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Thread: Carbon Neutral Maple Syrup

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by TapTapTap View Post
    ... it makes sense to continue to promote the forestry industry for building products.
    Absolutely. My personal preference (obviously) is that forests that are amenable to it be used for making syrup, but sustainable timber products should have a strong place in the mix. There's been quite a bit of work on using forestry practices to increase carbon sequestration, but far more needs to be done on the maple syrup side. From the many different studies I've seen, maple syrup production is often more economically advantageous in the long-term than logging, or perhaps a mix of the two depending on the forest.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  2. #42
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    Quote from Paul.
    1. When you burn any fuel via combustion the process emits CO2. For example, if you burn a full cord of wood on an evaporator that is 20% efficient (as most wood evaporators are), you will emit over 2500 Kg of CO2 (over a metric ton) regardless of how climate friendly fuel source. The more you burn, the more CO2 you emit. To be carbon neutral, you need to ensure that all this carbon is sequestered."

    Paul. I get what you are saying. I think we are all trying to use as little fuel as possible and are pretty good at protecting our own little piece of the environment.

    The way I see it is the difference between new carbon and old carbon( ie fossil fuels). The veggie oil I use is new carbon. The rape seed plant (Canola) really has a 1 year life cycle. A lot of the solar energy is stored and carbon is captured into the plant. The seed is pressed and used in the food industry and then can either decompose or be burned in a by-industry like my little maple syrup operation. I really don't see any difference between the 1 year cycle and say a 200 year cycle for burning maple cordwood. Sun energy is captured, plant takes and stores co2 from the air. Eventually Co2 is returned to the air by either decomposition or in the form of beautifully stacked cordwood. It will eventually be used by another plant. The fact is that it is all new and natural carbon that is being recycled from the environment over a relatively insignificant amount of time. Old Carbon is hundreds of millions of years old and has been sequestered. Adding that to the cycle throws balance of Co2 that we have thought of as normal and acceptable into a dynamically unstable cycle.

    The environmental impact is not the burning of the wood or the veggie oil; or even leaving them to decompose naturally. Both those will add the same amount of carbon into the environment as they have already removed from the environment, be it on a 1 year cycle or a 200 year cycle.

    The real nitty gritty is how much "old" carbon is used in the production and collection of those fuel sources. So sure, I could use a hand saw and cut and carry the wood by hand instead of the chainsaw and the tractor to move the wood. Then I would have to get into calculating how many extra calories I consume to keep me going and how much fossil fuels are used to get that extra food to my plate.

    I get what you are saying and I think it is great to think about the best way to minimize co2 output while balancing the want of the sugar product. Sugar is going to be consumed around the world no matter what the environmental cost. All I can do is strive to have the cleanest and greenest operation and end my reliance on sugar plantations around the world that are horrendous on both human rights issues and environmental issues.
    Justin

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by TapTapTap View Post
    I don't see that you'd be assigning an "actual sequestration" either. And, since you are asserting implied assumptions on the sequestration of dead trees counted in your forest inventory then maybe the same assumptions can be applied to the emissions side so long as you don't double count the benefit. However, I agree it is conservative to ignore any emissions credit back for consumed dead trees and makes sense for simplifying the implied assumptions on all sides of the equation.
    It sounds like you have not read the GHG Protocol-based methodology that we are using when talking about net-zero. We do NOT assume any sequestration from dead trees, nor is there any double counting of either benefits or emissions. Please take the time to read at least the short presentation document.
    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

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4Walls View Post
    Quote from Paul.
    1. When you burn any fuel via combustion the process emits CO2. For example, if you burn a full cord of wood on an evaporator that is 20% efficient (as most wood evaporators are), you will emit over 2500 Kg of CO2 (over a metric ton) regardless of how climate friendly fuel source. The more you burn, the more CO2 you emit. To be carbon neutral, you need to ensure that all this carbon is sequestered."

    Paul. I get what you are saying. I think we are all trying to use as little fuel as possible and are pretty good at protecting our own little piece of the environment.

    The way I see it is the difference between new carbon and old carbon( ie fossil fuels). The veggie oil I use is new carbon. The rape seed plant (Canola) really has a 1 year life cycle. A lot of the solar energy is stored and carbon is captured into the plant. The seed is pressed and used in the food industry and then can either decompose or be burned in a by-industry like my little maple syrup operation. I really don't see any difference between the 1 year cycle and say a 200 year cycle for burning maple cordwood. Sun energy is captured, plant takes and stores co2 from the air. Eventually Co2 is returned to the air by either decomposition or in the form of beautifully stacked cordwood. It will eventually be used by another plant. The fact is that it is all new and natural carbon that is being recycled from the environment over a relatively insignificant amount of time. Old Carbon is hundreds of millions of years old and has been sequestered. Adding that to the cycle throws balance of Co2 that we have thought of as normal and acceptable into a dynamically unstable cycle.

    The environmental impact is not the burning of the wood or the veggie oil; or even leaving them to decompose naturally. Both those will add the same amount of carbon into the environment as they have already removed from the environment, be it on a 1 year cycle or a 200 year cycle.

    The real nitty gritty is how much "old" carbon is used in the production and collection of those fuel sources. So sure, I could use a hand saw and cut and carry the wood by hand instead of the chainsaw and the tractor to move the wood. Then I would have to get into calculating how many extra calories I consume to keep me going and how much fossil fuels are used to get that extra food to my plate.

    Justin
    A couple of comments. First, you need to be very careful in making any assumptions regarding sequestration via crops. Most agriculture practices NOT carbon-neutral and release carbon stored in the soil when they till to plant new crops. Your canola oil also is harvested only from the seeds and not the stalks which contain more stored carbon that is released as the cut plant decays after harvesting.

    Second, all this thinking about old vs new carbon is unnecessary complexity. No point trying to overthink this as you just end up on thin ice. Carbon is carbon, emissions need to be balanced by sequestration, period. The maple trees that you harvest sap from provide more than enough sequestration if you are efficient. The carbon calculators that we provide can help you prove it without unneeded handwaving.
    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

  5. #45
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    Southern Ohio
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    I said I was done with this thread, but wanted to say the following. Although I have not seen anything offered to convince me Maple Syrup production has any significant position in global warming, I have enjoyed reading this thread. Even though it has been mostly a 2-3 person discussion (which suggest to me there's not a lot of concern among producers). I do want to compliment you on your passion PaulRanauld and your dogged determination. Although I remain unconvinced this discussion has fostered some thought and consideration on the topic. You have undoubtedly put a lot of time into it. I compliment you on your hard work.
    125-150 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

  6. #46
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    Jan 2017
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    Williston, VT
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRenaud View Post
    It sounds like you have not read the GHG Protocol-based methodology that we are using when talking about net-zero. We do NOT assume any sequestration from dead trees, nor is there any double counting of either benefits or emissions. Please take the time to read at least the short presentation document.
    I have looked through it and I see there are two methods of computing sequestration. One from a a direct inventory which is fine for a small woods. The other is an estimate for larger forests. I was referring to the larger forests estimate when I stated that there is an implied assumption of dead trees in the count which is adjusted in the estimate.

    I can understand not counting the dead trees. I'm saying the estimate accounts for the dead trees in some way and, there are many variables that affect the sequestration which are impossible to account for.

    Ken
    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/

  7. #47
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    Dec 2015
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    Weston, CT
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    Somebody from the remote suburbs/outskirts of Ottawa needs to spend more time driving in their car around the remote suburbs of New Your City.

    That ill put things in proper perspective for them.

    Guaranteed!
    If you think it's easy to make good money in maple syrup .... then your obviously good at stealing somebody's Maple Syrup.

    Favorite Tree: Sugar Maple
    Most Hated Animal: Sap Sucker
    Most Loved Animal: Devon Rex Cat
    Favorite Kingpin: Bruce Bascom
    40 Sugar Maple Taps ... 23 in CT and 17 in NY .... 29 on gravity tubing and 11 on 5G buckets ... 2019 Totals 508 gallons of sap, 7 boils, 11.4 gallons of syrup.
    1 Girlfriend that gives away all my syrup to her friends.

  8. #48
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    Mar 2019
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    Lanark Ontario
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckeye gold View Post
    I said I was done with this thread, but wanted to say the following. Although I have not seen anything offered to convince me Maple Syrup production has any significant position in global warming, I have enjoyed reading this thread. Even though it has been mostly a 2-3 person discussion (which suggest to me there's not a lot of concern among producers). I do want to compliment you on your passion PaulRanauld and your dogged determination. Although I remain unconvinced this discussion has fostered some thought and consideration on the topic. You have undoubtedly put a lot of time into it. I compliment you on your hard work.
    Thank you. Note that you do not need to be motivated by climate to benefit from becoming net-zero. If you look at the details in the material on our website you'll see that there are significant efficiency benefits (which of course varies by producer). The calculators in the GHG Toolkit can be used to benchmark your heating efficiency for example, and the suggestions on how to improve evaporator efficiency can double the efficacy of the average wood evaporator.
    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

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by TapTapTap View Post
    I have looked through it and I see there are two methods of computing sequestration. One from a a direct inventory which is fine for a small woods. The other is an estimate for larger forests. I was referring to the larger forests estimate when I stated that there is an implied assumption of dead trees in the count which is adjusted in the estimate.

    I can understand not counting the dead trees. I'm saying the estimate accounts for the dead trees in some way and, there are many variables that affect the sequestration which are impossible to account for.

    Ken
    Hi Ken,

    The calculators in the GHG Toolkit can be used for either a direct inventory, or to extrapolate for a larger homogeneous sugarbush by taking a detailed inventory in 1 hectare and multiplying by the number of hectares. Neither method counts dead trees.

    I'm currently putting the finishing touches on an update to the GHG toolkit that adds a simplified method based on number of taps, a multi-sector method that can be used with larger, non-homogenous sugar bushes, and a method for using a basal survey if you have one. In total, there are a half dozen variations on how to calculate sequestration in the new toolkit, but none of them account for dead trees or undergrowth.

    Perhaps you are thinking about the allometric regression equations used in forestry to calculate sequestration? These do factor in all sources of biomass including leave litter, undergrowth, stumps, dead trees, etc. We do not use this approach because none of the allometric equations have ever been calibrated for use in a well-managed sugarbush. They are better suited for the forestry applications for which they have been calibrated.

    There is room to improve the method of calculating sequestration that we use in the GHG Toolkit and I continue to research this. For example, we are using average growth rates that do not factor in the superior crown development in a well-managed sugarbush. Overall, we've been careful to ensure that our calculation is slightly conservative so that folks who use it don't get a nasty surprise down the road as we tune the calculator. In any event it is well within reach of most maple syrup producers to become net-zero even under conservative carbon budget assumptions.

    Cheers, paul
    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. #50
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    Jan 2017
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    Williston, VT
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrTimPerkins View Post
    Way better than cutting them down and building houses. Seems like a win-win situation for the maple industry in any case. More research and far more discussion of this topic is needed.
    I'll say that I'm supportive. But I'm also skeptical because my awareness is very limited and it's obviously an extremely complex and specific to each producers operations and their forest.

    In response to your comment on better than cutting them down for building - it seems a lot more complicated and is perhaps a better option than concrete construction. Concrete accounts for 8% of the world carbon emissions. So my point is that it makes sense to continue to promote the forestry industry for building products. As you indicated in a previous post, you could expect a long sequestration for these products. So the irony could be that cutting more forest is a better method.

    There'll be a lot more discussion for some time to come.

    Ken
    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/

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