pellet production pollution, “really bad idea…”

From Mayor Bachrach’s facebook page where the NEWPRO proposal was referred to the Town of Smithers is this comment from Ivan Polfliet:

Really bad idea … Pellet Manufacturing Emission Challenges :
The green chip drying and handling area of a wood pellet production facility includes a complex array of machinery and choices that can be integrated to work together. For emissions control, gases from the dryer and the heat energy system must be cleaned in order to meet local, state and federal requirements. Basically, this comes down to meeting the standards for emissions of volatile organic compounds and particulate matter. Included in these two categories are special categories of emissions known as hazardous air pollutants that generally have even more restrictive requirements for abatement. For example, formaldehyde in the gas stream is part of the general category of volatile organic compounds and is considered a hazardous air pollutant by the U.S. EPA. Similarly, manganese will be present as a particulate and is also considered a hazardous air pollutant.

The drying process described above creates significant quantities of all these pollutants. More specifically, the combustion of wood and the subsequent intimate contact of the hot flue gases with green wood chips for drying results in an emission profile that has three main categories of particles: inorganic fly ash from combustion, organic condensibles from the green wood chips, and coarse wood particles from the tumbling action of the dryer. Each of these particles must be abated in a single piece of equipment before the gas stream is treated for the volatile organic compounds. This contaminated gas stream profile presents a complex emission control challenge.

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