February 17, 2006


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Design cont...

"Solutrean artisans knapped astonishing yellow blades in the shape of long, narrow pointed leaves. Most of these blades are the size and thickness of a fillet of sole... A modern surgeon at Michigan Medical School used such a blade to open a patient's abdomen; it was smoother, he said, than his best steel scalpels."

"Hold one of these chert knives to the sky. It passes light. It shines dull, waxy gold-brown in the center, and yellow toward the edges as it clears. ...the blade thins from translucency to transparency. You see your skin, and the sky. ...It ends imperceptibly at an atom."

"To any human on earth, the sight of one of them means; someone thought of making, and made, this difficult, impossible, beautiful thing."

Description of eighteen thousand year old chert knives.
from For The Time Being
by Annie Dillard

Web Link - A reader's journal - For The Time Being
Web Link - Amazon link



Effective use of biomass as a renewable energy source will require both large sources of biomaterial and large capacities for biorefining. These quotations are taken from the 60 page U.S. Depatment of Energy publication titled The Technical Feasibility of a Billion-Ton Annual Supply of Biomass Feedstock The purpose of this report is to assess whether the land resources of the United States have the potential to produce a sustainable supply of biomass that can displace 30 percent of the country's current petroleum consumption.

"Biomass is already making key energy contributions in the United States... Biomass currently supplies over 3 percent of the total energy consumption in the United States - mostly through industrial heat and steam production by the pulp and paper industry and electrical generation with forest industry residues and municipal solid waste (MSW). ...biomass is particularly attractive because it is the only current renewable source of liquid transportation fuel."

"The Biomass Research and Development Act of 2000 created the Biomass R&D Technical Advisory Committee Included in its vision was the setting of a very challenging goal: biomass will supply 5 percent of the nation's power, 20 percent of its transportation fuels, and 25 percent of its chemicals by 2030. The goal is equivalent to 30 percent of current petroleum consumption and will require more than approximately one billion dry tons of biomass feedstock annually(DOE 2003)."

Web Link - The Technical Feasibility of a Billion-Ton Annual Supply of Biomass Feedstock (a 60 page PDF file)
Summary of Biomass Resource Consumption

The pie chart shows a breakdown of energy sources along with an accounting of renewable energy sources.

Efforts to discover multiple sources of biomass have lead to closer study of what may otherwise be treated as watse. The tree diagrams are an example. Additionally, planning for more complete reuse of construction and furniture waste is encouraging.

"In the manufacture of paper products, wood is converted into fiber using a variety of chemical and mechanical pulping process technologies."

"Pulp and paper facilities combust black liquor in recovery boilers to produce energy (i.e., steam), and, more importantly, to recover the valuable chemicals present in the liquor."

"The pulp and paper industry utilizes enough black liquor, bark, and other wood residues to meet nearly 60 percent of its energy requirements. Currently, the forest products industry along with DOE are looking at black liquor gasification to convert pulping liquors and other biomass into gases that can be combusted much more efficiently."

"There are two principal sources of urban wood residues: MSW and construction and demolition debris. MSW consists of a variety of items ranging from organic food scraps to discarded furniture and appliances."

"Wood and yard and tree trimmings are the two sources within this residue stream that are potentially recoverable for bioenergy and biobased product applications. The wood component includes discarded furniture, pallets, containers, packaging materials, lumber scraps (other than new construction and demolition), and wood residuals from manufacturing."

"The other principal source of urban wood residue is construction and demolition debris. These materials are considered separately from MSW since they come from much different sources. These debris materials are correlated with economic activity (e.g., housing starts), population, demolition activity, and the extent of recycling and reuse programs."


Bioenergy Feedstock - Information Network
Web Link - Information Network

Biomass Publications
"Several very useful resources are available to you to help find documents of interest relating to biomass. The Biomass Document Database is a comprehensive collection of technical and outreach documents produced by the Biomass Program and predecessor Biofuels Program. We are working to include documents from the Biopower Program and other relevant predecessor organizations as well as documents important to biomass, not produced by the program, but coverage will not be as complete."
Web Link - Lists of biomass publications

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Photo of the week

ICE II - February 2006

Redbud Wind - energy project archive - Updated 1/20/06
Click the wind turbine icon see progress notes
for the Redbud Wind I site at Enid, OK.

George Beggs 12/2005 - Feedback is welcome

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