Forest Service Awards Nearly $4 Million For Renewable Wood Energy Projects

The Forest Service award of nearly $4 million in grants for wood energy products help expand regional economies and create new jobs. The grants, totaling $3.9 million, will be distributed to 20 small businesses, tribes and community groups to develop renewable energy projects that require engineering services.

The projects will use woody material such as beetle-killed trees removed from forests to aid in wildfire prevention. The material will then be processed in bioenergy facilities to produce green energy for heating and electricity. The awardees will use funds from the Woody Biomass Utilization Grant program to secure the engineering services necessary for final design, permitting and cost analysis.

The grant program helps applicants complete the necessary design work needed to secure public or private investment for construction. Examples of projects include the engineering design of a woody biomass boiler for steam at a sawmill, a non-pressurized hot water system for a hospital or school and a biomass-power generation facility.

Nanocellulose Plant at Forest Products Lab to produce renewable, forest-based nanomaterials

The Forest Service's Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) is poised to become the country's leading producer of forest-based nanomaterials with the opening of a $1.7 million nanocellulose pilot plant. The facility will support an emerging market for new wood-derived renewable materials that will create jobs and contribute billions of dollars to the economy.

As new lightweight, high-performance products are developed and commercialized, fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced, manufacturing in rural areas will increase, and many new high-paying jobs will be created. FPL's new facility will aid in the commercialization of these materials by providing researchers and early adopters of the technology with working quantities of forest-based nanomaterials.

For over 100 years, FPL's work with academia, industry, and other government agencies has led to ground-breaking discoveries with great benefit to the public. Additional information on FPL's research is available at www.fpl.fs.fed.us.