DOE Frees $8 Million for Biomass Research

DOE Frees $8 Million for Biomass Research

The U.S. Department of Energy will award $8,036,000 over the next two years for research that could lead to the development of cleaner burning fuels for use in large-scale utility and industrial boilers.

The fuels will be used in "co-firing," a process that combines traditional fossil fuels with biomass such as crops, trees, and other agricultural and forestry residues to create several different fuels that have significant potential environmental benefits.

"The use of biomass not only produces cleaner power, but creates new economic opportunities for rural America," said DOE Secretary Bill Richardson. "These awards can help efforts to cut air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions while demonstrating the cost effectiveness and sustainability of using what is left over from everyday agricultural and forest products."

These awards are the latest step in the DOE's commitment to the Clinton-Gore Administration's initiative to triple the use of bio-based products and bioenergy by 2010. An integrated bioenergy industry will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower demand on imported oil and expand energy-efficiency in power production, transportation, agriculture, chemicals and manufacturing.

Organizations receiving grants for experimental technologies:
  • Allegheny Energy Supply Inc., Greensburg, Pa.
    $2,453,000 to demonstrate the blending of fuels to create a new fuel for co-firing at the Willow Island Generating station in W.Va. as well as reducing harmful emissions.
  • Southern Research Institute, Birmingham, Ala.
    $2,404,000 to produce a computer model to calculate optimal energy and environmental benefits from co-firing biomass and coal. The model will be validated through an extensive set of tests at the Southern Company/Southern Research Institute.
  • Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC), Bismarck, N.D.
    $1,000,000 for a demonstration project that will use wood waste with lignite coal at the North Dakota Penitentiary in Bismark. This will serve as a potential model for the 5,800 district energy systems in the U.S. and will reduce the 5,000 tons of residue from wood burning the city currently landfills each year.
  • Northern Indiana Public Service Co., Merrillville, Ind.
    $750,000 to test the feasibility of using wood waste, switchgrass, corn stover, non-recyclable paper and other related products, turn them into gas and use that product - syngas - in a generating station ordinarily fired by natural gas.
  • Nexant, LLC, San Francisco, Calif.
    $660,000 to study the use of poultry litter in a biomass gasification co-firing demonstration at the Reid Plant in Henderson, Ky. This project will determine the optimum sizes at which gasifiers can be integrated while maintaining boiler operation.
  • Institute of Gas Technology, Des Plaines, Ill. and Calla Energy Partners, Lexington, Ky.
    $499,000 to develop and demonstrate an advanced version of the Institute of Gas' RENUGAS TM biomass gasification technology to gasify biomass-based fuels at a plant being built in Estill County, Ky. The gas will be used to produce steam and electricity for a 600 acre industrial park.
  • University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa.
    $270,000 will fully fund a project at Bruceton Research Center of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health to use sawdust from wood packing crates with coal in the co-firing process.


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