CARROT RIVER — Edgewood Forest Products in Carrot River is planning to phase out its beehive burner, replacing it with a biorefinery to convert sawmill waste into bioproducts like biochar, wood tar and essential oils.
“Our goal is to utilize our waste streams in a way that we’re not just incinerating them in the burner,” said Trevor Reid, Edgewood Forest Products’ general manager. “This entity is going to be built adjacent to our site and sort of managed as a joint venture.”
The biorefinery should be in full operation by October 2023.
Beehive burners are used to dispose of waste wood in logging yards and sawdust from sawmills by incineration, and as a result produce a large quantity of smoke and ash emissions which are released to the atmosphere. The burners are considered to be a major source of air pollution and have been phased out in most areas, while others have outlawed them outright.
With the new biorefinery, sawmill waste will be converted into saleable products while also reducing the carbon footprint and emissions. A slow combustion process called pyrolysis will be used to convert the biomass into solid, stable and long-lasting carbon products as well as high value chemicals and clean producer gas.
Phase I construction on the new biorefinery is planned to start May 2022 and be completed the following fall with one production line. The production line will be used to produce biochar. The biorefinery is expected to require up to 10 new employees to operate.
Phase II construction is expected to begin May 2023 and be completed by October 2023, with a capacity for four production lines. At the completed stage, it’s planned to produce wood vinegar, essential oils, wood tars and pyrolysis gas. After this phase, the biorefinery will add up to five additional employees.
Up to 40 new jobs are expected to be needed during construction.
Edgwood Forest Products stated that the biorefinery is not expected to generate significant noise or significant odour, and is expected to improve air quality relative to the beehive burner.
The project is a joint venture between Edgewood Forest Products’ parent company Dunkley Lumber, BC Biocarbon, and Clean Energy Consulting Inc.