"A unique biomass processing solution, once deployed, would be able to reduce the risk of future catastrophes while creating jobs, sustainable products and shareholder value."
A bio-friendly and economically-viable solution that can “significantly reduce” the prospect of forest fires has been developed by a US firm, financially incentivising landowners to collect the very material that fuels the flames.
Atlanta-based Attis Innovations has identified what it believes are among the key reasons behind forest fires’ destructive force in the US: small-diameter trees, dying debris, invasive species, and small shrubs and trees that form a forest’s undergrowth – materials that local authorities are loathed to remove due to the drain on time and resources.
Attis’s proposal is to reduce the intensity of forest fires that can devastate communities and the area’s ecosystem by focusing on using the material to make everyday items, such as bioplastics and biofuels, thereby making it valuable and encouraging landowners and authorities to collect it.
The US has felt the huge impact of forest fires too many times in 2017. The state of California reported that more than 500,000 acres of forest were burned to the ground, ravaging the region’s environment as well as its finances to the tune of an estimated $85bn. However, California is not alone in being directly affected by forest fires; the US as a whole loses around five million acres of forest land a year to fires. Attis, a subsidiary of household waste collection company Meridian Waste Solutions, believes it has the solution to lower that statistic. The company, which is focused on developing methods of processing low value agricultural by-products, wants to bring about a situation whereby previously worthless materials now have a market value.
The CEO of Meridian Waste, Jeff Cosman, said that using its approach to control the fires that have devastated parts of California could also bring wider benefits. "I can't help but think that Attis’s unique biomass processing solution, once deployed, would be able to reduce the risk of future catastrophes while creating jobs, sustainable products and shareholder value,” said Cosman.
Attis maintains that that by creating a new market which reduces the burden on taxpayers and increases the health and resilience of forests would also contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. It would achieve this by using the sustainably-harvested materials to manufacture a broad range of products such as bioplastics, building and construction materials, adhesives and biofuels – thus lowering reliance on fossil fuels.