Wet Electrostatic Precipitator
WESP Pacific BioEnergy’s Prince George plant operates within the Prince George airshed and uses the best available technology to scrub the air emissions from the dryers. The dryer emissions are treated by a WESP (Wet Electrostatic Precipitator) which removes virtually all of the particulate, and products of combustion. Although the technology is different, the WESP performs the same function as a catalytic converter in an automobile. Basically, the WESP produces an electrostatic field which induces a charge into the particles within the exhaust stream causing the material to collect within the system for removal in a solid form. The plume from the WESP stack is essentially clean steam from the removal of moisture in the wood feedstock material used for processing into pellets.
Why Burn When Forest Residuals can be turned into Wood Pellets?
Pacific BioEnergy is confident that most British Columbians agree that it is just ‘common sense’ to use the majority of every tree harvested for a useful purpose. Leave the smaller branches and limbs to decay naturally and replenish the soil but maximize utilization of tree tops and larger branches to make wood pellets. Every year in BC, thousands of tons of useable wood fibre is burned in preparation for replanting. Utilizing this material to make wood pellets reduces the fuel load in the event of wildfires.
One of Pacific BioEnergy’s Environmental Principles is that this useable material should be made available to the wood pellet industry to attract new investment, create new jobs and increase BC’s annual exports. Pacific BioEnergy is a passionate advocate for a change in how business is done in BC forests. The company continues to work with its industry partners and government to find a solution to open up access to ‘slash piles’ that are currently burned in preparation for replanting forest harvest sites. Pacific BioEnergy strongly believes it’s much better for the BC environment to take this useful material and convert it into wood pellets than burn it every fall emitting CO2 and tons of smoke and ash into nearby airsheds and nearby communities.
Pine Beetle Forests = Valuable Renewable Energy
The epidemic may be over but the aftermath of one of BC’s largest forest beetle outbreaks will be evident for years to come. There are still thousands of hectares of dead pine trees in BC’s Interior forests. Most have no value as trees to make dimension lumber or pulp and paper but they are just fine for conversion into wood pellets and the sooner they are harvested, the sooner those sites can be replanted.
Pacific BioEnergy teamed up with the Nazko First Nation to form their joint-venture company, NAZBEC. It operates a large chipper in Quesnel that converts beetle-killed pine trees into useable fibre. Nazko First Nation loggers harvest the wood from its traditional territory and transports it to Quesnel. The harvested sites are then prepared for replanting. The new healthy forest absorbs CO2 as part of its life-cycle. Good for the environment while having a positive impact on the economies of Nazko, Quesnel and Prince George.