Two oil-fired boilers serving the 250,000-sq-ft center were replaced with a highly efficient system fueled by local wood. Manufactured by Hurst Boiler & Welding Company Inc., the hot-water boiler was custom-designed to fit within very limited indoor space.

Under the direction of E. Dane Ash, project manager for Tyonek-Alcan Pacific LLC, the biomass boiler system was developed with Hurst representative Gregory W. Smith of Global Energy Solutions Inc. to address environmental concerns, as well as issues related to building space, fuel costs, comfort, reliability, and simplicity of operation.

The new boiler is located on the lower level of the Discovery Center, which requires heating for a minimum of nine months a year. Local wood densified into fuel pucks is delivered to an elevated walking-floor storage bin in a vestibule area built to protect against excessive moisture. (The biomass-fired boiler can burn any wood product with up to 50-percent moisture content.) An auger moves pucks from the storage area to a metering bin and into the boiler. Freezing is not an issue because the walking floor easily breaks up any frozen contents.

The boiler system was designed to highlight how biomass can reduce or eliminate the use of fossil fuels. Visitors can see the boiler operate through specially designed windows. In the hall just outside of the boiler room, the noise level and ambient temperature is consistent with the rest of the building.

 

Savings

Fuel costs have been cut by two-thirds. The densified pucks are used with almost no residual ash; eventually, however, tree clippings from the Ketchikan walking trails will be ground and fed into the boiler, eliminating the need for transport to a landfill, burning, and other methods of disposal.

The Boiler

The Hurst S100 Series Fire Tube 27 HP Hydronic Water Heating Boiler features a pre-heater to optimize combustion and an underfeed stoker with dry-ash-removal system.

Results

The system easily can be replicated for heat or heat/power generation up to 20,000 kw. In June 2011, Smith served as a keynote speaker for the fifth annual Native American Economic Development Conference in Anaheim, Calif., where he described the initiatives being implemented in Ketchikan and shared success stories of biomass-fired boiler systems installed on institutional campuses and in manufacturing facilities throughout the United States, particularly in challenging and remote locations. Systems include municipal solid waste, as well as woody biomass for steam production and steam to power.

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6 comments on “Biomass Boiler Addresses Alaskans’ Environmental, Economic Concerns-Blog.fc2

  1. Study: Climate Change Could Put Millions More at Risk of Water Scarcity

    Changes in rainfall and evaporation will put pressure on water resources

    Although water scarcity is already a problem in many countries today due to factors like population growth, the effects of global warming could put millions more people at risk of absolute water scarcity, according to a new study from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
    The study, published Monday in a special issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that water resources will be affected by changes in rainfall and evaporation due to climate change, putting 40 percent more people at risk of absolute water scarcity.

    [READ: Consequences of Global Warming Could Occur Soon, Report Says]

    “We conclude that the combination of unmitigated climate change and further population growth will expose a significant fraction of the world population to chronic or absolute water scarcity,” the study says.
    Now, between one and two people out of 100 live in countries with absolute water scarcity, which is defined as less than 500 cubic meters of water available per year and per person, according to the study. On average, each person consumes about 1,200 cubic meters of water each year. But population growth combined with the effects of global warming could bring the ratio of people living in countries with absolute water scarcity up to about 10 in 100 people.
    “The quantities that most humans need for drinking and sanitation are relatively small, and the fact that these basic needs are not satisfied for many people today is primarily a matter of access to, and quality of, available water resources,” the study says.

    [MORE: Severe Heat Waves Are Expected to Double by 2020]

    Unless greenhouse gas emissions get cut soon, this situation could become reality “within the next few decades,” Jacob Schewe, the study’s lead author, said in a statement.
    But because climate change does not have the same effect across or even within certain countries, some areas will be hit harder than others. The Mediterranean, the Middle East, the southern United States and southern China, for example, could see a “pronounced decrease of available water,” while southern India, western China, and parts of eastern Africa could see an increase.
    To account for the uncertainty of climate change – the magnitude of its effects and water scarcity changes at a regional level – the researchers used 11 hydrological models, produced by five different global climate models. The results in the study represent the multiple-model average.
    “The purpose is to explore the associated uncertainties and to synthesize the current state of knowledge about the impact of climate change on renewable water resources at the global scale,” the study says.

    [ALSO: Warming Waters Will Harm Freshwater Fish and Thousands of Jobs, Report Says]

    While the average level of water scarcity resulting from population change alone is amplified by 40 percent with climate change, some models suggested the amplification could be as high as 100 percent.
    “This dwindling per-capita water availability is likely to pose major challenges for societies to adapt their water use and management,” the study says.

  2. antonbarry15 says:

    Why Did Reddit Ban Climate Change Deniers From Commenting In Their Science Forums?

    http://www.ibtimes.com/why-did-reddit-ban-climate-change-deniers-commenting-their-science-forums-1511162

    Reddit, the social news site that lets users submit all kinds of content as links or posts, has a history of controversial censorship. In 2012, Reddit’s moderators banned Gawker articles from being posted in their forums. Other news sources to appear before the Reddit guillotine have included Mother Jones, the Huffington Post, National Review, ThinkProgress and Vice, to name a few.
    The latest to be banished from the Reddit realm are not an organization, but a certain type of commenter. The online magazine Grist reports that Reddit will no longer accept comments to science forums, including the most notable, reddit.com/r/science, from people who deny climate change.
    The Grist piece, written Nathan Allen, a PhD chemist and volunteer moderator of content on Reddit’s science forum, explains the decision to ban climate change naysayers.
    “Given that our users are mainly academics (and all are nerds), the discussion generally resembles any scientific debate,” Allen wrote. “That is, there are always numerous links to peer-reviewed science to support positions. People don’t deliberately mislead or misrepresent content, and there is a basic level of respect shared regardless of position. When a user strays from such decorum, they are kindly warned and, if necessary, the comment is removed.”
    Inflammatory remarks are now, regrettably, part and parcel of online journalism, where every comments section becomes a platform for bitter debate. Allen said particular topics, including evolution and vaccines, had their fair share of hecklers, but climate change consistently drew the most ire. He described the comments section on articles about climate change as a “battleground.”
    “Rather than making thoughtful arguments based on peer-reviewed science to refute man-made climate change, contrarians immediately resorted to aggressive behaviors,” he wrote. “On one side, deniers accused any of the hard-working scientists whose research supported and furthered our understanding of man-made climate change of being bought by ‘Big Green.’ On the other side, deniers were frequently insulted and accused of being paid to comment on reddit by ‘Big Oil.’”
    As the science of climate change becomes increasingly clear – today, virtually all climate scientists agree that man is responsible for shifts in global temperatures – there is increasingly less room for ill-informed polemics.
    Organizations across the globe, including governments and independent research groups, have all endorsed the position that climate change is real – and is happening right now. Climate change science has been rigorously tested, retested and reviewed, and the answers always come out the same. Of course, there will always be the occasional misstep. In 2007, Al Gore stated that Arctic summer ice could be long gone by 2013. Well, that’s hardly the case.
    Is climate change skepticism wearing out its tolerance at last? The problem is, as Allen notes, that climate deniers’ rejection of climate science is based on both “political preferences” and “personality.” In other words, their reasoning is not grounded in scientific discipline.
    “As a scientist myself, it became clear to me that the contrarians were not capable of providing the science to support their ‘skepticism’ on climate change,” Allen wrote. “The evidence simply does not exist to justify continued denial that climate change is caused by humans and will be bad.”

  3. jdave2274 says:

    Lost Freshwater May Double Climate Change Effects On Agriculture

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131216154330.htm

    Dec. 16, 2013 — A warmer world is expected to have severe consequences for global agriculture and food supply, reducing yields of major crops even as population and demand increases. Now, a new analysis combining climate, agricultural, and hydrological models finds that shortages of freshwater used for irrigation could double the detrimental effects of climate change on agriculture.

    “It’s a huge effect, and an effect that’s basically on the same order of magnitude as the direct effect of climate change,” said Joshua Elliott, a research scientist with the Computation Institute’s Center for Robust Decision Making on Climate and Energy Policy (RDCEP), Argonne National Laboratory, and lead author of the paper. “So the effect of limited irrigation availability in some regions could end up doubling the effect of climate change.”
    The research was led by Elliott and colleagues from the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP), as part of the Inter-Sectoral Impacts Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP). The paper is among 12 featured in a special feature dedicated to ISI-MIP research inProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online December 16.

    Agricultural models and hydrological models both incorporate the influence of climate, but are designed by different scientific communities for different purposes. While agricultural models simulate how temperature, precipitation and other climate factors may alter the yield for various crops, hydrological models seek to estimate water-related characteristics such as stream flow, water availability, and storm runoff.

    The two types of models overlap in estimating the amount of water used for agricultural irrigation, by far the largest human use of freshwater in the world. But when Elliott and colleagues fed each type of model with the same climate model forecasts, the models produced dramatically different predictions about the future demand for freshwater irrigation
    The researchers discovered discrepancies in how hydrological models incorporate processes such as the carbon cycle and crop water productivity when compared to agricultural models — a finding that will help make existing models more accurate.

    “This is absolutely the first study in which a multi-model ensemble of hydrological models was compared to a multi-model ensemble of crop models,” Elliott said. “Several modeling groups have already changed the way that they are modeling the hydrological cycle with respect to crops because of the results of this paper.”

    The comparison also produced new insight about the potential agricultural consequences of climate change. Due to climate change alone, the models predicted a loss of between 400 and 2600 petacalories of food supply, 8 to 43 percent of present day levels. But due to the decline in freshwater availability — and the associated conversion of irrigated cropland to rain-fed — the models predict an additional loss of 600 to 2900 petacalories, the researchers discovered.

    However, while the models predict freshwater shortages in some areas of the world, such as the western United States, India and China, other regions may end up with a surplus of freshwater. Redistributing that excess water to restore or add irrigation to rain-fed crop areas could dampen some of the consequences of climate change upon irrigation and agriculture, Elliott said.

    “We found that maximal usage of available surplus freshwater could end up ameliorating between 12 and 57 percent of the negative direct effects of climate change on food production,” Elliott said. “However, there are lots of different political, economic and infrastructural reasons why you would consider that to be overly optimistic.”
    The results are among several major findings reported in the ISI-MIP special issue of PNAS by the AgMIP group, which conducted a “fast-track” exercise to generate new knowledge about climate change impacts on agriculture for the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

    “Understanding the climate change implications of freshwater availability is key to the future food security goals of society,” said Cynthia Rosenzweig, co-primary investigator of AgMIP. “The rigorous AgMIP multi-model approach is enabling advances in research on how climate change will affect agriculture worldwide and water is a vital component.”

  4. janusneil16 says:

    Growing evidence of great climate change scams

    HERE’S some news to put a great big smile on your face: apparently, Arctic sea ice volume is up by 50 per cent. Have you cracked open the champagne yet? Did you ring all your mates? Me neither. In fact, to be honest, I couldn’t care less whether it’s up 50 per cent or down 50 per cent. It’s just weather doing what weather does – changing all the time. But you wouldn’t guess this from the way it is reported in the media. Sceptical websites are presenting it as a vindication of their longstanding claim that all the fuss about catastrophic, man-made global warming has been greatly overdone. Warmist news outlets (“a rare piece of good news”, declared the BBC) are greeting it as a sign of hope that maybe there is time left for us to save the planet from the Greatest Threat It Has Ever Known.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/growing-evidence-of-great-climate-change-scams/story-e6frg6zo-1226789709693

  5. gremrusso says:

    Climate Change Worse Than We Thought, Likely To Be ‘Catastrophic Rather Than Simply Dangerous’

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/31/climate-change-worse_n_4523828.html

    Climate change may be far worse than scientists thought, causing global temperatures to rise by at least 4 degrees Celsius by 2100, or about 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a new study.

    The study, published in the journal Nature, takes a fresh look at clouds’ effect on the planet, according to a report by The Guardian. The research found that as the planet heats, fewer sunlight-reflecting clouds form, causing temperatures to rise further in an upward spiral.

    That number is double what many governments agree is the threshold for dangerous warming. Aside from dramatic environmental shifts like melting sea ice, many of the ills of the modern world — starvation, poverty, war and disease — are likely to get worse as the planet warms.

    “4C would likely be catastrophic rather than simply dangerous,” lead researcher Steven Sherwood told the Guardian. “For example, it would make life difficult, if not impossible, in much of the tropics, and would guarantee the eventual melting of the Greenland ice sheet and some of the Antarctic ice sheet.”

    Another report released earlier this month said the abrupt changes caused by rapid warming should be cause for concern, as many of climate change’s biggest threats are those we aren’t ready for.

    In September, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said it was “extremely likely” that human activity was the dominant cause of global warming, or about 95 percent certain — often the gold standard in scientific accuracy.

    “If this isn’t an alarm bell, then I don’t know what one is. If ever there were an issue that demanded greater cooperation, partnership, and committed diplomacy, this is it,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said after the IPCC report was released.

  6. macsudden says:

    Growing Evidence of Great Climate Change Scams

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/growing-evidence-of-great-climate-change-scams/story-e6frg6zo-1226789709693#

    HERE’S some news to put a great big smile on your face: apparently, Arctic sea ice volume is up by 50 per cent. Have you cracked open the champagne yet? Did you ring all your mates? Me neither. In fact, to be honest, I couldn’t care less whether it’s up 50 per cent or down 50 per cent. It’s just weather doing what weather does – changing all the time. But you wouldn’t guess this from the way it is reported in the media. Sceptical websites are presenting it as a vindication of their longstanding claim that all the fuss about catastrophic, man-made global warming has been greatly overdone. Warmist news outlets (“a rare piece of good news”, declared the BBC) are greeting it as a sign of hope that maybe there is time left for us to save the planet from the Greatest Threat It Has Ever Known.

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