November 29, 2010
Slash/Burn and Chips
An argument for Biomass Co-Generation
Biomass co-generation is the historically proved approach to energy production. For thousands of years, the Plains Indians (then early settlers) used buffalo chips to build fires to heat their tepees (and sod huts). This was probably the first use of biomass energy in America. Early settlers learned from the Indians to heat their sod huts. After the buffalo became extinct, cow chips were used. On the plains there weren’t many trees and coal had not been discovered there, so this was a matter of survival (Whyte n.d.). Once the chips were dried in the ...view middle of the document...
The mill's pulping systems consists of refined mechanical pulp and recycled paper. Formerly Daishowa America Co., Ltd, the mill was originally built in 1920 at the base of Ediz Hook on the Strait of Juan de Fuca and is located in Port Angeles, Washington. A de-inking facility was constructed in 1992 and processes upwards of 80,000 tons of recycled paper each year. It is one of the few de-inking facilities in North America that can recycle old telephone directories. The Nippon Paper mill employs 244 employees and produces 160,000 tons of telephones directory paper a year. Approximately 60% of the pulp used is from mechanically refined fiber. The other approximate forty percent is from the de-inking (removing ink and other finishing materials, like coatings, sizing, and adhesives from printed paper (De-inking n.d.) and pulping system used to recycle residential wastepaper and old telephone books (Nippon Paper Industries USA Co. n.d.).
Next month, Nippon Paper Industries USA Inc. will celebrate their 90th anniversary. In a business group’s weekly breakfast meeting held by the Port Angeles Business Association (PABA), Nippon will receive special recognition for its “history of employing many of their residents, providing their youth with scholarships, and sponsoring community endeavors that contribute to the health and welfare of the community” (Business Politics and Environment 2010).
Pam McWethy, Sarah Goldblatt, and Michele Burns are members of the PT AirWatchers. They were on the Taylor Street dock in Port Townsend to protest the mill’s biomass project this week. They said that “further studies need to be completed before the mill gets the go ahead for
biomass. The air is an issue with so many residential homes in the area, and while particulate matter may be decreased, the carbon dioxide—the major gas—and volatile organic compounds and other substances will increase. Trucks will be driven 24/7” (McWethy cited 2010). They also felt that the 125 foot chimney stack will dispense air emissions beyond the present emission range.
After a review process and public comment period, the Department of Ecology issued an order allowing the upgrade to PTPC in Port Townsend, and the go ahead to upgrade their boiler at its mill to run on waste wood, including some forest biomass.
The Port Townsend Mill started on Monday, October 6, 1928, as a Crown Zellerbach kraft paper mill, doing business as the National Paper Products Company. The citizens of Port Townsend fought hard to be the site of the new mill, and after they nearly lost the bid to Aberdeen, construction began at Glen Cove in September, 1927. As a side benefit, the city gained a new, reliable water supply, needed to sustain the production of paper and the increase in population. The new National Paper Products Mill infused new life into the languishing city and immediately became the backbone of Port Townsend’s economy. Today, the Port Townsend Paper Mill is Jefferson...