Just last year, archeaologists found evidence that pre-humans burned wood as long ago as two million years. Since prehistoric times, people have relied on wood for fuel. In recent years, there’s been growing interest in using woody biomass, a renewable energy source, as an alternative to fossil fuel.
The Wood2Energy project grew from the need to assess the state of the science and technology for using woody biomass for energy and to identify facilities that already use wood as a fuel source. In 2008, the University of Tennessee Center for Renewable Carbon started the project with funding from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities and other founding members, including the U.S Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory and Southern Research Station.
One of the objectives of the project was to develop a database of industrial facilities in the United States and Canada that use wood as a fuel source. The resulting Wood2Energy database provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date information base of its type. Such information is vital to making the planning and business decisions needed to expand uses of wood for energy while protecting the long-term sustainability of North American forests.
The Wood2Energy system includes data on energy produced from wood on-site as a byproduct of a primary manufacturing process, such as residues produced by sawmills or pulp and paper mills–the largest single producers of energy from woody biomass. The database also includes the growing number of facilities dedicated to conversion of wood to energy.
The system is continuously updated to ensure that it is as comprehensive as is practical. The primary method to access the database is through options available on database main web page. Information is available in tabular as well as map form.
The system also includes a means for individual facilities to update their information to ensure the most up-to-date data is available.