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Thread: Carbon Neutral Maple Syrup

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
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    Lanark Ontario
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    65

    Default Carbon Neutral Maple Syrup

    Yes, it is possible, even if you have a wood-fired evaporator. Currently we are the only net-zero maple syrup producer in the world, a distinction that is not something that we wish to maintain given the threat of climate change to maple syrup producers.


    Information on how you can decarbonize your maple syrup operation is available from the Net-Zero page at https://www.spiritintheforest.ca

    Suggest you start with the PDF presentation https://www.renaud.ca/public/MapleSy...aple_Syrup.pdf
    and if you are interested, please read the white paper (both available in both English and French).

    There is also a bilingual toolbox (Excel spreadsheet) that can make it easier for you to do the sequestration and carbon emission calculations.


    If you are a member of the Ontario Maple Syrup Producer's Association, please contact me so that I can register your interest in decarbonizing your production with our climate change committee.

    Si vous êtes membres de la Fédération Acéricole de Québec, contactez-moi pour m’aider faire une introduction avec la Fédération.

    If you are a member of another association, please ask your association climate change rep to contact me about coordinating net-zero participation with us, also let me know who you have contacted to facilitate making an introduction to your association.


    Paul Renaud (paul@espritdanslaforet.ca)
    Last edited by PaulRenaud; 09-23-2021 at 03:12 PM.
    Eastern Ontario (Lanark Highlands)
    http://www.espritdanslaforet.ca or http://www.spiritintheforest.ca

    Canada's First Net Zero GHG Emissions Maple Syrup Producer
    Waterloo 18" x 5' wood fired evaporator

    2021 - 92 taps on buckets & gravity lines, 750 L storage
    2020 - 75 taps on buckets, 750 L online storage, 400 L in offline buckets
    2019 - 34 taps, 400 L storage
    2018 - 12 taps, 100 L storage

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Lanark Ontario
    Posts
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    Default

    After reading at least the presentation, if you are a maple syrup producer you are welcome to participate in our online survey of interest in net-zero maple syrup.

    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8XBB2QM
    Eastern Ontario (Lanark Highlands)
    http://www.espritdanslaforet.ca or http://www.spiritintheforest.ca

    Canada's First Net Zero GHG Emissions Maple Syrup Producer
    Waterloo 18" x 5' wood fired evaporator

    2021 - 92 taps on buckets & gravity lines, 750 L storage
    2020 - 75 taps on buckets, 750 L online storage, 400 L in offline buckets
    2019 - 34 taps, 400 L storage
    2018 - 12 taps, 100 L storage

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Williston, VT
    Posts
    439

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRenaud View Post
    Yes, it is possible, even if you have a wood-fired evaporator.
    I'm skeptical that you can be carbon-neutral without being wood-fired, unless you have a 100% solar-powered electric evaporator.

    I understand (but I admit to be no expert) that burning wood is by definition carbon-neutral since wood is already part of the carbon cycle in the environment. When a tree dies it is no longer sequestering carbon and it starts the process of releasing the carbon back into the atmosphere. Therefore, you are just releasing sequestered carbon a little faster but not adding to the overall carbon in the environment. I agree that a faster release may be far short of the objective but, on the other hand, burning fossil fuel to heat the evaporator introduces new carbon that is already permanently sequestered, and that is the real problem.
    Ken & Sherry
    Williston, VT

    2017 - 13 gallons on 65 taps (12 buckets, rest 3/16), 2x4 flat bottom, modified cargo box sugarhouse
    2018 - 90 gallons on 418 taps (gravity lines), Leader 30"x10' Vortex Arch & Max Raised Flue with Rev Syrup Pan, New Sugarhouse
    2019 - Burned through alot more money: heated kitchen, 2x2,000 and 375 gal ss sap tanks, CDL1200 RO, Bauch Vac Pump, More taps, etc., etc., etc.
    https://www.facebook.com/pumpkinhillmaple/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Canaan NH
    Posts
    342

    Default

    I have some carbon credits to sell if anyone wants to offset their carbon footprint. Just PM me you bank account information. /sarcasm/
    Boulder Trail Sugaring
    150 Taps on Vacuum
    Homemade 20"x40" Hybrid Pan - 15 gph
    Homemade Steamaway - 10 gph
    Waterguys single-post RO

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Lanark Ontario
    Posts
    65

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TapTapTap View Post
    I'm skeptical that you can be carbon-neutral without being wood-fired, unless you have a 100% solar-powered electric evaporator.

    I understand (but I admit to be no expert) that burning wood is by definition carbon-neutral since wood is already part of the carbon cycle in the environment. When a tree dies it is no longer sequestering carbon and it starts the process of releasing the carbon back into the atmosphere. Therefore, you are just releasing sequestered carbon a little faster but not adding to the overall carbon in the environment. I agree that a faster release may be far short of the objective but, on the other hand, burning fossil fuel to heat the evaporator introduces new carbon that is already permanently sequestered, and that is the real problem.
    Many people confuse net-zero with zero-carbon. A zero-carbon process emits no CO2, while a net-zero process controls the amount of CO2 emitted to less than the amount sequestered.

    Under the GHG Protocol accounting rules for CO2 emission disclosure, you are NOT net-zero if you are relying on a 100+ year lifecycle for trees to justify your annual carbon emissions. You need to balance your annual emissions within the budget established by the sequestration of your trees. To say that you are carbon neutral because you burn wood because wood is a natural resource is greenwashing.

    If you read the presentation offered, you will see that we employ an approach that is in accordance with GHG Protocol standards that is independent of your fuel source. Whether you use wood or oil to run your evaporator does not matter if you operate within you carbon budget because your carbon footprint is net-zero.

    If you also take the time to read the more detailed guide that is offered, you will see that we also recommend that you use a more climate friendly fuel source because that is just plain better for the environment. However, this does not affect the accounting for carbon that we do in our calculations.

    Larger operators are more efficient than smaller maple syrup producers. Many of them burn oil in their evaporators because it is more fuel efficient than using an inefficient wood evaporator. Typical oil evaporators have efficiencies north of 70% while typical wood evaporators have out-of-the-box efficiencies south of 30%. Our detailed guide provides useful recommendations for how you can improve the efficacy of your evaporator to 80%.

    I hope you find this clarification helpful.
    Eastern Ontario (Lanark Highlands)
    http://www.espritdanslaforet.ca or http://www.spiritintheforest.ca

    Canada's First Net Zero GHG Emissions Maple Syrup Producer
    Waterloo 18" x 5' wood fired evaporator

    2021 - 92 taps on buckets & gravity lines, 750 L storage
    2020 - 75 taps on buckets, 750 L online storage, 400 L in offline buckets
    2019 - 34 taps, 400 L storage
    2018 - 12 taps, 100 L storage

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Lanark Ontario
    Posts
    65

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jrgagne99 View Post
    I have some carbon credits to sell if anyone wants to offset their carbon footprint. Just PM me you bank account information. /sarcasm/
    You may be surprised if you investigate the PIVOT project in Quebec which uses a collective approach to aggregate carbon sequestration benefits to sell carbon credits which are then paid back to the members in the coop.

    Although this program is not suitable in its current form for maple syrup producers because it is aimed at woodlot owners who harvest trees selectively, it is an example of what could be possible in the near future.

    But first maple syrup producers must get their act together by using proper GHG accounting standards (as we recommend) and then get their associations engaged on carbon credits as the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Assoc is already doing.
    Eastern Ontario (Lanark Highlands)
    http://www.espritdanslaforet.ca or http://www.spiritintheforest.ca

    Canada's First Net Zero GHG Emissions Maple Syrup Producer
    Waterloo 18" x 5' wood fired evaporator

    2021 - 92 taps on buckets & gravity lines, 750 L storage
    2020 - 75 taps on buckets, 750 L online storage, 400 L in offline buckets
    2019 - 34 taps, 400 L storage
    2018 - 12 taps, 100 L storage

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Lanark Ontario
    Posts
    65

    Default

    FYI, the GHG calculator has been updated to include efficiency calculation for oil-fired evaporators as well as wood-fired evaporators.

    This update is now available on the Net-Zero page of our website or via this direct link
    https://www.renaud.ca/public/MapleSy...o_Toolkit.xlsx
    Eastern Ontario (Lanark Highlands)
    http://www.espritdanslaforet.ca or http://www.spiritintheforest.ca

    Canada's First Net Zero GHG Emissions Maple Syrup Producer
    Waterloo 18" x 5' wood fired evaporator

    2021 - 92 taps on buckets & gravity lines, 750 L storage
    2020 - 75 taps on buckets, 750 L online storage, 400 L in offline buckets
    2019 - 34 taps, 400 L storage
    2018 - 12 taps, 100 L storage

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    1,210

    Default

    I seriously doubt that any single Maple opporation makes any significant footprint on the global carbon footprint, it would take a carbon elctron microsope to find it. One forest fire adds more to the atmosphere than a hundred years of syrup boiling. Count me as one who has zero concern on whether my syrup opporation is carbon net zero. Heck, My furnace and wood stove in my house has more impact. I think this is a non-issue for Maple producers. Count me wrong or count me right, I have just spoken honestly. Like someone said, wood is already active carbon in our system.
    125-150 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

  9. #9
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    Mar 2019
    Location
    Lanark Ontario
    Posts
    65

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by buckeye gold View Post
    I seriously doubt that any single Maple opporation makes any significant footprint on the global carbon footprint, it would take a carbon elctron microsope to find it. One forest fire adds more to the atmosphere than a hundred years of syrup boiling. Count me as one who has zero concern on whether my syrup opporation is carbon net zero. Heck, My furnace and wood stove in my house has more impact. I think this is a non-issue for Maple producers. Count me wrong or count me right, I have just spoken honestly. Like someone said, wood is already active carbon in our system.
    Either you are part of the problem, or you are part of the solution. This is an opportunity for those of us who want to make a difference via our own actions, big or small. Fact remains that you can make a positive contribution should you choose to, rather than sitting around waiting for others to act on matters you cannot control.
    Eastern Ontario (Lanark Highlands)
    http://www.espritdanslaforet.ca or http://www.spiritintheforest.ca

    Canada's First Net Zero GHG Emissions Maple Syrup Producer
    Waterloo 18" x 5' wood fired evaporator

    2021 - 92 taps on buckets & gravity lines, 750 L storage
    2020 - 75 taps on buckets, 750 L online storage, 400 L in offline buckets
    2019 - 34 taps, 400 L storage
    2018 - 12 taps, 100 L storage

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    1,210

    Default

    Ok I am part of the problem, I can live with that as far as my little syrup opporation goes. After all it's just an opinion and mine is it's a non issue for Maple producers. I mean no malice and I respect your passion and commitment, we just differ in our assesment.

    I do have one question. When you inventory your woods to establish sequestered carbon, how do you factor in non timbered acres. For example my property is 50% grassland and 50% timber. Doesn't grass land and total vegetation inventory count?
    125-150 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

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