Thursday, September 03, 2009

Naperville Illinois Unveils New City Gasifier

The city of Naperville, Illinois, in partnership with Argonne National Labs and other local industries including Packer Engineering, has demonstrated a biomass gasification plant for production of syngas.
The team's 12-foot gasifier, dubbed the Stalk Stoker, uses products such as switch grass, wood chips and leftovers from crops. That bio-waste is converted into carbon monoxide and hydrogen, then undergoes a series of heat exchanges to become a mixture called syngas.

Now that they have produced syngas, the team will spend two years working on using the gasifier to create three types of environmentally friendly fuels - bioelectricity, hydrogen and ethanol - that would be used in the green fuels depot.....

The team of experts will need $7.8 million - expected to come through government grants and private funding - to create the green fuels depot.....

The current prototype is not large enough to offer the alternative fuels to the general public but the group hopes other municipalities will use the same model and its scale will be increased in the future.

In the meantime, the engineers plan to market the gasifier to farmers and small factories by mid-2010. The device produces heat and power so it can be used in both settings as an alternate source of energy.

The gasifier project received $1 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, $160,000 from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and $80,000 from Growth Dimensions, an economic development group in Belvidere. _Bioenergy
As gasification technologies improve, this approach to the conversion of biomass, coal, oil shales, oil sands, etc. to syngas, power, and process heat, will only get better and more efficient.

The low energy density of biomass in the fields and forests remains a challenge. But as mobile pre-processing plants are developed which can travel into the fields and forests to densify the biomass, the problem will be solved. Remember: the promise of biomass is greatest at local and regional scales. It should not be seen as a cure for national and international energy shortages -- not at present levels of the technology.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to be an irritant to you, but your obsession with bio-energy reminds me of this man.

11:51 AM  

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