As I was researching alternative energy technologies (it's what I DO) I came across a short article about the potential for converting hurricane biomass to biomass fuel pellets.
I thought, wow! This would be the greatest thing since sliced bread for carbon footprint reduction. This wasn't the first time I heard this proposal. Professor Alex Green of Florida State University (FSU) has been spitting into the wind on this for years. Prof. Green is the father of biomass pyrolysis, a total expert as well as a really nice guy. Basically, he's right.
What else could be a win-win for a devastated area then to have all their down trees and other destroyed biomass collected, at no cost to either the owner of the property or to the local/regional government. Right now FEMA and the Corp of Engineers contracts with companies to remove this biomass and haul it to a landfill or burn it! There is no contract vehicle set up to use the biomass for CO2 reduction (which is part of the climate change initiative of the new administration).
We need to change that paradigm. Those of us in the south could care less about 'heating our homes' because, lets get real, a Georgia winter is 6 weeks long at most and our electricity is cheap (Nuclear) or those of us near major cities (like Atlanta) have natural gas! But Europe is really big into biomass pellets because all fossil fuels are EXPENSIVE for them. We, here in the south, have a product that we are presently landfilling (hurricane biomass) that could be easily converted into usable and EXPORTABLE fuels! But we are landfilling because it is the 'standard' option. Again, SIGH.
I'm posting my thoughts on this way before the 09 hurricane season. Why? If you think I'm right, now would be the time to write your congressman to suggest that they encourage FEMA and the Corp of Engineers to look to biomass removal contracts with companies that will use the biomass to make fuel pellets which will reduce our oil independence as well as make us an exporter not just an importer of stuff. Instead of landfilling it or burning. Oh, and yeah, this administration want's to reduce our CO2 footprint. Well duh. Using our hurricane debris is a no brainer to help do this!