In northern Minn., lumber waste is a popular biofuel

Published 9:45 am Tuesday, May 25, 2010

There’s a lot of interest in creating fuels that produce less global-warming carbon dioxide, such as ethanol. But in Northern Minnesota, people are starting to use another one — wood waste from logging.

This form of biofuel, which can produce both heat and electricity, is not completely carbon-free, and it can only provide a small portion of needed electricity. But it may be a partial solution, and one that helps keep loggers in business.

At the wood yard of the Laurentian Energy Authority, a bobcat loads tons of wood chips into tractor trailers that supply the power plants in Virginia and Hibbing, which have been partially transformed to burn wood instead of coal.

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