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Biomass source study final report Tavakoli, Arash; Yu, Lawrence; Kashi, Maryam; Fernando, Tarini 2011

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UBC Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Student Report  Biomass Source Study Final Report  Arash Tavakoli Lawrence Yu Maryam Kashi Tarini Fernando  University of British Columbia APSC 364 April 11, 2011  Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report”.  BIOMASS source study final report  group 9  arash tavakoli lawrence yu maryam kashi tarini fernando  Table of Contents  1. Introduction………………………………………………1 2. Option Study……………………………………………...2 2.1 Mountain Pine Beetle Wood 2.2 Hog Fuel 2.3 Municipal Trimmings 2.4 Urban Wood Waste 3. Overview of Assessment Tools…………………………...6 3.1 Life Cycle Assessment Stages 3.2 Scoring System 4. Findings and Discussion………………………………….9 4.1 Mountain Pine Beetle Wood 4.2 Hog Fuel 4.3 Municipal Trimmings 4.4 Urban Wood Waste 5. Recommendations…………………………………..........14 6. Limitations and Reflections……………………………. 14 Appendix 1………………………………………………..16 Appendix 2………………………………………………..20 	
    	
    1	
    1. Introduction The University of British Columbia is a leading institution for innovation in sustainability and brings the ecological, economic, and social considerations of sustainability to the forefront of classroom learning and operational decisions. In 1998, UBC became the first university in Canada to establish a Campus Sustainability Office, affirming a commitment to address the complex issues between humans and the environment in an empowering manner.  “UBC promises a 33% GHG reduction by 2015, 67% by 2020 and the ultimate goal of 100% reduction by 2050.”  Today, UBC is moving forward in sustainability leadership, and has recently pledged, through the UBC Sustainability Academic Strategy, to achieve a 33% GHG reduction by 2015, 67% by 2020 and the ultimate goal of 100% reduction by 20501. While ambitious, these goals represent an opportunity for creative research and business strategy. In keeping with the vision of UBC as a “living laboratory”, UBC will facilitate the unique collaboration of staff, faculty, students, and industry professionals to incubate, test, and realize new ideas that will undoubtedly allow us to achieve the set goals. One of these partnerships relates to the testing of biomass for commercial purposes – a joint venture with Nexterra and General Electric (GE) that will combine heat and power to provide clean, renewable energy in addition to a platform for bioenergy research. The biomass project that is scheduled to start up in February of 2012 will be the first of its kind in North America to demonstrate the technical and commercial viability of combined heat and electrical power. The goal is to produce 2 MW electric and 3MW steam energy as a means of offsetting approximately 5% of electricity and 12% of steam consumed on campus2. While the biomass demonstration project will help advance research in clean renewable-energy production, it is important to keep in mind that the project itself has been debated by numerous stakeholders and staff at UBC and the broader community. The scope of our project however, does not extend to include an analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of the biomass project itself but rather, is intended to focus on determining which fuel source would be the most feasible and sustainable option for the biomass generator. This report will thus outline the four 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   1	
  Knight,	
  Nancy.,	
  Robison,	
  John.	
  	
  (2011).	
  	
  The	
   Next	
   Generation	
   of	
   UBC	
   Sustainability	
   Initiatives.	
   	
   Presented	
  at	
  the	
   http://www.ires.ubc.ca/files/2010/12/USI-­‐Presentation-­‐APSC-­‐364-­‐11Jan11.pdf	
   2	
  Griffin,	
   Jeff.	
   	
   (2011).	
   	
   UBC	
   As	
   a	
   Living	
   Lab:	
   British	
   Columbia’s	
   Hub	
   for	
   Sustainable	
   Innovation.	
   	
   Bioenergy	
   Research	
  and	
  Demonstration	
  Project.	
  	
  Presentation	
  delivered	
  at	
  the	
  University	
  of	
  British	
  Columbia.	
  	
  Available	
  at	
  	
   http://www.ires.ubc.ca/files/2011/01/Jeff-­‐Griffin-­‐Presentation-­‐20.01.111.pdf	
  	
    	
    2	
    potential fuel source options, provide a comprehensive criteria matrix to assist in a holistic analysis of each source, and conclude with a ranking and recommendation for the UBC community. The purpose of this report however, is not so much to provide the right answer as it is to put forward a better set of questions and compel a broader consideration of what “sustainability” entails. 	
    2. Option Study In this section, each of the wood fuel source options provided by UBC utilities for biomass gasification research and demonstration project were analyzed and the results are reflected below. The followings sources are studied in this phase: •  Mountain Pine Beetle Wood  •  Hog Fuel  •  Municipal Trimming  •  Urban Wood Waste  2.1 Mountain Pine Beetle Wood The first source analyzed was Mountain Pine Beetle wood. This is wood that has been devastated by the MPB epidemic. Wood that has been consumed by the beetles is assumed to have zero commercial value although the latter is debated. This wood would be provided to UBC by two companies: International Bio Fuels and Trace Resources. The source of the two companies is located in the surrounding areas of Merritt and Cache Creek, British Columbia. Both companies are responsible for  Currently, there are 30% of BC forests that are inflicted with the MPB epidemic  the extraction and processing of the MPB wood. Trace Resources recently has constructed a B-train truck transfer facility that would enable trucks to deposit unprocessed wood to the Delta Consolidator. The distance from the operation site in Merritt and the facility is 254 km. Subsequently, the MPB wood would travel an 80 KM round trip by 53’ truck to UBC3. Due to low moisture content (20%), 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   3	
  Giffin,	
  Jeff.	
  (2010).	
  UBC	
  Bioenergy	
  Research	
  and	
  Demonstration	
  Project	
  Multi-­‐Criteria	
  Decision	
  Analysis	
  of	
  Fuel	
   Options	
    	
    3	
    only 15,000 tonnes of this fuel source is required per year. The cost of mountain pine beetle wood is estimated to have a range of 72-79 dollars per tonne.4 In terms of long-term availability, currently, there are 30% of BC forests that are inflicted with the MPB epidemic. Wood that has been infested by the beetle is considered to have zero commercial value. Thus, it is a viable solution to turn this liability into an asset. The current stock of MPB wood can provide up to 10 years of biofuels, which by then, it would be decomposed to the point where they are no longer usable for bio-energy5. However, the future of the forests in BC is still unknown and the epidemic is still expanding into the Northern interior of BC. The BC Ministry of Forest and Range has stated that the MPB wood will open a new industry in Canada, where more jobs can be created, especially in the area surrounding  “…the future of the forests in BC is still unknown and the epidemic is still expanding into the Northern interior of BC.”  Merritt. Not only does this affirm the long term availability of MPB wood but also suggests we can move forward to meet our climate goals in a socially sustainable manner as well as help move us forward to meet our climate goals. The co-benefits that are achieved in the community are transferred to other energy-intensive sectors. SunSelect  Produce Inc. in Delta, Vancouver already has greenhouses heated with electricity created by MPB bio-fuels.6 With higher demand for cost-effective fuel sources, it is probable that MPB woods can provide a long term alternative energy to UBC and Vancouver. Ministry of Forest and Range, UBC and potential providers are stakeholders that impacted by this fuel source.  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   4	
  UBC.	
  (2010).	
  	
  UBC	
  Utilities,	
  Wood	
  Fuel	
  Source	
  Options.	
   5	
  Giffin,	
  Jeff.	
  (2010).	
  UBC	
  Bioenergy	
  Research	
  and	
  Demonstration	
  Project	
  Multi-­‐Criteria	
  Decision	
  Analysis	
  of	
  Fuel	
   Options	
   6	
  Ministry	
  of	
  Forests	
  and	
  Range	
  (2009).	
  BC	
  Company	
  Helping	
  Turn	
  Beetle	
  Wood	
  into	
  Power.	
  	
  Available	
  at	
  	
  	
   http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2005-­‐2009/2009FOR0012-­‐000052.htm	
    	
    4	
    2.2 Hog Fuel The second fuel source analyzed was hog fuel. This fuel source is mainly composed of bark and is considered a waste product that many mills dispose of by burning. Half of this fuel source will be provided to UBC from UBC’s Malcolm Knapp Research Forest, a sustainable forestry that is located near Maple Ridge and is managed by UBC’s forestry department. The other half of it will be provided by local companies such as Basran, Chips Ahoy Fiber Supply and Cloverdale Fuel Co. Ltd. These companies source their fuel from several lumber mills located along the  “…the increased demand and reduced supply has caused a large increase in biofuels, contributing to the volatility of the biofuel market.”  Frasier River. The logs are harvested near Campbell River are travel 200 Km to the Delta Lumber mill in log booms via tug boats, following which it would take an 80 Km round trip by a 53’ truck to UBC7. The moisture content of hog fuel is 45% and accordingly 24,000 tones of this fuel source are required per year. In addition, the cost of hog fuel is  estimated to be 44 dollars per tone if provided from local 	
   companies; however, it is still not clear how much would UBC be charged if the source is provided from UBC’s Malcolm Knapp Research Forest. In terms of long term availability, many lumber and pulp mills that produce wood waste are being more resource-efficient and use wood waste to offset portions of electricity. This conservatism in wood waste, in addition to the new and adverse developments in the economy have led to a number of lumber mills and pulp plants across British Columbia to close down. Consequently, the increased demand and reduced supply has caused a large increase in biofuels, contributing to the volatility of the biofuel market. Moreover, the conservative trend may adversely impact the long-term availability of green wood waste both in available quantity and price. Malcolm Knapp Research Forest, UBC and provider companies are the potential stakeholders of this fuel source. 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   7	
  Giffin,	
  Jeff.	
  (2010).	
  UBC	
  Bioenergy	
  Research	
  and	
  Demonstration	
  Project	
  Multi-­‐Criteria	
  Decision	
  Analysis	
  of	
  Fuel	
   Options	
    	
    5	
    2.3 Municipal Trimming All open grown trees in parks and along streets require regular pruning. The municipal authority is responsible for removing deadwood, suckers, low-hanging and crossover branches to facilitate flow of air through the trees to reduce insect and disease attack, allow equipment or vehicles to maneuver, and to clear wires. These trimmed and naturally shed twigs and branches make for a potential biomass fuel source called municipal trimmings. Davey Tree, a company specializing in tree trimming, based in Kent, OH, with a branch offering service in Vancouver, and the city of Vancouver are responsible for providing this fuel source to UBC. It would be hard to estimate the amount of transportation that this fuel source would go through; however, it is estimated that the source travels 40km from Parks maintenance to consolidator in Delta, by trucks and then 80 km round-trip from Delta Consolidator to UBC by 53’ trucks8. The high moisture content of wood (55%) from Davey Tree and their unrelated business to bioenergy have made it unnecessary to acquire costs; however, according to the Memorandum of Understanding between UBC and the City of Vancouver, the city provides some part of UBC’s need with free of charge. However, the wood from City of Vancouver needs to be chipped and stored which introduce a cost of 28 dollars per tonnes with an estimated total requirement of 26,000 tonnes per year9. In terms of long-term availability, there will likely be few issues as trees always shed and open grow. Therefore, this source will not encounter availability issues in the future.  2.4 Urban Wood Waste Another source of fuel for the biomass gasification research and demonstration project is construction and demolition waste. This waste is converted into biomass at Urban Wood Waste Recyclers. After the wood waste is dumped at the site, it is sorted at two stages and passed through “The Hammer Mill”. The final product of the hammer mill is the biomass, which is sold to the market. According to Nexterra’s wood fuel specifications, it is a requirement that the biomass be free of any contaminates, such as 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   8	
  Giffin,	
  Jeff.	
  (2010).	
  UBC	
  Bioenergy	
  Research	
  and	
  Demonstration	
  Project	
  Multi-­‐Criteria	
  Decision	
  Analysis	
  of	
  Fuel	
   Options	
   9	
  UBC.	
  (2010).	
  	
  UBC	
  Utilities,	
  Wood	
  Fuel	
  Source	
  Options	
    	
    6	
    glues, nails, metals, paint and plastics. This important condition is promised by Urban Wood Waste Recyclers, but not guaranteed; traces of plastics and particles are found in some instances. Urban Wood Waste Recyclers collects wood waste at two different locations: Vancouver and New Westminster/Burnaby; however, all the waste is transferred to New Westminster/Burnaby facility for the sorting and grinding process. The potential distance from the source collection site to the consolidator is about 40 km. Subsequently, the biomass would travel an 80 KM round trip by 53’ truck to UBC10. Since the moisture content of this source is significantly low (25%), the required fuel for the project is only 16,000 tonnes per year. In addition,  “…traces of plastics and particles are found in some instances”  the cost of wood waste is estimated to be 52 dollars per tone11. Wood is one of the most used materials in construction; however, as technology improves and sustainability thrives in building sciences, more sustainable materials such as concrete would be substituting the older materials such as wood. Therefore, the longterm availability of this source can be questionable. Despite this, there will be more incentives for construction industry to recycle waste wood. UBC, Urban Wood waste, rubbish removals and builders are potential stakeholders, which could be impacted by this fuel source.  3. Overview of Assessment Tools In today’s world, decisions are overwhelmingly made  “The conversation on sustainability cannot rest entirely on an operational level. As a result, we began to ask questions on the normative level.”  based on a cost-benefit analysis. Given the growing concerns with environmental degradation however, it is essential that decisions be made with consideration of factors above and beyond solely those that can be represented by a monetary value. To this end, it is important to account for the environmental impacts (for  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   10	
  Giffin,	
   Jeff.	
   (2010).	
   UBC	
   Bioenergy	
   Research	
   and	
   Demonstration	
   Project	
   Multi-­‐Criteria	
   Decision	
   Analysis	
   of	
   Fuel	
  Options	
   11	
  UBC.	
  (2010).	
  	
  UBC	
  Utilities,	
  Wood	
  Fuel	
  Source	
  Options	
    	
    7	
    example, such things as biodiversity), as well as social impacts (for examples, community development) when making decisions. As stated in the first section, the purpose of our report is not to come up with the right answer, but rather, it is to shed light on the term “sustainability” in this context. In other words, the definition of sustainability in this report is directly related to how we assess it in terms of economic, environmental and social aspects. Thus, we believe that it is crucial that we are asking the right questions.  Figure 1: Life-cycle assessment approach To start, we took on a life-cycle assessment approach, shown in Figure 1, which helped us conceptualize a framework that incorporates all three stages of the wood. The advantage to this approach is it allows us to capture the  By reporting these measurements individually, we can assess at which stage of the process is the most sustainable, or requires improvement.  material input and environmental releases of each phase, and to evaluate the potential impacts that are associated. The conversation on sustainability cannot rest entirely on an operational level. As a result, we began to ask questions on the normative level. An example of this would be the assessment on municipal trimmings; although it requires relatively less transportation than  other sources, how does it impact the source community? These kinds of questions led us to understand the trade-offs between the triple bottom line, and helped us understand the complexity of a balanced criterion.  	
    8	
    3.1 Life Cycle Assessment Stages Our assessment had criterions and indicators that were common in all three stages. These included: 1. To minimize energy consumption 2. To limit global warming potential 3. To minimize air pollution These criterions are important in how we define sustainability because they cross through the three economic, environmental and social aspects. However, it is equally important that we include other criterion that might only be specific to that stage because these unique indicators may have profound impact to sustainability. By reporting these measurements individually, we can assess at which stage of the process is the most sustainable, or requires improvement. The matrix located in Appendix 1 is intended to provide a comprehensive list of considerations to assist UBC in choosing a fuel source for the biomass project that is environmentally, financially, and socially sustainable. Below is a summary of the indicators chosen at each stage. a. Source Community In the initial stage, normative questions were incorporated into our criterion, as a filter to sources that we believed was unethical. One of these criteria was to assess the value of the wood, by measuring its economic value and also its externality. Externality is the cost or benefit that is not transmitted through prices. For example, the externality of cutting wood from the Amazon forest would have a much higher externality due to the loss of biodiversity, than say, trees in British Columbia. Moreover, the energy requirement at the source stage is particularly important because some of these sources require no harvesting. Whereas mountain pine beetle wood, for example, would need to be harvested in order for it to be consumed. b. Consolidation At the consolidation stage, the criteria were mostly at the operational level. Similar to the first stage, we are concerned with the environmental releases from the input of raw  	
    9	
    material. This concern is directly linked the location of the consolidator and the type of fuel required in the consolidation process. c. UBC Community The final stage to the life cycle is at the UBC campus. Here, our criteria for sustainability not only accounted for the three common criterions discussed above, but also for social concerns such as noise and contaminants when the wood is consumed. In addition, the matrix accounts for potential risks to UBC, such as long-term viability of the source and the reliability of the partnership.  3.2 Scoring System Our group took two approaches to the scoring system. Initially, we ranked each indicator according to its importance and developed a weighing system that would result in a score for each source. The sources were then ranked according to the score. However, we realized that this scoring system was not meaningful because it depends largely on how we ranked each indicator’s importance. Our  “In total there are 25 indicators in total, 13 of economics, 7 of environment, and 5 of social.”  second approach included both objective and subjective indicators. According to the indicator, we gave a plus, minus or neutral score to each source.  4. Findings and Discussions Our initial findings using our second approach, as discussed above were then summed up according to their categories. The following table shows our first results: Hog	
  Fuel	
   7	
  plus	
   5	
  neutral	
   4	
  minus	
    MPB	
   5	
  plus	
   2	
  neutral	
   9	
  minus	
    Urban	
   9	
  plus	
   3	
  neutral	
   4	
  minus	
    Municipal	
   7	
  plus	
   4	
  neutral	
   5	
  minus	
    	
    These initial results show us that the urban wood scores the best, following with hog fuel, municipal trimmings and lastly, mountain pine beetle wood. Although these results can be used to rank the four sources, it was not a meaningful result because it merely adds up the number of plus, minus and neutral for each source. In fact, we were more interested  	
    10	
    in how well each source performed in terms of their economic, environmental and social aspect more so than how well it does overall. Therefore, we ranked each indicator according to their aspect towards sustainability, with some having more than one aspect. In total there are 25 indicators in total, 13 of economics, 7 of environment, and 5 of social. As a result, the following table emerged as our second results:  	
   Hog	
   Fuel	
   MPB	
   Urban	
   Municipal	
    Economic	
   1	
   3	
   1	
   3	
    Environmental	
   7	
   4	
   9	
   5	
    Social	
   1	
   3	
   1	
   1	
    	
   Our second results are more meaningful to this analysis because it shows how well the source performed under the triple bottom line. The following discussion will be used to explain the implications of each source to sustainability.  4.1 Mountain Pine Beetle Wood The utilization of mountain pine beetle wood (MPB) has initially been thought to be an innovative alternative to the biomass generator. However, after running the source through our matrix, the source scored the least overall. The mountain pine beetle initiative is the only source that supports economic growth to forest dependent communities in BC. The  “…it is the only source  decline in forest industry in recent years is due to  that needs to be  increased technological advancement, which has led to  deliberately  the loss of traditional jobs. One of the criteria for  harvested, compared  sustainability, as we believe, is to sustain jobs in rural  to other sources,  BC and to continue promoting the diversity of jobs BC  which are byproducts.  has to offer. In addition, this source has a potential  “  partnership between the provincial government, the community and the university. In 	
   ability to create terms of innovation, the MPB source scores the highest for its commercial capacity with the damaged wood that is arguably to have zero commercial value. However, to be objective, we gave a neutral score to its value, which is the sum of its commercial value and external cost, since there is potential for a new market for mountain pine beetle wood. This is supported by the composition of the wood itself;  	
    11	
    among other sources, mountain pine beetle wood has the lowest moisture content and has no artificial contaminants. On the other hand, the mountain pine beetle source falls short in the indicators of minimizing energy use and GHG emissions. The reason is acceptable. Since the wood is harvested near Merritt, BC, the harvesting and transportation energy cost is relatively high compared to the other sources. In addition, it is the only source that needs to be deliberately harvested, compared to other sources, which are byproducts. The decision of using mountain pine beetle wood should consider the trade-off between supporting forest dependent communities and the environmental cost of transportation and harvesting.  4.2 Hog Fuel Hog fuel is a viable option for UBC. This source would come from UBC’s Malcolm Knapp Research Forest, which proves a valuable research opportunity and strengthens an existing partnership between UBC and the broader community. While this is undoubtedly a positive opportunity, it does not mean new jobs are created in the source community. As a waste product that many mills dispose of, taking this wood has no detrimental impact on the source community. Moreover, in considering this source is brought to Vancouver via tug boats, there are energy savings to be made in this regard. These energy savings are somewhat offset by the fact that hog fuel needs to be harvested – a process which also leads to higher pollution quantities as made evident by the acid rain potential in the criteria matrix. During the consolidation phase, hog fuel is chipped with electric equipment, which represents a cleaner energy and thus higher rankings. The direct result of this is lower global warming potential as quantified by acid rain potential. Perhaps the most significant setback with using hog fuel comes by virtue of its high moisture content (45%) which makes necessary the use of the fuel source dryer - a process which results in an increase in emissions as well as an increase in the release of particulate matter and volatile organic compound. Additionally, as high moisture content is directly correlated to a higher number of trucks required to bring the source to UBC, there is a potential for increased noise.  	
    12	
    With regards to the potential companies that would source this would such as Basran or Chips Ahoy Fibre Supply, there are limitations to our accessing company information and thus it is difficult to make a comprehensive decision on which partnership would be the most reliable and effective.  4.3 Municipal Trimmings Municipal trimmings represent a fuel source that does not have any other potential commodity value. As a result it is viable to view it as a source quite apt for a sustainability-oriented project. This source has the advantage that it does not bear harvesting costs. Furthermore, the wood is said to be provided for “free” based on a private partnership with the Vancouver City. Despite the fact that this source is to be provided free of charge by the city of Vancouver as per the “Memorandum of Understanding” between UBC and the City of Vancouver, UBC still needs to spend $28/tonne to store and further process the trimmings from Vancouver Parks. However, according to Jeff Griffin’s “UBC Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Project”, UBC is reluctant to establish additional facility to store and process this source. It is essential to question whether or not the figures provided in the report account for the additional transportation and GHG emissions that would come from having to subcontract another company to store the wood for UBC. The moisture content of the wood is higher than that suitable for the plant. Therefore this source requires drying before use, which is less favorable than a source, which can be directly used due to low moisture content. This will lead to higher emissions and energy consumption. According to the same report by Jeff Griffin, the GHG emissions due to equipment use for this source are relatively high (210 GWP/yr). Considering harvesting for this source is not applicable, we speculate this high energy is consumed by equipment for chopping down the wood. Also, municipal trimmings being in the form of branches, come in different sizes, which may not be all suitable for loading, storage and use. Thus additional chopping and processing of the wood is required which is not favorable.  	
    13	
    This source has the advantage that it contains minimal contaminants. The toxins are limited to current air pollution, which is low in Vancouver. The log-term viability is also promising, as many parks in Vancouver whose trees will always require trimming.  4.4 Urban Wood Urban wood waste performed relatively well when set against our criteria and indicators. In being wood waste, there is no alternate value for the wood and thus it does not have a high economic value or come at a great social cost (for example, our using it would not compromise biodiversity in the source community). While there are no adverse impacts on the source community, choosing to use urban wood waste will not have a significant impact on job creation in forest dependent communities for the simple reason that the source would be sorted in Burnaby. One of the main advantages of using urban wood waste would be the potential for energy savings. As the wood waste collected would be from Vancouver, transporting the wood to the Burnaby consolidator would not contribute to significant fuel consumption or emissions because of the close proximity of the source to the consolidator and ultimately, UBC. Furthermore, urban wood waste does not need to be harvested and therefore, there are significant savings in energy and emissions at this stage. During the chipping stage, electricity is used, which is favorable as a cleaner energy comparative to diesel. The value of urban wood waste as a potential source is further highlighted by its low moisture content (25%), which would not only eliminate the need for the fuel source dryer and thus lower total air emissions. The low moisture content would ensure the residential community along South West Marine drive is minimally disrupted via transporting wood through having to use fewer trucks. While there are significant benefits to choosing urban wood waste, the main argument against using this source lies in the potential for some of the wood to be contaminated. It is not unlikely that the wood have traces of plastics and paints, glues, and metals. Considering there is no knowledge of how exactly burning this type of potentially contaminated wood can impact the UBC community (for example, the release of harmful toxins) it is important to exercise some caution. To this end, we can only hope that the  	
    14	
    company (Urban Wood Waste Recyclers) is able to effectively process the wood and ensure its feasibility for use. Although a relatively new company (founded in 1993), Urban Wood Waste Recyclers represents a stable partnership with a mission and vision that corresponds to that of UBC and our broader goals for innovation in diverting waste from landfills.  5. Recommendations It is now clear that Urban Wood is the top choice in terms of environmental impact, as long as the contaminants in the wood do not have adverse effects to the community. Mountain Pine Beetle Wood would be the best choice in terms of social aspect. Finally,  “…we believe that sustainability should uphold all three aspects of the triple bottom line.”  there is a tie between Mountain Pine Beetle Wood and Municipal Trimmings in terms of the economic aspect. Through our analysis, we believe that sustainability should uphold all three aspects of the triple bottom line. As a result, our recommendation is twofold.  First, Urban Wood should be incorporated as a source due to its high scores in terms of the environment and its competence in the other two aspects. Second, we believe that UBC should not solely purchase the source from one location, because of our belief that sustainability should include all three aspects. Thus, we recommend that Urban Wood should be complimented with either Mountain Pine Beetle, with a focus toward social sustainability in rural BC or Municipal Trimming, with a focus towards urban growth in Vancouver.  6. Limitations and Reflections Although challenging, working on this project was truly enjoyable because it gave us an opportunity to engage with the broad and complex understandings of sustainability in a very practical and tangible manner. Scheduling times to meet with the group proved a little challenging but it was a worthwhile challenge as the opportunity to work collaboratively with students from various disciplines made this project a far more valuable learning experience. Additionally, the support and enthusiasm of the instructors  	
    15	
    compelled my embracing this course as truly an investment in my learning; it was not all about the grades. With regards to the biomass project itself, data limitations proved a significant barrier to more effective completion of the project. An opportunity to engage directly with some of the source companies and an opportunity to go on site visits (for example, to the Burnaby consolidator) would have significantly enhanced our ability to conceptualize different aspects of the life cycle we tried to assess. Other limitations included: o  o  o  o  o  o  Details of livability and environmental, social, economical sensitivities in the source communities to understand how employing each source option would affect the dynamics in each respective community, particularly in the long run. Consolidated data about the national forest products industry regarding how wood stocks are handled and whether employed procedures are compatible with sustainable practices Information on the shape, size and state off each source option to properly assess – according to assumed sustainability standards – methods of preparing each source to be used in the bio-energy plant and the technical requirements/feasibility Time constraint – given the shortage of data and the limited time in which to complete the phases, it was challenging to clarify assumptions made throughout the process. Uncertainty about the relative significance of each sustainability criterion. For example, when trying to consolidate information, assigning a weight to each criterion proved challenging as these measures would have been arbitrary and thus require subjective justifications that were not based on available data. Uncertainty about how the provided data was compiled and what assumptions were made to reach the presented conclusions (for example, Mr. Griffin’s report which served as an important resource but was nevertheless limiting).  Despite the limitations, we were able to sort and synthesize the necessary information. Undoubtedly, this project has enabled an increasing appreciation for the fact that time constraints and data limitations are a reality for operational staff and other stakeholders who ultimately have to make decisions based on imperfect knowledge.  	
   	
    16	
    Appendix 1 SOURCE	
  PHASE	
   Criteria	
   Indicator	
   To	
  support	
  forest	
   Job	
  creation	
  in	
   dependent	
   source	
  community	
   communities	
  in	
  BC	
    To	
  ensure	
  the	
   selected	
  fuel	
   source	
  does	
  not	
   compromise	
   economic,	
  social,	
   and	
   environmental	
   well-­‐being	
  of	
  a	
   community	
    Value	
  of	
  wood	
    Minimize	
  energy	
   consumption	
  	
   	
   	
    Fuel	
  consumption	
   during	
  the	
   harvesting	
  phase	
   	
   	
    Measurement	
   1-­‐will	
  create	
  jobs	
   2-­‐may	
  create	
  jobs	
   3-­‐will	
  not	
  create	
   jobs	
   	
    Objective	
   Self-­‐evident	
    Economic	
  value2	
   (commercial	
   value)	
  +	
  external	
   cost3	
  (opportunity	
   cost)	
   	
   1-­‐	
  low	
  external	
   costs	
   2-­‐medium	
   external	
  cost	
   3-­‐	
  	
  high	
  external	
   cost	
   0-­‐does	
  not	
  require	
   harvesting	
   1-­‐low	
  fuel	
   requirement	
   2-­‐medium	
  fuel	
   requirement	
   3-­‐high	
  fuel	
   requirement	
  	
   	
   	
   	
   	
    Ensure	
  no	
  virgin	
   wood	
  source	
  is	
   considered	
  an	
   option	
    Preference	
  a	
  fuel	
   source	
  that	
  does	
   not	
  require	
   harvesting	
    Justification	
   Forestry	
  industry	
   has	
  lost	
  40%	
  of	
  its	
   GDP	
  over	
  the	
  past	
   decade1	
  and	
   efforts	
  should	
  thus	
   be	
  made	
  to	
   mitigate	
  the	
   effects	
   Value	
  of	
  wood	
   cannot	
  solely	
  be	
   determined	
  by	
   quantitative	
   calculations;	
  social	
   and	
  qualitative	
   environmental	
   costs	
  must	
  be	
   accounted	
  for.	
    Harvesting	
   requires	
  additional	
   fuel	
  consumption	
    	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   1  Giffin,	
  Jeff.	
  (2010).	
  UBC	
  Bioenergy	
  Research	
  and	
  Demonstration	
  Project	
  Multi-­‐Criteria	
  Decision	
  Analysis	
  of	
  Fuel	
   Options	
   	
   2 	
  Economic	
  value	
  is	
  the	
  worth	
  of	
  the	
  wood	
  as	
  determined	
  by	
  the	
  market	
  (related	
  to	
  price).	
  	
  	
   3  External	
  costs	
  (externalities)	
  are	
  the	
  costs	
  that	
  people	
  other	
  than	
  the	
  buyer	
  are	
  forced	
  to	
  pay	
  as	
  a	
  result	
  of	
  the	
   transaction.	
  The	
  bearers	
  of	
  such	
  costs	
  can	
  be	
  either	
  particular	
  individuals	
  or	
  society	
  at	
  large.	
  They	
  include	
  things	
   like	
  impact	
  on	
  biodiversity	
  -­‐	
  things	
  that	
  society	
  will	
  likely	
  have	
  to	
  pay	
  for	
  in	
  some	
  way	
  or	
  at	
  some	
  time	
  in	
  the	
  future,	
   but	
  that	
  are	
  not	
  included	
  in	
  transaction	
  prices.	
   	
    	
    16	
    	
   	
    Limit	
  Global	
   Warming	
  Potential	
  	
   	
   	
    Minimize	
  air	
   pollution	
    17	
   Energy	
  consumed	
   during	
  the	
   transportation	
   phase	
    GJ/yr	
    Transportation	
   Requirements	
  	
   	
   	
   	
  	
    	
  GWP/yr	
   Global	
  Warming	
   Potential	
  	
   	
   	
   	
   	
    Equipment	
  Use	
   	
   Equipment	
   required	
  for	
   harvesting?	
  “No”	
   is	
  preferred	
  but	
  if	
   “yes”:	
    	
   	
   	
   	
   	
   	
    	
  	
  	
  Emissions	
  from	
   equipment	
  use	
   measured	
  in	
  CO2	
   equivalence	
   -­‐Particulate	
  matter	
   -­‐Tonnes	
  PM/year	
   (PM)	
   	
   	
   	
   -­‐Nitrogen	
  Dioxide	
   ARP/yr	
   (NO2)	
   	
   -­‐Sulphur	
  Dioxide	
   (SO2)	
   	
    To	
  favour	
  types	
  of	
   transportation	
   that	
  have	
  the	
   lowest	
  watts/km.	
  	
   This	
  would	
  require	
   a	
  comparative	
   analysis	
  between	
   possible	
  types	
  of	
   transport	
  (tug	
   boat,	
  trains,	
   trucks)	
  	
   Minimize	
  Green	
   House	
  Gas	
   (GHG)Emissions	
    Different	
  types	
  of	
   transport	
  have	
  a	
   different	
  energy	
   consumption	
    Minimize	
  Green	
   House	
  Gas	
   (GHG)Emissions	
    CO2	
  is	
  a	
  GHG	
  and	
   thus	
  contributes	
   to	
  global	
  warming	
    Ensure	
  the	
  chosen	
   fuel	
  source	
  does	
   not	
  compromise	
   air	
  quality	
    PM/NO2/SO2	
   pollutants	
  detract	
   from	
  quality	
  of	
  air	
    CO2	
  is	
  a	
  GHG	
  and	
   thus	
  contributes	
   to	
  global	
  warming	
  	
    	
   	
   	
   	
   	
    	
    17	
    	
   	
    18	
    SORTING/CONSOLIDATION	
   PHASE	
   Global	
  warming	
  potential	
    GHG	
  emissions	
   from	
  equipment	
   use	
   	
   	
   	
   	
   	
   Minimize	
  air	
   pollution	
  	
  	
  	
    GWP/yr	
   	
   	
    Minimize	
  GHG	
   emissions	
  that	
   come	
  from	
   processing	
  fuel	
   source	
    CO2	
  is	
  a	
  GHG	
   and	
  thus	
   contributes	
  to	
   global	
  warming	
    ARP/yr	
    Ensure	
  the	
   chosen	
  fuel	
   source	
  does	
  not	
   compromise	
  air	
   quality	
    PM/NO2/SO2	
   pollutants	
   detract	
  from	
   quality	
  of	
  air	
    	
   	
   UBC	
  PHASE	
   Minimize	
  energy	
   consumption	
    Minimize	
  risk	
  to	
   UBC	
  community4	
    Moisture	
  content	
    Rank	
  best	
  to	
  worst	
   Eliminate	
  use	
  of	
   source	
  (1-­‐3)	
   fuel	
  source	
  dryer	
   	
   1:	
  <25%	
   2:	
  25%-­‐45%	
   3:	
  >45%	
    Contaminants	
  in	
   wood	
   	
   	
   	
   	
   	
   	
   	
   	
   	
   	
   	
   Long-­‐term	
   availability	
  of	
    Contaminant	
   potential	
  (Rank	
  1-­‐ 3)	
  	
   1-­‐not	
  likely	
  to	
   have	
  any	
  harmful	
   contaminants	
   2-­‐likely	
  to	
  have	
   harmful	
   contaminants	
   3-­‐very	
  likely	
  to	
   have	
  harmful	
   contaminants	
   	
   Price	
  volatility	
   1-­‐low	
  volatility	
    Minimize	
  social	
   risks	
   	
   	
   	
   	
   	
   	
   	
   	
    Minimize	
  financial	
   risk	
    Higher	
  moisture	
   content	
  requires	
  a	
   belt	
  dryer	
  to	
   reduce	
  moisture	
   content	
  to	
   acceptable	
  levels	
   for	
  the	
  IC	
  engine	
   Effects	
  of	
  burning	
   contaminated5	
   wood	
  are	
   unknown.	
  	
  It	
  is	
   thus	
  important	
  to	
   consider	
  the	
   likelihood	
  of	
   contaminants	
   prior	
  to	
  selecting	
  a	
   fuel	
  source.	
  	
  	
  	
   	
   	
   Fluctuations	
  in	
   market	
    	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   4 5  	
  Community	
  includes	
  UBC	
  operational	
  staff,	
  residents,	
  students,	
  and	
  faculty	
   	
  Examples	
  of	
  potential	
  contaminants:	
  paint,	
  processing	
  chemicals,	
  glues,	
  sulphurous,	
  phosphorous,	
  chemicals	
    	
    	
    18	
    	
   	
    19	
   wood	
   	
   	
    2-­‐medium	
   volatility	
   3-­‐high	
  volatility	
    Reliability	
  of	
   partnership	
  with	
   chosen	
  company	
   	
   	
    	
   Years	
  in	
  industry	
   1	
  –	
  10+	
  years	
  	
   2	
  –	
  5-­‐9	
  years	
   3	
  –	
  0-­‐4	
  years	
   	
   Innovation	
  in	
   Industry	
   1	
  –	
  very	
  innovative	
   2	
  –	
  evident	
  in	
   innovation	
   3	
  –	
  no	
  innovation	
  	
   	
  	
   	
   	
   	
   $/tonne	
    Cost	
    Minimize	
  financial	
   risk	
   	
    Minimize	
  financial	
   risk	
    Minimize	
  negative	
   impacts	
  to	
  UBC	
   community	
   	
   	
    Noise	
  pollution	
   	
   	
   	
    Number	
  of	
   Minimize	
  social	
   trucking	
  trips/year	
   disturbance	
  	
   	
    Minimize	
  air	
   pollution	
    -­‐Particulate	
  matter	
   (PM)	
   	
   -­‐Nitrogen	
  Dioxide	
   (NO2)	
   	
   -­‐Sulphur	
  Dioxide	
   (SO2)	
   	
    -­‐Tonnes	
  PM/year	
   	
   	
   ARP/yr	
   	
    Ensure	
  the	
  chosen	
   fuel	
  source	
  does	
   not	
  compromise	
   air	
  quality	
    supply/demand	
   contribute	
  to	
  price	
   volatility	
  of	
   biomass	
  fuels,	
   which	
  impacts	
   long-­‐term	
   availability	
  of	
  the	
   chosen	
  source	
   The	
  experience	
  of	
   a	
  company	
   informs	
  their	
   knowledge	
  of	
   biomass	
  projects	
   and	
  thus	
   contributes	
  to	
   more	
  efficient	
   work.	
  	
  Efficiency	
   implies	
  a	
  lack	
  of	
   mistakes	
  –	
   mistakes	
  cost	
   money	
  	
  	
    High	
  cost	
  reflects	
   higher	
  financial	
   risk	
    Depending	
  on	
  the	
   number	
  of	
  truck	
   trips	
  required,	
  the	
   residential	
  area	
   along	
  South	
  West	
   Marine	
  Drive6	
   could	
  be	
  disrupted	
  	
   PM/NO2/SO2	
   pollutants	
  detract	
   from	
  quality	
  of	
  air	
    	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   6  	
    	
  South	
  West	
  Marine	
  Drive	
  is	
  the	
  designated	
  truck	
  route	
    19	
    	
   	
    20	
    Appendix 2 	
    Life	
  Cycle	
    Indicator	
    Source	
    	
    	
    Hog	
   Fuel	
    	
   Source	
  Community	
   Jobs	
    	
   	
    1.1	
   	
   minus	
    Value	
  of	
  Wood	
    1.2	
    Fuel	
  Consumption	
   Energy	
  Used	
  	
   Transportation	
  	
   Harvesting	
  	
   Pollution	
  -­‐	
  Acid	
  Rain	
  	
    1.3	
   plus	
  	
   1.4	
   plus	
  	
   1.5	
   plus	
  	
   1.6	
   neutral	
  	
   1.7	
   neutral	
  	
    	
   Consolidator	
    GHG	
  from	
  Equipment	
   use	
  	
   Pollution	
  -­‐	
  Acid	
  Rain	
  	
    	
    2.1	
   2.2	
    Legend	
   	
  	
   Social	
   	
  	
   Environmental	
   	
  	
   Economic	
    MPB	
   	
    plus	
    	
    plus	
  	
    	
    plus	
  	
    plus	
   neutral	
   (unknown)	
   minus	
   minus	
  	
   minus	
  	
   minus	
  	
   minus	
  	
    minus	
  	
   minus	
  	
    Urban	
   	
   minus	
    Municipal	
   	
    plus	
   plus	
   plus	
  	
   plus	
  	
   plus	
   plus	
    	
    plus	
  	
    	
    plus	
  	
    minus	
   plus	
  (justify	
   please)	
   plus	
   neutral	
  	
   neutral	
  	
   plus	
   plus	
    	
    	
    3.1	
   3.2	
   3.3	
   3.4	
   3.5	
   3.6	
   3.7	
   3.8	
    	
   minus	
   	
   plus	
   minus	
   neutral	
   minus	
   neutral	
  	
   minus	
   Neutral	
    plus	
   plus	
   plus	
   minus	
   plus	
   minus	
  	
   plus	
   Neutral	
    	
  neutral	
   	
   minus	
   neutral	
   neutral	
   minus	
   neutral	
  	
   plus	
   minus	
  	
    	
    	
   	
   	
   	
  	
   	
  	
   	
   	
   	
  	
   	
  	
   	
  	
   	
  	
   	
  	
   	
  	
   	
  	
   	
  	
    	
   	
   	
   	
   	
    	
   	
   	
   	
   	
    	
   	
   	
  	
    	
    minus	
  	
    	
  	
   	
   	
    	
   	
    minus	
   plus	
   plus	
   plus	
   neutral	
   plus	
  	
   minus	
  	
   neutral	
    	
  	
   	
  	
   	
  	
   	
  	
   	
  	
   	
  	
   	
  	
   	
  	
    minus	
  	
    	
   UBC	
  Community	
   Minimize	
  Moisture	
   Contaminants	
  in	
  Wood	
   Long	
  Term	
  Viability	
   Years	
  in	
  Industry	
   Innovation	
   Cost	
   Noise	
  Pollution	
   Pollution	
  -­‐	
  Acid	
  Rain	
    	
   	
    20	
    	
  	
   	
   	
  	
   	
   	
   	
   	
   	
  	
   	
   	
   	
  	
   	
   	
  	
   	
   	
    

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