At Uzelac Industries, we’ve been busy getting everything aligned to offer one of our biggest innovations yet:
New ways to resurface or replace your MEC dryer drum track/tires that can save hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost downtime and even extend the life of your machinery.
We have the experience and equipment ready to go and we do it in a safe, efficient matter.
Beyond saving you money and prolonging the life of your bearings, trunnions, thrust rollers and even the track/tire itself, our process actually improves your dryer tracking performance and reduces your trunnion adjustment.
For a free consultation, call us today at 620-325-2269.
Or, keep reading to learn more.
Everyone knows that keeping the surface of your tracks smooth is step one of a happy dryer system.
Resurfacing track/tires creates a flat level surface, which:
Uzelac also has the ability to replace track/tires located in the end of your dryer drum using proven, tried and true methods.
Uzelac is also proud to offer a new, alternative technology to replace in-board tracks.
Our process reduces downtime during replacement by over 50%. We completely eliminate the need to cut-off the end of the drum to replace the track/tires.
As just one example, we replaced the in-board track on a 12’ x 72’ MEC drum for a customer in Dallas. This drum has been running for over 6 months without any issue. Our technology saved the Dallas facility over 130 hours of downtime, compared to the traditional process.
In the words of one happy customer, “It’s been six months and I haven’t even had to touch my trunnions yet!”
And the FDA may be onto something: Millions of Americans get sick each year from foodborne illnesses, caused by pathogens like salmonella. https://www.cdc.gov/foodborneburden/2011-foodborne-estimates.html Those bad bacteria, viruses and microbes can live in the soil, and can get there on the back of fresh, raw manure. In fact, some of those baddies can live in the soil for more than 300 days, according to some reports. <http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2013/11/21/246386290/organic-farmers-ba…
With so much on the line, the FDA says, “better safe than sorry.” The federal agency has taken on new food safety authority since 2011 with the Food Safety Modernization Act, and is considering the addition of more food safety rules for consumer protection, like banning harvest for nine months on any field that uses raw manure. <http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2013/11/21/246386290/organic-farmers-ba…
For organic farmers like Crawford, banning that “nice black manure that’s just rich and full of good microorganisms” would shut him down. “We wouldn’t even be able to function,” he told NPR.
So what’s a manure-lover to do?
Will Daniel of Earthbound Farm is opting for “a pelletized, processed chicken manure product” that’s been treated with heat and pressure to kill all microbes, according to NPR. “We’ve gone in that direction because we feel that it’s very important to assure that we are not spreading these pathogens in our fields, that could lead to contaminated product,” he says.
Using processed manure works in conjunction with FDA rules because the regulations cover raw manure only — not processed manure. A special manure-drying process, like one that uses rotary dryers designed by Uzelac Industries, can dry raw manure using high enough temperatures to reduce the bad pathogens found in natural manure. That process helps to address the FDA’s concerns: The result is a processed manure product that retains the best part of fresh manure, designed with pathogen-kill in mind. It’s a win-win for everybody.
We’d love to talk turkey (and more fowl subjects) at the International Poultry Expo Jan. 31 – Feb 2. Give Uzelac Industries a call — we’ll be there! http://ippexpo.com/
After several years of peaks and valleys in demand for biomass wood pellets, Japan has witnessed a steady acceleration of wood pellet imports over the past 12 months. In July of this year, Japan imported roughly 52,000 tonnes of wood pellets, surpassing the previous high of 51,500 from December of 2015. Not only have monthly tonnage amounts experienced a significant uptick, but overall monthly volumes in 2016 have demonstrated a greater level of consistency when compared to the somewhat sporadic demand that characterized most of 2014 and 2015. In light of this encouraging uptrend, it is estimated that Japan will finish out 2016 with total wood pellet imports ranging between 350,000 to 400,000 tonnes, but it doesn’t stop there–the general sentiment from producers around the world is that Japan’s demand for biomass wood pellets will eclipse 1 million tonnes per year within the next three to five years.
Japan’s burgeoning demand for wood pellet imports is primarily due to the aggressive energy policy initiatives that have been introduced by the nation’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) in order to reduce its dependence upon traditional fossil fuels as an energy source. The need to diversify the nation’s energy mix has been further exacerbated by the growing problems created by the Fukushima earthquake in 2011, which forced a complete shutdown of Japan’s nuclear power plant stations in May of 2012. While two of the country’s nuclear reactors have resumed operations in recent months, there is still a sizable gap in Japan’s overall energy capacity. This has forced the country to pivot to increasing liquid natural gas (LNG) and coal-based energy production as a baseload power solution. One of the most significant developments along these lines is the recent announcement by Japan’s Environment Ministry in February, which stated that the country intends to build 43 high-efficiency coal-fired power plants over the next 10 to 12 years. This robust expansion of the country’s coal-based energy capacity is viewed as a boon for biomass wood pellet producers, as Japan’s stringent emissions targets for these new coal power stations will virtually guarantee a need for co-firing with wood pellets.
The U.S. is well-positioned to take advantage of this increased Japanese demand for biomass wood pellets. With a highly developed forestry industry that includes 18 pellet manufacturing facilities in the Southeastern region alone, the U.S. has the capacity to offer biomass wood pellet products that meet the standards for quality, sustainability and reliability that have been outlined by Japanese importers. For example, Japan requires all imported wood pellets to be Forest Management (FM) certified, and although these requirements pose a hurdle to Japan’s neighboring exporters in the Asian region (e.g., Vietnam), the U.S. has the industrial capability in place to supply the type of wood pellets that meet this criteria.
While Japan plans to double down on coal-based energy production, the policy mandates that METI has introduced in order to encourage greenhouse gas mitigation look to require co-firing with biomass products. This presents a unique opportunity for the U.S. wood pellet export market, and as Japanese demand for wood pellets shows no signs of slowing any time soon, conditions are ripe for a long-term trade partnership that offers significant benefits for both parties.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that it will invest up to $7 million in grants to fund projects that support the expansion of wood products and wood energy markets. This initiative, which is being managed by the U.S. Forest Service’s Wood Innovations Program, will address three main priorities:
- Mitigating the effects of hazardous fossil fuels while improving the health of forests on National Forest System lands as well as other lands;
- Reducing the growing costs of forest management on all types of land; and
- Promoting the environmental and economic health of communities.
The grants that are available through the Wood Innovations Program will support traditional projects that utilize wood as a primary source, but they are also designed to expand the wood energy markets, as well as to encourage the use of wood in commercial construction projects. The program will award funding based on two separate categories: The first category will focus on supporting, stimulating or expanding wood energy markets that depend on forest by-products or residues that are generated from all land types. Under this aspect of the program, projects can include developing clusters of energy projects in various geographic areas or within a specific sector (e.g., hospitals, prisons, universities, industrial sector, or manufacturing sector), or working to stimulate the expansion of wood-based energy sources within the commercial sector. Candidates can also secure funding through completing certain project requirements such as cost analyses, permitting, and engineering designs during the later stages of various wood energy projects.
The second category of the grant program will focus on promoting markets that can create or further encourage demand for wood products that are not used for energy, such as innovative wood-based materials that can be used in commercial construction. The RFP indicates that the Wood Innovations Program will give preference to proposals that can demonstrate sustainable building practices based on emerging engineered wood technologies, as well as proposals that make use of existing infrastructure (e.g., existing manufacturing facilities).
The announcement of the RFP occurred during National Forest Products Week, an observance that was enacted by President Obama on October 16th of this year. In his Presidential Proclamation, President Obama praised the USDA’s efforts in terms of promoting the use of wood-based energy and wood products. This strategic approach is just one portion of the USDA’s comprehensive policy framework known as the “Building Blocks for Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry.” The framework is designed to provide a roadmap for making measurable steps towards progress in key areas of agriculture and forestry in order to combat the effects of climate change. Through this initiative, the USDA plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon sequestration in forests by over 120 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year by 2025. The USDA estimates that this will produce a net effect equivalent to taking 25 million vehicles off the road.
The maximum funding amount for each awarded proposal is typically $250,000, but the U.S. Forest Service has stated that they will consider awarding additional funds to proposals that demonstrate significant impact via close alignment with program goals and yielding significant greenhouse gas reductions in a timely manner. For more information regarding eligibility requirements, evaluation criteria and other details, visit the Wood Education and Resource Center website at this link.
The topic of climate change is not without its fair share of controversy, and while there are dozens of conflicting scientific and political perspectives at play, one positive that has emerged from the chaos is that the average global citizen is far more aware of the importance of sustainability and environmental responsibility than perhaps ever before. This has trickled into the realm of official policy making, as developed nations all over the world have begun to turn their attention towards diversifying their energy portfolios to include renewable fuel sources. Along these lines, biomass energy (i.e., the use of organic materials as an energy source) has emerged as a viable alternative to traditional fossil fuels, with the use of wood pellets in particular taking a lead role in terms of contributing to a more diverse energy mix. Comprised of compacted sawdust and other by-products of the lumber, construction and furniture-making industries, wood pellets are a highly energy-efficient fuel source for use in residential and small commercial heating purposes, but they are also being utilized by the industrial energy market to generate electricity by being co-fired with coal in large-scale power plants.
This burgeoning source of alternative fuel is not without its detractors, however: There has been a persistent notion that the carbon emissions generated by burning wood pellets outweighs the amount of carbon sequestered by new and growing trees, leading to an imbalance in carbon output that is damaging the environment. In reality, there are more nuances to the impact of biomass energy on carbon levels than this assertion takes into consideration. For example, if a tree were cut down and used for biomass energy, it is true that it may take anywhere between 20 to even 100 years for another tree to grow in its place and sequester an amount of carbon equivalent to what would be released by burning the harvested tree. The detail that is often overlooked in this analysis is that the carbon sequestration rate does not remain constant once you scale the example out from one single tree to an entire forest. At the landscape scale, the rate at which carbon is re-sequestered increases exponentially, and with sustainable forest management practices in place (e.g., total tree growth outpacing total harvest), the amount of carbon that is released by burning the harvested wood is basically sequestered immediately.
The analysis proffered by skeptics also fails to take into account that the bulk of timber harvested does not end up in the incinerators at biomass power plants; in fact, wood pellets primarily consist of the scraps or “leftovers” of timber industry operations, such as broken trees, limbs, tops, and other by-products that were previously left to rot on the forest floor. According to the Timber Transaction Price Service published by RISI, the average price of biomass feedstock in 2015 came in at $1.57 per ton, while the price of intact sawlogs (used in the production of lumber) fetched between $20.10 and $24.71 per ton. To be sure, forest landowners have a greater economic incentive when they focus on producing intact sawlogs, not scraps for biomass. This provides the impetus behind proper forest management, which in turn benefits both the lumber and biomass industries.
In April of 2016, the U.S. Senate passed the Energy Policy Modernization Act (S. 2012), a bill that included an amendment that recognizes the carbon neutrality of energy derived from forest biomass, given that forest stocks are stable and increasing. While this bill continues to receive criticism from some environmentalist groups, studies show that biomass energy could play a key role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, maintaining healthy forests and decreasing our reliance on traditional fossil fuels.
Biomass consulting firm FutureMetrics LLC recently published a white paper highlighting global demand and spot price estimates for industrial wood pellets. The data allows for an optimistic scenario in which demand for co-firing or full-firing of wood pellets in large industrial pulverized coal (PC) power plants continues to strengthen in Korea, Japan, the United States and Canada. The forecast for wood pellet spot prices is based on historical industrial wood pellet price behavior extending back to May of 2009.
Global wood pellet consumption has more than tripled in the past decade, and one of the most significant drivers of this robust demand has been the litany of energy policy initiatives being introduced by governments of developed nations across the globe. As the white paper pointed out, traditional markets in Europe and England have been greatly influenced by this policy push towards renewable energy, but it is estimated that growth in this region will begin to level out by 2021. This has prompted much speculation by analysts in terms of identifying where the next pocket of demand growth will develop in the coming decades. While there are no clear leaders to take up the baton at this point, there are a handful of key players that could make a significant impact on wood pellet demand over the next 10 to 20 years.
The Asian market in particular is showing several signs of a burgeoning increase in demand for biomass wood pellets. Current trends in wood pellet consumption levels in Japan indicate a plausible scenario in which annual demand could exceed a rate of 10-15 million metric tons by 2030. Korea has also implemented favorable renewable energy policies that could spur demand to an annual rate of 8 million metric tons by 2024. In the West, Canada has emerged as a potential forerunner for increased wood pellet demand due to a recently announced carbon pricing initiative that will fix the price of carbon at $50 per metric ton by 2023. This move was implemented in lockstep with legislation from Alberta to phase out all of its coal-fired electricity plants by 2030. Currently, half of the province’s power is derived from coal, and this transition towards a “zero coal future” in Alberta will see the increase of co-firing from older pulverized coal power plants in order to avoid the carbon tax. By maintaining low co-firing ratios, many of Alberta’s older pulverized coal power plants will allow for a full substitution of wood pellets in lieu of coal, with no additional modifications required. Alberta’s newer power plants that have come on line in recent years (e.g., Keephills 3 and Genesee 3) are candidates for a full conversion in the vein of the UK’s Drax Power Station, which features two lines that are running on 100 percent wood pellet fuel, and a third line that runs on 85 percent pellets and 15 percent coal. As far as the U.S. is concerned, the white paper reiterated that the Clean Power Plan, should it survive the current volatile political environment, will prove to be a positive for the development of a more robust industrial wood pellet market.
FutureMetrics estimates that if market conditions in the aforementioned countries continue to shape up as expected, demand for industrial wood pellets could roughly triple between now and 2025, averaging a projected annual growth rate of more than 3 million metric tons per year. While nothing is ever 100 percent certain, the current trend in policy making and accompanying support systems indicate that the industrial wood pellet sector will experience significant growth over the next couple of decades.
If you could collect all the world’s trees and put them on a scale, what would they weigh? Even trickier, could you determine exactly how much carbon they contain? While no one could ever literally perform this task, scientists have devised an ingenious way to track this sustainable resource on the earth’s surface. In 2021, the European Space Agency (ESA) plans to launch a satellite dedicated to collecting this data about the earth’s biomass. Learn about this satellite’s unique mission below, including how it will collect data and how it will benefit the biomass industry.
What Is the Biomass Satellite?
The upcoming satellite to track biomass will be known, appropriately, as Biomass. This satellite is a joint project of the European Space Agency, Space UK, and Airbus Defence, a private aerospace engineering company. Biomass is part of a larger ESA initiative known as Earth Explorer. The Earth Explorer missions aim to gather data about earth, including its gravitational field, water supply, weather patterns, interior structure, magnetic field, and useable resources. The ESA has already launched some satellites with sensitive, specialized tools capable of measuring these qualities and tracking how they change over time. Biomass will be similar to the previous satellites, but its mission focuses exclusively on measuring the amount of carbon stored in forests. Trees contain a lot of carbon naturally, but they also absorb carbon when they take in carbon dioxide as an essential ingredient for photosynthesis. Consequently, their carbon levels can fluctuate over time.
How Will the Biomass Satellite Gather Data?
Biomass will use a gigantic 1.2-ton satellite with special radar equipment that can measure carbon in biomass structures, such as trees. Currently, scientists have very little information about how much carbon trees hold, particularly in dense tropical forests. Biomass will help clear up that scientific blind spot. The Biomass satellite will also be capable of determining how far the forest floor lies beneath the upper canopy of trees. That data will be useful for scientists who are curious about geology in hard-to-explore or even uncharted areas. The satellite will also track some data about glacial ice sheets. It should be noted that because of the type of radar it will use, Biomass is not currently authorized to gather data over North America, Europe, or the Arctic. However, those limits will not prevent Biomass from collecting the most needed information about carbon levels in the globe’s thickest forests.
What Does the ESA Plan to Do With Biomass Data?
As mentioned above, carbon levels in trees can change over time. The ESA wants to determine where and to what degree those changes occur in earth’s forests, so they plan to keep the Biomass satellite in space for five years. During that time, it should gather a large sample showing how trees’ carbon levels change during multiple growth cycles. Scientists will use the data from Biomass to better understand earth’s carbon cycle. Like the water cycle, the carbon cycle is a natural system that allows carbon to be reused and form different compounds. For example, photosynthesis is the part of the carbon cycle in which carbon dioxide in the air becomes oxygen and sugar that plants use as food. Carbon also exists in the atmosphere, the soil, and the oceans. The carbon cycle contributes to keeping the earth in a state of equilibrium that can support life. Despite the importance of this cycle, scientists still have questions about the role trees play in regulating the carbon cycle. The Biomass satellite will help them understand that role better. Similarly, ESA’s scientists also want to help countries preserve their forests and make wise choices about the forms of energy they use. The Biomass satellite should provide further evidence that fossil fuel use should be continually replaced with alternative, sustainable forms of energy.
How Will the Satellite Benefit the Biomass Industry?
Although the Biomass satellite will not launch until 2021, it represents another development in the growing global focus on alternative forms of energy. As the satellite is built and prepares to launch, more nations and private corporations may hear about it and begin looking at biomass as a viable alternative to fossil fuels. Once the satellite collects data and scientists interpret that data, companies within the biomass industry can further adapt their technologies in accordance with the findings. For example, Biomass-collected data may show how reforestation and afforestation practices affect the carbon cycle. Forest managers and wood pellet producers can use that information to refine their methods and make them more sustainable and eco-friendly. However, all the ways the Biomass satellite will affect the biomass industry are not clear at present. After all, the industry will continue to evolve in the years leading up to the launch and during the time the satellite gathers information. Still, the Biomass satellite should be an important contributor to the sustainable energy field.
With today’s struggles with carbon footprints, pollution, and finite energy sources, people are becoming more environmentally conscious. And if you’re thinking of transforming your home into a more eco-friendly structure, there’s a lot to consider. If you want to stray from your oil, gas, or electric heating system, consider investing in a biomass heating system for a more natural alternative. Doing so can help you minimize your contribution to pollution. For more information about biomass heating systems and how they’ll work for your home, read on.
What Is Biomass Fuel?
Biomass fuel is essentially any biological fuel that can be burned. Common biofuels can include straw, grain, and grass, and if it’s processed properly, even industry residue or animal waste can be transformed into biomass fuel. The most common biomass fuel is wood, and wood can be turned into a few different forms for biofuel: pellets, chips, briquettes, and logs. These distinct wood products offer unique benefits and efficiency levels.
What Biomass Fuel Is Best for Homes?
If you’re looking for an easy supply of biofuel, look to wood options. But if you live in a rural area, you may also want to consider corn feed or other corn biofuel products. When looking at wood, you want something that’ll effectively heat your home while using the least material possible. While logs can easily burn, they may not be the most efficient option, and they also don’t burn as cleanly as wood briquettes or pellets. Because wood chips can offer a number of issues with storage, handling, and transport on a residential level, you may want to avoid those as well. Wood briquettes and wood pellets are the best options for homes. Both undergo a similar production process, but briquettes are about the same size as a small log, and pellets are usually 10 to 25 millimeters in length with a diameter of six millimeters. They burn more efficiently than many other options, and they’re fairly clean to burn. To determine whether briquettes or wood pellets are right for you, determine what kind of system you’d like and what kind of maintenance you’re willing to do. For instance, with an automated pellet boiler, the pellets only need to be reloaded every few days while the ash needs to be emptied on a weekly basis. If you’re a bit more dedicated to your heating system, a briquette or log boiler needs the ash cleared each week and the materials need to be reloaded daily.
What Are Your Appliance Options?
When selecting the best biomass appliance for heating your home or water, you have three main options: stove boilers, stoves, and boilers. Depending on what you’d like to heat with biofuel, one option may be more beneficial than another. But be wary that biomass heating options can cost more upfront than some more common heating systems.
Biomass boilers work like any other oil-fueled boiler. With the right fuel, the boiler heats the water, providing warm showers and hot dishwashing water. The main difference is that you have to refill the fuel much more often to keep it going, and you need to regularly empty the ash to avoid issues.
Stoves are essentially space heaters. The fire is fueled by pellets, briquettes, or logs, and warmth radiates through the room and other areas. You can place these appliances in a popular family room or other central areas of the home. Wood stoves accommodate logs or wood briquettes, and you have to periodically throw in more fuel for consistent heating. Pellet stoves can accommodate all kinds of materials, such as wood pellets, corn, grain, or seed. The device has an automatic feeding system, so you can wait a couple of days before refilling the fuel. Whether you choose a pellet or wood stove, be sure it’s installed by a knowledgeable professional. Installation mistakes can lead to hazardous conditions for your family. Also, plan for extra installation costs for both the appliance and the chimney.
Biomass stove boilers are generally a combination of boilers and stoves. The appliance works much like a stove, except there’s a boiler toward the back to heat water and send it through your home. However, the stove needs to run consistently to produce warm water, so you need to consider whether or not you’ll use the stove all the time for central water heating. If you live in an area with hot summers that make a running stove unbearable, you may have to look for a separate alternative.
Is a Mixed System a Good Idea?
If you’re unsure if you want to rely entirely on a biomass stove or boiler, consider a mixed heating system. Installing an air-source or solar thermal heat pump for those odd chilly mornings in the summer and spring can be a cost-effective option, allowing the biomass heating system to take on the bulk of winter and late fall.
When you want a more environmentally friendly home, install biomass boilers or stoves for effective, clean heating. While they may be more expensive initially, they can reduce your pollution and provide a great heating source, even when the power is out. If you’re thinking of producing pellets or other biomass fuels for residential areas, rely on Uzelac Industries Inc. We can help you produce clean biofuel on a large scale so you can put a quality product into the homes of environmentally conscious customers.
Climate change has been a hot-button issue for quite a while now, and while there are scores of different theories and ideas regarding its impact on human life, no one can deny that adopting sustainable practices for energy usage is a step in the right direction. One of the most significant developments along these lines has been the growing use of biomass products (e.g., tree scraps, woody or grassy plants, algae, agricultural residue, etc.) as a renewable energy source, and among the many different types of biomass fuels that are available, wood pellets have emerged as one of the most popular choices for home heating and industrial power production. Nearly one million homes in the U.S. use biomass wood pellets for home heating, as this convenient and cost-effective fuel source enables households to stay warm while also “going green.”
Benefits of Using Wood Pellets for Home Heating
- Wood pellets and biomass energy sources in general – contribute towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Burning wood pellets for fuel is considered to be a “carbon neutral” practice, because the carbon dioxide that is released while the pellets are burning is roughly equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide that was captured during the growth of the source vegetation. As we continue to properly maintain our woodlands by growing trees to replace the ones that have been harvested, the life cycle of our wood sources becomes truly sustainable, resulting in very little to no net carbon emissions.
- Wood pellets are highly compressed, low-moisture and extremely dense, which allows for a very efficient combustion process. In addition, wood pellets are 100 percent natural, which means that they do not contain any additives or chemicals that could be harmful or toxic when incinerated. Wood pellets also burn clean, producing no smoke, unpleasant smells or excessively dry air.
- Wood pellets are one of the most economical fuel sources available, being less expensive on a per-use basis than heating oil, electric resistance or propane. The cost to heat your home with a wood pellet stove will typically average around $50-$60 per month during the winter season, versus the typical average of $250 per month for fuel-heated homes. In addition, wood pellets are largely a regional fuel source, as the United States has a robust and rapidly growing wood pellet manufacturing industry. This means that the cost of production, storage and transportation of wood pellets is typically lower by comparison than other fuel sources that are imported from other countries.
- Using wood pellets is a great way to reduce environmental waste. Since wood pellets are produced primarily from wood chips, sawdust, bark, and other waste products from the lumber industry, converting this scrap material into a fuel source essentially reduces the amount of waste that ends up in our landfills.
As the world’s energy demands continue to rise, it only makes sense to seek out alternative sources of fuel that can offer efficient performance while producing minimal negative environmental impact. Biomass wood pellet products are the perfect fit for this purpose, and if the rapidly increasing demand for wood pellets is any indication, it appears as though households all over the world are getting the message.