Podcast with Dr. Gary Bull on bioenergy, wood pellets, and what’s next for the industry

Photo credit: Wood Pellet Association of Canada 

UBC’s Dr. Gary Bull on the uses and potential of bioenergy

This episode of The Construction Record podcast digital media editor Warren Frey interviews The University of British Columbia’s Department of Forest Resources Management professor Gary Bull about the potential and current use of bioenergy.

What is bioenergy or biomass?

Bioenergy or biomass is the waste product left over after forestry operations, and is finding a second life as wood pellets which can be used to power both large-scale and residential projects.

Bull discusses the innovative uses for wood pellets as an energy source in Europe as well as advancements in British Columbia and the potential to supply Asia with a sustainable, environmentally friendly fuel source rather than its current dependence on coal-fired electricity.

The interview covers a lot of ground including

  • How is biomass used?
  • How does Canada compare to other countries in the adoption of biomass?
  • What are the major opportunities for using renewable fuel like pellets at home and around the world?
  • As a renewable energy source, how do pellets compare to solar or wind?
  • Trees capture carbon, how does the industry address the carbon once the pellets are burned for fuel?
  • Can you retrofit old buildings for biomass?
  • What is the future of pellets?
Listen to the podcast
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Interior daytime view of low rise mass timber constructed UBC Bioenergy Research and Demo Facility showing a group of engineers sitting at a desk surrounded by wood paneling walls and ceilings supported by large Glue-laminated timber (Glulam) beams and columns
UBC Bioenergy Research Demonstration Facility

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Interior daytime view of Northern Lights College Energy House showing Douglas-fir and western red cedar wood used for the tongue-and-groove ceiling millwork, wood-finished walls and glue-laminated timber (glulam) cabinetry and counters
Northern Lights College Energy House

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Exterior nighttime view of UBC Campus Energy Centre with transparent glass design and glue-laminated timber (glulam) post and beam frame, with cross-laminated timber (CLT) enclosed walls and roof
UBC Campus Energy Centre

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