Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Wood pellet fuel plants

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    409

    Wood pellet fuel plants

    The world's largest wood pellet fuel plant just opened in Cottondale, Florida. When up to speed, it will produce 550,000 tons of pellets a year -enough to produce 2.5 trillion watt hours of electricty. The pellets are to be produced from southern yellow pine harvested within a 50-60 mile radius of the plant and then the pellets will move by rail about 60 miles to the Port of Panama City where they will go onto ships to Europe. Green Circle, the owner, is a Swedish company.

    The plant is supposed to be very green and use the bark to fuel the dryers. The electric energy is from hydro and methane. They say that for every 1 unit of energy that goes into the pellets, one can get 11 units out. And it is generally carbon neutral.

    I was unaware that there was as much use of pellets for home heating as there appears to be in the northeast. (Here in FL we need to heal so little that it would not pay to invest in the heaters.) However I understand that Europe is blending pellets w/coal to reduce impact from power plants.

    Have any of you worked with permitting a pellet plant? Live near one? Or Heard of a plan to use pellets as a power plant fuel? This appears to be a rapidly growing thing.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plan-it's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2005
    Location
    In the Peach State
    Posts
    921
    In New England, pellet stoves are a huge hit. People are buying them up because it will cost some people $1,000 a month to fill up their gas tanks to heat their home this winter. The pellet stove has allowed my parents to reduce their gas usage in their home to under half this past winter. It is a better technology than the traditional wood burning stove.
    Satellite City Enabler

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    409
    Wow! $1,000 a month to keep from freezing. Sounds like there is quirw a market for the pellets. Seems to me to be a better idea than massive ethanol production on good farm land. In the south we grow pines on poor soil like a crop on a 20 -30 year rotation.Large reductions in paper use have caused a big downturn forest land value and St. Joe (one of Florida's largest landowners) got out of the forest business and into development and tried to sell much of the remote forest land without great success.

    Looks like they may have switched focus too soon.

  4. #4
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Jukin' City
    Posts
    16,474
    Quote Originally posted by Richi View post
    ....The pellets are to be produced from southern yellow pine harvested within a 50-60 mile radius of the plant and then the pellets will move by rail about 60 miles to the Port of Panama City where they will go onto ships ....
    And do you realize how those additional rail trips are going to absolutely screw up circulation through Panama City? It's already bad enough with all the break bulk cargo that comes through the port and is transported on the Bay Line at about 5 mph with at-grade crossings on three major state routes in the middle of town (SRs 231, 77, and 98 (at two locations)), and several major county routes. And of course the trips always seem to occur at the AM and PM peaks with frequent malfunctioning crossing signals.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    409
    I know the ASAB RR snakes across some major roadways on its way to the port. I didn't know about the 5 mph (unless that's hyperbole ). If the speed is really 5 mph, could a City train speed limit ordinance be involved? Or is the track in that bad a shape? If its track, there should be a good chance for some DOT funding. The access roads and RR to the Port of Panama City are SIS and should be at the head of the line for $.

    I haven't heard if the pellets are going to ship in unit trains from Cottondale, or just in smaller cuts of cars each day.

    If the crossing signals are malfunctioning a lot, the Bay Line needs to clean up its act, get them in good shape and have a signal maintainer available on reasonably short notice. Not some independent contractor out of Dothan. You can't do much about the number of trains or when they run, but you do not have to put up with poorly maintained crossings. Document every instance you can, (write a note while delayed in your car, photo or best yet a video) and present to the RR General Manager. If that doesen't help call in DOT.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered
    Aug 2005
    Location
    S x county
    Posts
    13

    pellet stove costs

    I would like to install a pellet stove, but the overall cost is about $3-4,000 for the stove and installation (and that is for a relatively simple installation). So, the cost of this has to be factored in, but I agree it is an attractive option over the long term, which is why I am still considering it. In my case, it would replace the useless fireplace I have.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    409
    Sanfelice - Will your stove vent through the old fireplace chimney? With the cost of fuel oil increasing I suspect that places like New England (where I understand it is a primary home heating fuel) will see more and more pellet use. That should help reduce the demand for diesel fuel in the US.

    Interesting that we are shipping wood fuel to Europe

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Star, NC
    Posts
    10
    I priced out the wood pellet option and is wasn't that much cheaper than propane at $4/gallon. Not only that, the wood smoke dumps a whole lot more carbon into the atmosphere ... I tend to think the wood pellets are not a good option for these reasons. And I don't envy the problems of the northern US in heating/cooling this year.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    409
    the wood smoke dumps a whole lot more carbon into the atmosphere
    From what I have seen the there is little smoke to be seen exiting the stack. Of course there is CO2, but the point is that the CO2 was taken out of the air by the tree over the last (say 20-30) years and will be converted back to wood over the next 20 or so years. That's about how long it takes to grow a southern pine down in the deap south.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Great White North
    Posts
    12
    Just starting my third year heating with wood pellets, changed from oil, here in the land of snow and cold. Heat is better, and pellets are made here in the state, reducing shipping, and creating local jobs, the house is warmer, and my wife is happy. Need I say more?

  11. #11
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Appleton, Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,166
    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    And do you realize how those additional rail trips are going to absolutely screw up circulation through Panama City? It's already bad enough with all the break bulk cargo that comes through the port and is transported on the Bay Line at about 5 mph with at-grade crossings on three major state routes in the middle of town (SRs 231, 77, and 98 (at two locations)), and several major county routes. And of course the trips always seem to occur at the AM and PM peaks with frequent malfunctioning crossing signals.
    Well, they COULD use trucks instead, if you so desire.



    Mike

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Biodiesel plants in Pennsylvania
    Economic and Community Development
    Replies: 3
    Last post: 10 May 2007, 8:26 AM
  2. Ethanol plants
    Land Use and Zoning
    Replies: 5
    Last post: 07 Mar 2007, 4:54 PM
  3. Replies: 4
    Last post: 03 Mar 2007, 10:00 PM
  4. Reuse of grain elevators for ethanol plants
    Economic and Community Development
    Replies: 5
    Last post: 31 Jul 2006, 5:53 PM