A Never-Ending Pursuit

A crucial topic we focus on in one issue per year is fire and explosion prevention, protection and mitigation.
By Anna Simet | August 03, 2022

Although we cover a very broad range of bioenergy types in Biomass Magazine, a main pillar of this 15-year-old industry trade journal is wood-using technology, including heat, power and wood pellet production. As such, a crucial topic we focus on in one issue per year is fire and explosion prevention, protection and mitigation. Although the topic may seem a bit tired, the fact is that wood and wood dust are combustible by nature, and that isn’t changing. But what companies in the general wood products space can potentially change are the number of incidents and the outcomes of those that do occur, with protection of employees, assets and the surrounding environment always being top of mind.

Companies in the fire and explosion space are constantly evolving and improving technologies, and you’ll find some examples in our page-10 feature, “Arming the Industry,” by Katie Schroeder. This is, of course, a very limited review of the advancements in fire and explosion protection, but also includes some good insight from the professionals she spoke with, who continue to see the need for education, adoption and evolution of applications. Says Jason Krbec, sales and engineering manager at CV Technology, “…combustible dust is a growing issue, especially in biomass where they’re handling wood materials or biochar … On one side [technology] protects your employees, and on the other side it protects your process. So, there are two reasons as to why it becomes really critical.”  You’ll also find content on this topic in our page-26 contribution, “Improving Early Warning Fire Detection: Thermal Imaging and the Internet of Things,” as well as our page-30 spotlight article, “Keys to Maximum Explosion Protection.”

The bonus theme of this issue is biogas and RNG. Lately, there has been quite the buzz about the production and sale of nutrient-rich digestate, as the prices of fertilizer have soared as a result of the Russian invasion of the Ukraine. Two contributions are focused on this topic: “Drying Digestate,” on page 30, and “Unlocking Biofertilizer as an Additional Revenue Source,” on page 28.  We have also included a column authored by the RNG Coalition’s Leslie Dalton, which includes some good industry talking points regarding the potential and value of RNG as a substitute for imported fossil fuels, and a spotlight article on page 32, which discusses a technology for tail gas flaring at RNG plants.

Finally, we’ll soon be getting to work on our Biomass Power & Waste-to-Energy Map, North American Pellet Production Map and North American Renewable Natural Gas Map. We strive to independently verify all data, but if your facility is or will soon be under construction, is undergoing an expansion, has changed hands in the past year or isn’t currently listed, please drop us a line to ensure our records are as up to date as possible.

Author: Anna Simet
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