NEWTON – In finding ways to be more environmentally conscious, as well as cutting heating costs, Newton Greenhouse has hit the jackpot by installing an eco-friendly, 100 hp wood chip boiler. The BioMass woodchip boiler is a very efficient heating system, which produces low-pressure steam.

Newton Greenhouse has heated with steam since 1971, when they began business. In the past, coal, then oil, provided the fuel to produce the steam; but now, with the new BioMass system, steam will be produced by burning wood chips. Heat produced will cover 3/4 of an acre of greenhouses, which are used for year round flower production.

What was once considered waste products and send to landfills, wood chips are now renewable energy. Wood chips are obtained from local tree companies, landscapers and DPW’s. From November 2007 – October 2008, Newton Greenhouse burned over 63,000 gallons of oil. With the BioMass system, it should take approximately 1,200 tons of wood chips for the same heat production, thus reducing the need for fossil fuels and heating costs.

The boiler was purchased from Biomass Combustion Systems, Inc. located in Princeton, Massachusetts. The burning process is efficient and clean. The heat burning the chips is so hot that any gasses produced are also burned. This gasification process minimizes any potential pollutants to the air, leaving just a water vapor, which escapes through the “smoke” stack. Very little ash is all that is left as a by-product, which can be added to any soil as an organic source of potash.

Newton Greenhouse looks forward to sharing a tour of the facility that houses the wood chip system each Saturday throughout the months of February and March, from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Complimentary coffee and hot cocoa will be available as well.

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