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Biofuels Combustion & Wood Boiler Policy Symposium

A symposium on biofuels combustion and wood boiler policy background on will be held during the Northeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society at SUNY Potsdam on Thursday, June 3, at 1 p.m.

Given the recent local interest in proposed DEC rules on wood boilers and the likelihood that EPA will enact similar rules soon, village, town and county officials for example may wish to attend the symposium to get additional information.

Philip K. Hopke, Bayard D. Clarkson Distinguished Professor and the director of the Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science at Clarkson University, and Ellen Burkhard, senior project manager at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), are the session organizers.

For registration information, please see

Here is a description of the Solid Biofuel Combustion: Efficiency and Emissions symposium:

There is an increasing interest in the combustion of solid biofuels (i.e., wood pellets, wood chips, crop pellets) to mitigate global warming and reduce costs relative to fossil fuels.

Conventional outdoor wood boilers waste more than half the energy of wood fuel and emit significant amounts of pollutants. Advanced wood-boiler units developed in Europe can achieve thermal efficiencies greater than 80 percent and produce less than five percent of the particulate emissions of inefficient wood boilers typically used in the U.S.

These advanced systems are commonly called staged-combustion or gasification boilers. There are state-of-the-art combustion systems that provide high thermal efficiency and greatly reduced emissions, but they have not been widely used or characterized for their performance in the United States.

To respond for the interest in these systems, studies have been initiated across the northeastern states to characterize existing boilers as well as the newer designed high-efficiency systems.

This symposium will bring together researchers who are currently involved in the study of wood combustion systems and their impacts on emissions. The results of studies on both conventional and advanced boiler systems will be presented and provide the opportunity for researchers in this field to share results with each other.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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