Wood pellet mill

Wood pellet machines might be turning out even more biomass pellets soon as industries begin switching to alternative energy.

In Gainesville, Florida, after a mechanical failure at the city’s municipal utility plant, the city switched to biomass as the main source of energy.

Gainesville Regional Utilities was already planning on switching to biomass but after a plant failure that affected emission control throughout the city, officials are speeding up the switching process.

The energy failure discharged 9,225 gallons of industrially processed water that originally would have been poured into a cooling tower.

“There’s nothing in it that you wouldn’t find in groundwater or water that comes from your tap,” said Ali Leaphart, Gainesville Renewable Energy Center Plant Engineer. The spill did not leave the GREC property.

The switch should likely affect the 93,000 GRU customers in Gainesville and surrounding areas, and plans for no increase in electric rates for utilities.

“This is typical,” said Margaret Crawford, GRU spokeswoman. “This is business as usual in the energy generation business. We have to be ready with the expectation that something could go wrong at anytime.”

Up along the East Coast, two brothers are using a wood pellet machine to assist them with forestry, farming, and milling.

The Brothers, Adam and Matthew Fronczak, live in Maine and own Haymart, a farming and milling operation in town.

They use a wood pellet machine to produce and distribute wood pellets through 16 outlets, including 10 Wal-Mart stores.

“Our mill is set up for dual purposes,” said Adam Fronczak. “Everything is going good,” Matthew added. “Our crops shot right out of the ground this year. All of our barley has come up good.”

Wood pellet mills with biomass pellet machines are sprouting up all across the country as towns, companies, and entire industries switch to biomass fuel. The pellet presses take large pieces of wood and crush them down into tiny pellets that can be used as an efficient source of fuel.

“Switching to wood pellet boilers is the right thing to do, even when oil prices are low,” said Maura Adams, program director for the Northern Forest Center. “Buying local wood pellets is good for our economy just the way buying local food is. Pellets are delivered in bulk and stored on site, then fed automatically to the boiler when heat is needed.

“You’re still heating with wood,” Adams added, “but without all the work.” Continue reading here.

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