Boilers | Biomass Boilers | Hurst Boiler

Boiler Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions at Hurst Boiler.

Why is Renewable Energy from Biomass Considered Carbon Neutral?
Why Biomass?
Who will install and maintain my Hurst Boiler system?
What is Low Nox?
What is LEED Certified?
What is Forest Management?
What are the advantages of using wood biomass?
What are Renewable Biomass and Gasification Technologies?
What are Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Offsets?
What are Biofuels?


Why is Renewable Energy from Biomass Considered Carbon Neutral?

What are Renewable Biomass and Gasification Technologies?


Why Biomass?

Fossil fuel costs are at an all time high, without any relief in sight, making renewable energy the fuel source of the future. Imagine being in control of your energy costs and not having to rely on a fuel source that is seemingly out of control and uncertain.


Who will install and maintain my Hurst Boiler system?

Your system will be installed by a Hurst trained plumbing and heating contractor from your region. That contractor will also service and maintain your system.


What is Low Nox?

Nox is the generic term for a group of highly reactive gases, all of which contain nitrogen and oxygen in varying amounts. Many of the nitrogen oxides are colorless and odorless. However, one common pollutant, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) along with particles in the air can often be seen as a reddish-brown layer over many urban areas.

Nitrogen oxides form when fuel is burned at high temperatures, as in a combustion process. The primary sources of Nox are motor vehicles, electric utilities, andother industrial, commercial, and residential sources that burn fuels.

Nox forms when fuel is burned at high temperatures, as in a combustion process. The primary sources of Nox are motor vehicles, electric utilities, and other industrial, commercial, and residential sources that burn fuels. Utilities: 27% Motor Vehicle: 49% Industrial/Commercial/Residential: 19% All Other Sources: 5%.


What is LEED Certified?

LEED is an internationally recognized certification system that measures how well a building or community performs across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship or resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED provides building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

LEED is flexible enough to apply to all building types – commercial as well as residential. It works throughout the building lifecycle – construction, operation and maintenance, tenant fitout, and significant retrofit. And LEED for Neighborhood Development extends the benefits of LEED beyond the building footprint into the neighborhood it serves.


What is Forest Management?

Forest management can lead to cleaner air, safer communities and lower firefighting costs, yet its greatest value may lie in addressing carbon neutrality and what it keeps hidden underground.

Managing forests helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It lowers the threat and severity of wildfire, a significant source of avoidable emissions. It also keeps fossil fuels underground.

Research has shown that active forest management can provide significantly greater carbon benefits than management strategies that set forests aside in reserves. While young reserved and managed forests sequester, or remove from the atmosphere and store, roughly the same amount of carbon in standing trees, actively managed forests can provide the additional benefit of offsetting fossil-fuel use by producing low-carbon energy from forest and sawmill residues.

Managing forests to reduce fuel loads provides immediate dividends. Fewer fuels means less-intense wildfire, greater firefighter safety, lesser environmental consequence and fewer greenhouse gas emissions. There's great carbon benefit right there – emissions avoided and standing carbon protected – by capturing the thinnings that might otherwise have gone up in smoke and using them to generate energy can be an added plus.

When forests are thinned, the harvested biomass or branches, brush and small trees can be chipped and used to produce energy. Biomass energy takes carbon that is above ground – wood chips – and keeps it above ground by burning it in power plants to produce electricity. Biomass energy is carbon neutral because no more carbon is released producing energy than would be if the vegetation were to simply decay.

Burning fossil fuels, conversely, takes carbon that was stored safely underground and releases it to the atmosphere. Burning fossil fuels increases carbon emissions every time.

Forest management can reduce emissions from wildfire and burning fossil fuels because every megawatt generated from biomass can replace a megawatt generated from emission-spewing fossil fuels. Substituting biomass energy, a byproduct of sustainable forest management, for coal-fired energy could reduce carbon footprints worldwide.


What are the advantages of using wood biomass?

Wood fuel has several environmental advantages compared with fossil fuels. Wood can be continually replenished, which leads to a sustainable and dependable supply. However, proper forest management must be practiced to ensure that growing conditions are not degraded during biomass production.

There is little net production of carbon dioxide from wood combustion, because the CO2 generated during combustion of wood equals the CO2 consumed during the lifecycle of the tree. Transporting the material using petroleum generates excess CO2.

Wood fuel contains minimal heavy metals and extremely low levels of sulfur; wood fuel is no threat to acid rain pollution. Particulate emissions from wood are controllable through standard emission control devices such as bag houses, cyclone separators, and electronic precipitators. Bottom ash is minimal. Usually, wood ash is less than 1% of the weight of the wood, and sometimes ash may be used as a fertilizer.

The principal economic advantage of wood-burning systems is that wood fuel is usually less expensive than competing fossil fuels. However, the price of wood for use as fuel can be extremely variable. Sometimes when surplus supplies of wood residues are available at nearby forest product manufacturing plants or municipal solid waste handling facilities, the cost can be very low or even negative. Transportation for delivering from the supply site to the wood combustion or wood processing unit is the primary expense of wood fuel.


What are Renewable Biomass and Gasification Technologies?

Gasification
Gasification is a process that converts carbonaceous materials such as biomass into carbon monoxide and hydrogen by reacting the raw material at high temperatures with a controlled amount of oxygen and/or steam. The resulting gas mixture is called synthesis gas or “syngas.”

CHP
Combined heat and power (CHP), also known as cogeneration, is an efficient, clean, and reliable approach to generating power and thermal energy from biomass. By installing a CHP system designed to meet the thermal and electrical base loads of a facility, CHP can greatly increase the facility's operational efficiency and decrease energy costs. At the same time, CHP reduces the emission of greenhouse gases, which contribute to global climate change.

Anaerobic Digestion
Anaerobic digestion is a series of processes in which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. It is widely used to treat wastewater sludges and organic wastes because, in addition to producing biogas, it provides volume and mass reduction of the input material.

Pyrolysis
Pyrolysis is a thermal decomposition process that occurs at moderate temperatures with a high heat transfer rate to the biomass particles and a short hot vapor residence time in the reaction zone. Fast pyrolysis of biomass produces a liquid product, pyrolysis oil or bio-oil that can be readily stored and transported.

Advanced Biofuels
Advanced biofuels are renewable fuels derived from renewable biomass that achieve a 50 percent greenhouse gas emissions reduction over conventional biofuels. The definition of advanced biofuels include cellulosic biofuels, biomass-based diesel, biobutanol, green gasoline and other proven and potential renewable transportation fuels.


What are Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Offsets?

A greenhouse gas (GHG) offset, sometimes referred to as a carbon offset, is a tradable commodity representing a unit of GHG emissions reduction or avoidance. Typically, a GHG offset represents a reduction or avoidance of one metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). GHG offsets may be purchased by consumers and businesses to “offset” their own emissions, such as those associated with electricity consumption, product manufacturing processes, automobile use, and air travel. GHG offsets can be derived from a variety of project types that reduce or avoid GHG emissions, with diverse methods for measuring these reductions. Examples of GHG reduction projects include renewable electricity generation, energy efficiency measures, methane capture at landfill sites, soil carbon sequestration, and reforestation projects. Developers of these project types can sell GHG offsets to consumers or businesses to help finance their projects.


What are Biofuels?

Liquid fuels derived from plant, animal, or other organic matter (biomass).