Oregon Torrefaction, LLC, a benefit corporation created by the Endowment, along with partners Ochoco Lumber Company and Bonneville Environmental Foundation, is working to take torrefaction technology to the commercialization stage.
Torrefied or “roasted” woody biomass is made from locally-sourced low-value and waste wood, is water resistant, low in moisture, and has a similar energy profile as coal, but with a smaller environmental footprint. Utilities can use torrefied biomass to generate electricity.
This advanced wood-to-energy technology provides a solution to the nation’s burgeoning forest health crisis, which among other factors, is driven by forests clogged with small-diameter, dying or dead trees with little market value – ideal fuel for the megafires we are experiencing today.
“This project benefits everyone,” says Matt Krumenauer, Vice Present – Special Projects at the Endowment. “We’re reducing the risk of forest fires through the tree thinning. We’re increasing forest health. We’re providing a possible solution for coal replacement. And we’re creating jobs in rural communities in the process.”
One of the Endowment’s projects in the Pacific Northwest is finding long-term, market-based solutions to help mitigate the effects of wildfire and prevent megafires: The Restoration Fuels biomass torrefaction plant currently being built in John Day, Oregon.
Through the funding of this plant, and its parent company Oregon Torrefaction LLC, the Endowment, along with its partners is helping to reduce the risk of megafires and provide jobs in rural forest-based communities. The plant will use tree thinnings and waste wood materials coming from stewardship projects in national forests to produce an environmentally-friendly alternative to coal. Read more info here: https://restorationfuels.com/.