Bio-based fuels from our forests?

Big announcement today, with taxpayer dollars going to study “innovative uses of [Nova Scotia] forest products and new market opportunities…Being studied are things including new market opportunities and alternatives for petroleum products with bio-based fuels in marine diesel and heating oil applications. Another initiative is looking at how forestry contractors can integrate technology, innovation and best practice to help improve their performance.” It would be nice if words such as “while maintaining forest life and the productive base of forestry” could be added to such statements but perhaps they can’t. View Innovacorp/Natural Resources Press Release

A report in provides a few more details gleaned from the public announcement event: “Nova Scotia Power’s parent company and government are providing $1.67 million in funding for a new centre that will develop uses for the forestry industry’s leftover wood…The hub’s initial focus will be developing biofuel for the local heating oil and marine fuel markets. But the plan is to create other potential green products made of wood fibre. Work is already underway elsewhere in Canada and around the world to commercialize such value-added technologies as new building materials, plastics and chemicals that stem from waste wood, officials said. Nova Scotia startups include Cellufuel, which has a biofuel demonstration project in Brooklyn, Queens County.” View localexpress article.

Ouch. These are not products that require a healthy forest to produce and we’ve heard the “waste wood” story before.

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