TUESDAY, MARCH 29

MORNING KEYNOTERS SESSION
(Rooms B-C)

8:30-8:35 a.m.
Welcoming Remarks and Keynoters Introduction

Rich Donnell, Conference Co-Chairman, Editor-in-Chief, Wood Bioenergy

8:40-9:05 a.m.
Biomass in Arizona (and the 4FRI Factor)
Brad Worsley, President, Novo Power
Brad is president of Novo Power, the only industrial scale biomass facility in Arizona and one of the most successful such facilities in the United States. As the facility has progressed to a high output status, it has become the keystone of restoration efforts on nearly 4 million acres of national forestland in Arizona. Novo Power stands on the edge of opportunity as the U.S. Forest Service has recently announced plans to increase efforts in restoration as part of the Four Forests Restoration Initiative (4FRI), committing to increase restoration efforts by three to four times historic rates. Worsley, comments, “We need to see more utilization of these underutilized assets to attack two of the greatest natural resource issues we now face—fire and water.”

9:10-9:35 a.m.
Drax and the Industrial Pellet Landscape
Matt White, Executive Vice President of Pellet Operations, Drax
Matt leads the North America segment of the UK-based company that has defined the new generation of wood-fueled electricity, carbon emissions reduction and carbon capture. White will address the evolving North America operations as they continue to increase the supply of wood pellets to the power station in North Yorkshire, England. Drax developed and started up three large scale wood pellet plants in the Southern U.S., has recently started up a satellite pellet mill and is building two other satellite pellet mills in the South; and through its purchase of Pinnacle in 2021 added nine pellet plants in Canada and two in the Southern U.S. Drax plans to increase its annual pellet production capacity to 8 million tonnes by 2030 from around 4 million tonnes currently and is doubling global pellet sales to 4Mt by 2030 to meet an expected increase in global demand for the low-carbon fuel. The former Pinnacle and Drax Biomass North America operations are currently rebranding as Drax.

9:40-10:05 a.m.
Current and Future Applications and Growth Opportunities of Sustainable Biomass
Thomas Meth, CCO and Co-Founder, Enviva
Sustainable biomass is the only renewable energy source that provides vital dispatchable power and heat today. But as we look to the future, it will continue to expand into new applications such as decarbonizing heavy industry. Heavy industry is the hardest sector to abate for net zero. Woody biomass can serve as a replacement for fossil fuels in cement, lime and steel production. Woody biomass can also play a huge role in the Net-Zero Solution. Woody biomass can supply much-needed negative emissions technology through bioenergy with carbon capture and storage. Thomas, who is a repeat speaker at the Wood Bioenergy Conference & Expo, will provide a big picture outlook for the world’s larger producer of industrial wood pellets.

MID-MORNING KEYNOTERS SESSION
(Rooms B-C)

10:35-10:40 a.m.
Remarks and Introduction

Jessica Johnson, Managing Editor, Wood Bioenergy

10:45-11:10 a.m.
Taking Risks Today to Advance Bioenergy for Tomorrow
Peter Madden, President and CEO, U.S. Endowment for For Forestry and Communities
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities is the forest sectors venture specialist. The Endowment collaborates with public and private sector partners to advance systemic, transformative and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-reliant communities. It invests deliberately in carefully chosen significant projects and sticks with them until through the desired results. Partnerships are essential to achieve big outcomes and the Endowment revels in being “bridge builders.” It embraces risk and takes pride in tackling what others can’t or won’t. When possible, it favors market-based approaches to drive outcomes. The Endowment has invested more than $20 million to prove out the commercial viability of producing bioenergy with the torrefaction of woody biomass to benefit restoration thinning efforts in the Northwest. The Endowment works with partners to understand mine reclamation efforts utilizing biochar and the possibilities of carbon capture and storage. The Endowment has partnered with AFRY to advance the knowledge-base of the cost structure and challenges of transforming domestic coal-fired power plants to utilizing bioenergy.

11:15-11:40 a.m.
Strategic Biofuels—Cellulosic Biofuels—A Commercial Reality
Stan Parton, VP Forestry, Strategic Biofuels, LLC
The hottest project in biofuels is Louisiana Green Fuels and the renewable diesel operation its parent company, Strategic Biofuels, is building at the Port of Columbia in Caldwell Parish, La. The Louisiana Green Fuels project demonstrates cellulosic biofuel production deployed at industrial scale with low technical risk and strong economic returns. Stan’s presentation will provide an update of the Louisiana Green Fuels project development including: economic captured by the project; project scope and process modules; and state of project development.

11:45 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.
Timber Supply and Outlook
Amanda Hamsley Lang, COO & Vice President of Client Services, FORISK Consulting
Amanda discusses the implications of timber supply trends on local markets, with impacts from mill capital investments. It includes updates on announced mill openings and expansions and potential impacts of these on timber and residual supplies moving forward. The presentation also provides an update on timber market dynamics and how these impact wood demand and timber supply. In addition, the talk includes a discussion of forest carbon offsets.

AFTERNOON KEYNOTERS SESSION
(Rooms B-C)

1:25-1:30 p.m.
Remarks and Introduction

—Dan Shell, Senior Editor, Wood Bioenergy

1:35-2:00 p.m.
Past, Present and Future of the Wood Pellet Industry
—Harold Arnold, President, Fram Renewable Fuels
Over the past years the wood pellet industry has evolved, and there have been many changes in the present markets in Asia and Europe and there will be changes in the future markets. One of the pioneers of the modern era industrial wood pellet industry, Harold addresses these timelines and developments from the point of view of one of the first producers and exporters of industrial wood pellets in the United States.

2:05-2:30 p.m.
Industrial Wood Pellet Markets: Pellet Fuel Is a Significant Part of the Strategy to Decarbonize the Power Sector in Many Countries. What About the U.S.?
—William Strauss, President and Founder, FutureMetrics
Global trade in wood pellets used as a replacement for coal for power generation (“industrial” pellets) will be about 23 million metric tons in 2021. England, Western Europe, Japan and South Korea are the major importers. The world’s largest exporter is the U.S., projected at 8 million tonnes in 2021. Yet the U.S. uses zero tonnes in U.S. power generation stations. This presentation provides an overview of the global markets including a discussion of the policies that support the use of pellet fuel and the potential for use in the U.S. It also discusses the carbon benefits of displacing coal with sustainably produced pellet fuel and the potential for carbon negative power generation with the use of bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS). The presentation also addresses advances in thermal treatment technologies (torrefaction and steam explosion) that produce a solid fuel that has handling and storage characteristics similar to coal.

2:35-3:00 p.m.
Converting Coal Power Plants to Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) – Economic Reality or Sustainability Risk?
—Pedro Campilho, Principal, Bioenergy Consulting, AFRY
The conversion of coal power stations to biomass presents a real opportunity to phase out carbon intensive energy generation and transition to carbon neutral energy systems. With the addition of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology such projects can become a game changer in the ambition to reach the goal of net zero carbon societies as BECCS projects can deliver real net negative emission profiles, balancing other sectors with decarbonization constrains. A diligent assessment of the availability of sustainable biomass fuel resources, of the suitability of available technology routes, of capital and operating cost requirements, of the availability of suitable CO2 storage options and of their economic viability are a prerequisite for developing and implementing successful and sustainable BECCS projects.

CONCURRRENT SESSIONS

FIRE PREVENTION
(ROOM A)

3:35-4:00 p.m.
Explosion Mitigation and Prevention Solutions for Bioenergy Facilities
—Bernardo Sanson, Sales Engineer, CV Technology
As biomass and bioenergy operations have evolved so have the mitigation strategies. Passive and active mitigation systems can be integrated for protection solutions designed for the unique hazard of biomass materials. Several different applications are explored in a case study fashion to see how different mitigation technology is applied to bucket elevators, dryer systems, mill systems, and conveyors. Challenges, solutions, and real-world installations are discussed in detail.

4:05-4:30 p.m.
Recent Advancements in Spark Detection Better Protect Your Greenfield Startup
—Jeff Nichols, Managing Partner, Industrial Fire Prevention
How the most recent advancements in spark detection system technology, design, application and training help prevent fires in the biomass greenfield project startup.

RAW MATERIALS
(ROOM B)

3:35-4:00 p.m.
What is EPA RFS (Renewable Fuel Standard) Compliant Wood?
—Larry Sullivan, Bioenergy & Biochemical Sector Sales Manager, Forest2Market
The federal US Energy Independence and Security Act in 2007 set peculiar EPA limits and definitions on both biomass and volumes. Forest2Market is a world leader in forestry resource assessments and consulting. This presentation examines the legislative intent behind the limits and definitions. The DOE and other federal agencies had roles in the 2005 Billion Ton Study and subsequent Billion Ton Report in 2011, which EPA used in promulgating RFS rules in 2012. EPA RFS compliant forestry rules are examined in the context of legislative intent.

4:05-4:30 p.m.
Alternatives to Wood in Energy Pellet Production: Vines, Veggies Stalks, and Various Dedicated Energy Crops
—Wendy Owens, CEO, Hexas Biomass LLC
The push to mitigate waste is not limited to what is tossed in a garbage can. It also includes food and water waste mitigation and reaches all the way upstream to farms. For every 1 kg of food produced there is 1.5 kg of agricultural residue which in the past was burned or let to rot. The new trend is toward using this residue, as well as dedicated biomass crops that do not compete for farmland with food crops, to produce energy pellets to supplement wood energy pellets and coal for energy production. This presentation will discuss the uses of, markets for, and pros and cons of integrating agriculture residue and bioenergy crops into industrial energy production.

4:35-5:00 p.m.
Power from Biomass 2.0

—Jeff White, President, ESI
Utilization of biomass as a fuel to produce various forms of energy is very much a proven technology; however, in recent years new plant construction has been minimal with existing plants electing to close for multiple reasons. Biomass to generate steam and power in key markets such as pulp, paper and wood products has been around for over 60 years. Looking ahead to 2023-2025 and beyond the industry is seeing a mini renaissance in using biomass as a renewable fuel. Projects are underway for using these biomass generated fuels to replace diesel fuel and jet fuel as carbon free forms of energy. Global oil, gas, and chemical companies are committing billions to produce renewable fuels and chemicals as a component of their decarbonization strategies and targets. As the investments and infrastructure is developed to produce these carbon neutral fuels, lets revisit the role of biomass to provide energy for these renewable fuel plants. While the economics of biomass to steam and power has been challenging over the past 20 years, recent legislation is enabling biomass to be eligible for credits to offset the costs of biomass. Renewable energy credits, 45Q, Carbon Index and other incentives provide for additional revenue streams that increase the viability of using biomass as a fuel to support decarbonization and renewable fuels. This presentation will address some of the key technical and commercial considerations to Biomass 2.0.

AIR TREATMENT
(ROOM C)

3:35-4:00 p.m.
Latest in WESP-RTO Installation Designs and Alternate Solutions
—Jaymie Deemer, President, Nestec Inc.
Since the early 1990s RTOs have been used to control air emissions at forest products operations. The addition of a wet electrostatic precipitator prior to the RTO was later added to reduce the total particulate matter (TPM) into the RTO. Many of the issues and problems associated with the WESP and/or RTOs have been addressed and included in the latest WESP-RTO designs to reduce and/or eliminate the issues and associated costs with: caustic carryover to the RTO during the WESP flushing stage; misalignment of WESP electrodes over time; poor WESP uniform air flow tube entry and reduced TPM efficiency; RTO flow control valve leakage and lone term reliability; RTO heat recovery media support failures due to over stress; RTO non uniform air flow and reduced thermal energy recovery (TER). Alternate system solutions with the use of advanced multi-cyclone and WESP combination prior to the RTO and RCO combination are also available with potential savings.

4:05-4:30 p.m.
RCO Catalyst Monitoring and Maintenance
—Grigorii Bunimovich, Owner and COO, Matros Technologies
Using catalysts in regenerative oxidizers controlling HAPs and VOC emissions after hammermill and pelletizer processes enables substantial savings in natural gas. Additional benefits include reduction in NOx and CO2 emissions. This presentation discusses application of base-metal catalyst comprising manganese oxides over alumina. Two large regenerative oxidizers have been using the catalyst for more than eight years. Dozens of RCOs have been put into operation in 2017-2021. The catalyst has demonstrated high efficiency for removal of methanol, formaldehyde and other HAPs and VOCs along with exceptional thermal resistance and high durability. One of the advanced features is the possibility for substantial extension of catalyst service time via regeneration through online RCO bakeout. Testing catalyst samples collected from the RCO every year is primary tool for catalyst performance monitoring. This presentation discusses catalyst testing techniques applied by Matros Technologies’ lab. The express testing of small catalyst batches in stirred reactor fed with model VOCs are used for quick evaluating of catalyst activity. New tubular reactor unit provides testing of large catalyst batches with actual compounds of interest within wide temperature range. The presentation offers examples of testing of removal efficiency for methanol and alpha-pinene over fresh base-metal catalyst as well as aged samples collected from long-served pellet plant RCOs.

4:35-5:00 p.m.
Specifying and Selecting the Right Pollution Control System for Your Pellet Plant
—Jarrad Markley, APC Product Manager, TSI
TSI (traditionally a dryer/finishing line supplier) entered into the pollution control business in 2012 when Jarrad joined the company. The vertical integration of TSI (now a supplier of complete dryer islands) has highlighted the intertwined relationship between heat energy systems, dryer systems, and pollution control in ways that have not been scrutinized in the past. This presentation is a highlight of those relationships as well as some general guidelines for selecting pollution control systems that will be reliable for years to come.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30
SUPPLIER KEYNOTERS SESSION
(ROOMS B-C)

8:30-8:35 a.m.
Welcoming Remarks and Keynoters Introduction
—Jessica Johnson, Managing Editor, Wood Bioenergy

8:40-9:05 a.m.
Latest Advances in NFPA Compliant Material Handling
—Dane Floyd, Principal, Biomass Engineering & Equipment
BE&E has experienced tremendous organizational and project growth in the past two years. This presentation focuses on the latest developments in dust tight, efficient, safe and NFPA compliant material handling systems. Everyone is short on laborers so it is ever more important to reduce the manpower required for cleanup and maintenance. The presentation will demonstrate how a mill can achieve those goals while also reducing power demands, creating a multi-level payback.

9:10-9:35 a.m.
Development of Steam Exploded Pellet Facility in North America
—Tyler Player, President, Player Design Inc.
PDI has successfully produced steam exploded wood pellets in its Ashland, Maine facility on behalf of Active Energy Group. The reactor design, overall process setup, and fuel analysis will all be discussed. AEG has announced a new facility in Ashland to produce 70,000 tons per year of steam exploded pellets and is actively seeking partners to replicate the operation elsewhere.

9:40-10:05 a.m.
Breaking Down the Complexity of Delivering Capital Projects
—Bijan Shams, President, Cogent Industrial Technologies
Whether it’s greenfield, expansion or modernization, successful delivery of a capital project is a challenging and complex task. Not only does the project have to be carefully executed to meet the capital team objectives on time and on budget, but must also integrate process safety, reliability, efficiency and operability to ensure success within an industry where experienced personnel are hard to find. This presentation identifies the challenges and key actions needed to deliver a successful project while managing all stakeholders’ expectations.

CONCURRENT SESSIONS

RAW MATERIALS
(ROOM A)

10:35-11:00 a.m.
Water Reuse in the Bioenergy Sector
—Rakesh Govind, Ph.D., President, PRD Tech, Inc
Bioenergy production and use have both positive and negative environmental and socio-economic impacts, which includes detrimental impacts with respect to water. Water is already a scarce resource in many parts of the world. The expansion and intensification of bioenergy production could make water scarcity worse. The most recent Global Environment Outlook (GEO4) estimates that by 2025 two-thirds of the global population will live in areas experiencing water stress, where periodic or limited water shortages will occur. The production of biofuels for transport has expanded rapidly in recent years, driven by concerns about climate change, oil price volatility and dependency on imports for energy security, as well as options for rural development and income generation. Agriculture accounts for about 70% of global freshwater withdrawals from rivers, lakes and aquifers. Since bioenergy is largely dependent on biomass production, expected growth trends will lead to increasing competition and pressures on water resources. A systematic strategy will be presented for on-site water treatment, recycle and reuse. Water reuse is the single most important strategy to combat water scarcity, and coupled with wastewater treatment can provide sufficient water for agriculture and bioenergy production. Strategies for treating the wastewater to meet the final use specifications will also be presented. These strategies include accelerated biotreatment coupled with membrane separation, advanced oxidation and ozone treatment. On-site, compact, energy-efficient treatment plants, utilizing a combination of these strategies, and treating domestic and industrial wastewaters, enables treatment, recycle and reuse of water, thereby minimizing net water consumption.

11:05-11:30 a.m.
Start with the Fuel
—Ray Ganga, Senior Staff Consulting Engineer, Wellons, Inc.
Proper use and application of biomass fuels, including agricultural and animal waste sources, requires an understanding of each individual fuel’s specific characteristics, and how these individual characteristics impact their use as a boiler fuel source. Basic principles are presented for the characterization and evaluation of individual biomass fuel sources. The emphasis of the presentation is encapsulated in the phrase—Start with the Fuel. Issues discussed include technology development to meet the requirements of a project based on challenging available fuels.

11:35 a.m.-Noon
Innovative Solutions for Improved Wood Pellet Manufacturing
—Tom Thorn, Commercial Manager, Energy Division, Arkema-ArrMaz
As the world continues to move toward more sustainable sources of energy such as wood pellets, pellet producers need to keep pace with this increasing demand by finding ways to ensure maximum production efficiency in a safe, economical manner. One solution to these problems is wood pellet additives that improve production rates and lower dust generation while maintaining pellet quality. This presentation will discuss wood pellet additives as one alternative to reduce energy consumption during the pelletizing process, increase pellet mill throughput and mitigate airborne dust throughout the wood pellet production, storage, and supply chain. Performance data of additives specifically developed for these purposes will also be presented.

DEVELOPING TECHNOLOGIES
(ROOM B)

10:35-11:00 a.m.
Advancement in WESP Design for Dryer Particulate Control
—Rodney Schwartz, Senior Vice President, Dürr Systems
Dürr went out and spoke to customers about what they liked and didn’t like about current WESP designs and operation, brought the information back, and are now ready to introduce a new WESP product addressing the feedback received. This presentation highlights specific design enhancements, and once again reinforces the power of utilizing a to-scale pilot unit to prove out the concepts and ideas before bringing them to the market.

11:05-11:30 a.m.
Torrefaction for an Emerging Market
—Andrew Johnson, Vice President, TSI
TSI has been an early developer of torrefaction technology (a method of roasting woody biomass to densify energy content). However, the applications and demand for torrefied product have been slow to develop and technology solutions have featured a variety of approaches, some more successful than others. This presentation is an update on TSI torrefaction technology and how it is adapting, and being adopted, to meet emerging demand in various markets.

11:35 a.m.-Noon
RCOs for Wood Dryer VOC Control—Why Not?
—Steve Jaasund, Geoenergy Products Manager, LDX Solutions LLC
Until now VOC emissions from wood-fired wood dryers have been largely controlled by regenerative thermal oxidizers, commonly known as RTOs. Yet it is known that regenerative catalytic oxidizers or RCOs offer significant operating cost savings. Unfortunately, the use of cost saving RCOs in lieu RTOs has been prevented by concerns with the particulate content in wood-fired dryer gas streams and the negative effect that the particulate content could have on the catalyst. This presentation explores the use of RCO technology on these dryer applications through the adaptation of upstream gas cleaning technologies and evaluates the economic benefits of this approach.

PROCESS OPTIMIZATION
(ROOM C)

10:35-11:00 a.m.
Digital Twins Using Machine Learning for Optimization in the Sustainable Biomaterials Industries
—Timothy Young, Ph.D., Professor/Data Scientist, University of Tennessee
Machine learning and AI are revolutionizing manufacturing and the general business world. For the sustainable biomaterial industries, it is the newest technology to optimize processes, reduce costs, and ensure long-term business success. The concept of Industry 4.0, with its origins from Germany, attempts to broadly define the new industrial revolution as an “information-intensive transformation of manufacturing in a connected environment of big data, people, processes, services, and systems as a way to realize smart manufacturing.” One key technology in ensuring success in implementing Industry 4.0 is supervised machine learning. Supervised machine learning enables analyses of massive quantities of data where learning algorithms (e.g., random forests, boosted trees, etc.) apply what they learn from past data to new data to predict future events. A key first step in implementing machine learning and AI is implementing the concept of “digital twins.” Digital twins mimic processes and human interactions by using simulations of the machine learning predictions. For example, a control room operator relies on PLC logic from sensor data and human intuition from experience to optimize throughput while maintaining product conformance. A digital twin from machine learning algorithms mimics the decisions of control room operators for validation and may provide enlightenment for improved process optimization.

11:05-11:30 a.m.
Increase Throughput and Profitability Through IoT Data-Driven Moisture Control
—Jason Kovacik, Sales Manager, Finna Sensors
A critical variable in the manufacturing process, moisture content can have a significant impact on throughput and profitability. Uncontrolled, moisture content will negatively impact your process, resulting in waste, downtime and poor quality. This presentation addresses an enhanced reliable moisture measurement method with an Industry 4.0 upgrade—actionable IoT data, remote diagnostics and upgrades, as well as predictive maintenance, adding value to drive your operation toward increased uptime, quality and profit.