Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Biomess Part Two - Now with More Explosive Potential!

I'm putting this out there for you all, to see if anyone has any details...Apparently, Hermann Bros. have some sort of plan to turn "wood waste products" into "jet fuel." Which sounds exactly like the sort of environmentally unfriendly boondoggle BS that Port Angeles would go for.

My first thought when I heard about this was, "What a stupid, mid-20th century idea." My second thought was, "How would they get it from Port Angeles to its final destination? Trucks of jet fuel rolling down 101?" Now that sounds like a good idea.

Anyway, has anyone heard anything about this? They held some sort of webinar about it yesterday. Details? Thoughts? Anyone?


  1. Check out WSU extension IDX group website for announcement and pending video of yesterday's seminar about micronized wood.

  2. Timber barons are using any scheme they can foist upon the unwitting public to make it seem timber is still relevant in the local economy. Obviously it is not if you look at all the cut trees amassed on the waterfront and at the airport. Obviously there is no market for the logs so there they sit. If one of the good ole boys concocts a scheme of unheard of proportions then it will take some time for people to poke it full of holes but in the meantime the timber boys look relevant again. Next the chamber of commerce will endorse it, there may be a ribbon cutting, maybe even a flyover by the I-5 news groups. Then as we all wait patiently for the latest economic development scam to unravel the good ole boys laugh all the way to the bank.

  3. There are also ideas to get algae to create jet fuel, too.

    Whether made out of wood or algae, the only relevant question is, how much CO2 and other greenhouse gases are produced in it's manufacture and use? Just because it isn't oil based, doesn't mean it doesn't pollute.

    This comes back to what somebody else posted on another thread. "How many drones will it take to deliver.." posing a question that could be construed to say, " we can't get off fossil fuels because then trucks and planes won't be able to deliver all the junk I want from China, or where ever".

    Not so long ago, about 100 years ago, there were NO airplanes delivering anything. No highways. No Walmarts. How about a more localized economy? Does it really, only have to benefit multinational corporations?

    Now, it isn't to say that we will go back to living in caves, but clearly we cannot continue living in this energy wasteful way. Continuing to do that ensures a really dreadful future for our children, and theirs.

    In fact, we can live pretty decent lives, and cut our fossil fuel use dramatically. So called Passive Houses are one option. "Many high efficiency homes have no boiler, furnace, or air conditioners, as simple electric baseboard heaters can sufficiently and economically heat the home. The heat loss of the home is modest, even in a cold climate like Maine. “Because the heat loads of the buildings are so low, it really doesn’t argue for anything but the cheapest heating system you can get, which is electric resistance baseboard heat,” .

    Last time I looked into this, there were 30,000 of these house built, mostly in cold climates. How many in the US? 16.

    Like so many things in the US, our knowledge of what is going on or possible is driven by the rhetoric of morons like Trump. It appeals to the ignorant hillbillies, but has little basis in reality. The oil industry may have spent many millions in PR to convince Americans there is no such thing as Climate Change, but that doesn't make it true, or the impacts go away.

    So, rather than invest in ways to continue killing ourselves, um, I mean polluting, with "clean coal technology" and trying to create jet fuel out of our forests, let's wake up and smell the coffee. The corporations have an interest in preserving things as they are, as much as possible. We have seen they care more about profit, than our health, or the future.

    If the County or city or State are going to dole out dollars, let's put it towards supporting our own producers in a sane way, instead of projects like importing Boeing's garbage to reprocess.

    1. How quaint. Who will make and deliver the glass jars we will use to can our home grown food? Where will our shoes come from to walk everywhere? Will salt to cure our food be delivered by drone or will we have to stick to smoked food? Oh, no matches on the peninsula. Etcetera.

    2. Typical "all or nothing" bullshit response.

      Either we keep doing what clearly isn't working, or go back and live in caves. What a moron. Really. What a moron. This is the best alternative to the situation you can come up with?


    3. Glass jars last a long time, you don't need a new one every time. Ships powered by wind in their sails delivered goods all over the world for a long time. And we don't need to can all of our winter food. We should be eating seasonally. Winter gardening is a great option for our area. With mild winters the outdoors becomes a free refrigerator.

      Most shoes now are made with oil for synthetic fibers and cotton (also made with oil in the form of fertilizer). They don't last long and can't be easily repaired. Shoes used to be made out of leather and could be repaired easily. We can produce leather locally and make and repair shoes. Oops, we just created jobs!

      We have an abundance of salt in the sea water, just waiting to be extracted. Solar evaporators in the summer and wood-fired evaporation in the winter if needed.

      People managed to live just fine before we had all of the comfort and convenience brought to us by high energy consumption lifestyles. There are low energy solutions to every need but it requires a change in lifestyle. Most people are too attached to their own comfort and convenience recognize that fact.

    4. When you look at the massive scale of WASTE in modern society, you see that just by cutting out the waste, we could still live very much as we do now, and cut our impact on the earth in half, or more.

      Yes, we developed our current way of living based upon having abundant cheap fossil fuels. The "throw away" culture, as it was once happily touted. Things were (and still are) made specifically to be thrown away.

      Then the other shoe dropped, and we became of that nasty words people hate so much: consequences.

  4. I don't have any inside info but I did do a little research on this.

    The process as far as I can tell is: transport biomass to a modified pulp mill, extract the sugars from the biomass with "mild sulfite" process, ferment the sugars to make isobutanol, refine the isobutanol into any number of products including jet fuel.

    Nippon claims to be an integrated pulp and paper mill so presumably if there were sustainable green energy grants available they would be quick to jump into whatever changes were needed. They're already getting lots of biomass delivered for the incinerator. From that point they would need the fermenting facility and then a refinery.

    Putting this in the context of other things going on, lots of logs are piling up at the waterfront and at the airport. The Port would probably like to use that space on the waterfront for more profitable marine trades.

    Remember when the Port gave Dan Morrison a sweetheart deal on a bunch industrial zoned acreage by the airport? Half of it has been put up for sale this year. That would be a great spot for fermenting and refining!


    1. Thanks for the tip about Scumbag Land Rapist Dan Morrison (the Land Rapist) putting acreage up for sale. That's an interesting item...

    2. Here's the listing: http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/(Undisclosed-Address)-Port-Angeles-WA-98363/2102348461_zpid/

      I'm not sure why the port needed to sell our land to Dan when he clearly didn't need it. I guess now that it's private land we can't object to how it's used by whoever buys it? Yeah, that sounds about right.

    3. The Critchfield property was really 'unaccounted' property from the DelGuzzi estate.

  5. So stupid! So perfect for Port Angeles!

  6. You can watch the presentation at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1I5N7dweiJk

  7. Don't jump to conclusions. If Hermann Brothers micronizes the existing slash that they already chip on site, it may simply be shipped as smaller (micronized) wood product to be processed into sustainably sourced jet fuel elsewhere. Imagine that-a local business seeking solutions for a non-petroleum based future.

    1. Just because it isn't petroleum based, doesn't mean it doesn't pollute.

    2. I watched a few of the youtube videos and this is basically the plan. They turn wood into wood flour and transport it to a "liquid site". The liquid site turns the wood flour into sugar syrup and other solids. Port Townsend is being looked at as a liquid site, receiving the wood flour from multiple areas. The sugar syrup is then transported somewhere else to be fermented and refined.

      Making fuel out trees is a little better than petroleum because it's using atmospheric carbon rather than carbon that was sequestered in organic matter from millions of year ago.

      But it's missing the bigger problem. Everyone is trying to maintain current high-energy usage lifestyles that only developed because of a massive but non-renewable storage of energy called fossil fuel. Even "green" technologies like solar panels and wind power rely on large amounts of fossil fuel to mine and refine raw resources.

      We should be learning to live using less energy, but we won't start until there's no other choice. There's a huge advantage in being early adopters, not the least of which is being able to make mistakes and learn without starving to death in the cold of winter. But here in Port Angeles we'll always be behind the times by a decade or more.

    3. Very helpful information, 6:59 AM. Thank you.
      Now I'm wondering how much water and other chemicals would be needed to turn the "wood flour" into "syrup", and later into "fuel"? Is this why a paper mill with access to lots of water is being considered as a production site?

    4. I did not watch the video on the liquid site to figure out what the water requirements were. The Herman Bros. site video did make a point of considering access to water to be important. I couldn't tell what they actually used the water for though. Cleaning the machines? Cooling the motors?

  8. Those "timber barons" appear to be professors at OSU and WSU with studies for Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance. Damn those greedy academics and their students.

  9. Must be a hot time down at the city council chambers tonight!

  10. And, in other news, the city council didn't pay any attention to the survey on fluoride. 4-3 decided to keep fluoride, and as Cheri Hideous said "all the surveys not turned in were yes votes".

  11. Email to Mr.Gase
    Mr. Gase,

    The message I am hearing from the public at present is in contrast to what I discern to be a tortured justification of your decision to fluoridate the water supply.

    I have heard third and second hand from people who work (or have recently retired) in the local government and in the real estate field that they have heard you and another person saying that no matter how the survey came back that you were going to vote in favor of it.

    I have also heard from people, in passing, that stated they never received a survey. I myself almost threw it away unopened as it appeared to be junk mail.

    True, at this time these stories appear anecdotal, I will put no names to the people who have told me these things until I get permission to use their name so as not to cast dispersion upon their character in case they retract their story. Only you on the council know if this is true or not.

    Regardless, the justification you wrote in your reply still seems to be tortured and has an elitist flare to it.

    What your true motives are I don't know. I have no factual basis yet, but I believe that you think that in order to attract outsiders/new business to our community that fluoridating the water is sign that we are not a backwater hick town, but forward thinkers who really care about kids. In this way you perceive that you may attract clients who may wish to purchase real estate.

    Again, this is my guess and only that, I would not claim it as fact until the person who told me about this grants me permission to use their names.

    Ironically I am a big proponent of using fluoride to keep kid's teeth strong, just not in the form that you wish to push upon us.

    I believe that there are roughly 2300 kids currently in the age group (up to age 16) that are living in Port Angeles. If the standards here are consistent with the national average then perhaps 17% of these kids do not see a dentist regularly, that is only 400 kids.

    The Medical Products Laboratories in Philadelphia, PA sells a line of fluoridation products which caters to those who wish to take care of the kids in their community that are not seeing a dentist regularly for their fluoride treatments. The product line they sell costs no more than $1-$3 per kid, per year. This depends on the mix you choose to buy.

    For $400 a year all of the kids that don't see a dentist can be covered.

    Don't take my word for it, the state of Wisconsin Department of Health put out an oral health program that was updated in November, 2014 which outlines this very procedure. Just query Wisconsin, oral health, and program number P-00309 and you will have access to the same information.

    So you see, the information is out there. For some reason, rather than spending just $400 to take care of a vulnerable few, you decided to spend untold thousands and push your agenda through anyway.

    This is further information I, and so many others, can put into our Yelp and Google Reviews. Information which demonstrates your lack of pragmatism when in come to dollars and cents issues. Why would I or any perspective client seek professional Real Estate services from someone who easily burns through thousands of tax payer dollar with out looking an cheaper alternatives. How much more will you not care about me when I want to buy a new house?

    Well anyway, there in a nutshell you can understand why I am compelled to write my reviews and encourage those many others to do the same.

    And remember, no matter how you twist those stats, just 17.7% of those surveyed voted for fluoridation. In the justification you responded to me that means that 82.3% of those surveyed don't want it.

    -M Johnson