Mariposa Biomass Project

I am one of the leaders of a Mariposa citizens group that is exploring the idea of a woody biomass reactor facility in Mariposa County and have started the Mariposa Biomass Project.  Such a facility would use slash from forest thinning projects for the generation of bioenergy and commercial byproducts.  The facility would attract new industries to the County, create jobs and produce a revenue stream that can help finance forest thinning projects.

Much of the impetus for this project is the growing recognition that we need to reduce the fuel load in our forests to improve forest health and increase fire safety.   

We have now received approval for a grant from the Statewide Wood Energy Team for a Prefeasibility Opportunity Scan!  The results of the Scan will include an assessment of available vegetative material for the facility as well as information on economic feasibility.  We expect that the economic feasibility of the plant will be supported by the market for low cost electricity and biochar, a byproduct of the gasification process. Biochar is a fine-grained charcoal like substance that can be sold as a soil amendment that improves agricultural productivity while effectively sequestering the carbon from the biomass in the ground for hundreds, if not thousands of years, making forest thinning much more acceptable to environmental groups concerned with climate change.