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INSIDE ¦ ADVERTISER INDEX¦ APRIL 2013 | VOLUME 7 | ISSUE 4 2013 Algae BIomass Summit 2013 Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo 2013 International Biomass Conference & Expo

6 64

06 EDITOR’S NOTE

14 & 15

4B Components, Ltd.

62

Airoflex Equipment

19

Amandus Kahl GmbH & Co. KG

42

Basic Machinery Co., Inc.

46

BRUKS Rockwood

55

Clariant Produckte (Deutchland) Gmbh

45

CPM Beta Raven

44

April 2013

Building Impressive Momentum By Tim Portz

Fagen’s Feat

Industry veteran nears completion of a 100 MW biomass plant

08 INDUSTRY EVENTS

Page 24

10 ENERGY REVIEW Alternative Fuels for Military, Only if Price is Right By Chris Zygarlicke

Plus: First Quarter Construction Report Shows Industry Growth Page 18

And:

Why Pellet Producers are Building in Georgia Page 32 www.biomassmagazine.com

Dieffenbacher

13

DustMASTER Enviro Systems

43

Elliott Group

21

Evodos

8

Fagen Inc.

2

FSE Energy

35

Himark bioGas

50

Hurst Boiler & Welding Co. Inc.

31

Indeck Power Equipment Co.

18

28

KEITH Manufacturing Company

38

60 MARKETPLACE

7

MEGTEC Systems Inc.

54

Metso Automation

63

Pellet Mill Magazine

20

PHG Energy

18 CONSTRUCTION REPORT

9

Jeffrey Rader Corporation

McBurney Corp.

On the Cover: Fagen's Gainesville team: (L to R) Kevin Martin, project engineer; Cody Campbell, project engineer; Tim Griffin, project manager; Eric Johnson, contracts project manager; Mark Lentz, project engineer.

56

Genivar

Iowa Economic Development Authority

12 BUSINESS BRIEFS

32 POWER

4

ProcessBarron

37

SAMSON Materials Handling Ltd.

27

SCHADE Lagertechnik GmbH

29

Scheuch GmbH

36

Vecoplan LLC

12

Viessmann

59

Weis Environmental

26

West Salem Machinery

34

Williams Crusher

11

Wolf Material Handling Systems

22

WoodMaster

30

22 NEWS 23 COLUMN Strong Support for Gina McCarthy as Head of EPA By Bob Cleaves

24 FEATURE Priming a Manmade Masterpiece Fagen Inc. employs an astonishing amount of manpower, materials and equipment to erect the 100MW Gainesville (Fla.) Renewable Energy Center. By Tim Portz

32 FEATURE Where Paper Meets Power We Energies, Domtar and Boldt Construction discuss development path, construction and operation details of a 50-MW biomass cogeneration plant in Rothschild, Wis. By Anna Simet COPYRIGHT © 2013 by BBI International

Biomass Magazine: (USPS No. 5336) April 2013, Vol. 7, Issue 4. Biomass Magazine is published monthly by BBI International. Principal Office: 308 Second Ave. N., Suite 304, Grand Forks, ND 58203. Periodicals Postage Paid at Grand Forks, North Dakota and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Biomass Magazine/Subscriptions, 308 Second Ave. N., Suite 304, Grand Forks, North Dakota 58203.

Please recycle this magazine and remove inserts or samples before recycling TM

APRIL 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 3


INSIDE ÂŚ APRIL 2013 | VOLUME 7 | ISSUE 4

PELLETS 38 NEWS 39 COLUMN

40

Strategic Industry Effort Proves Successful By Bill Bell

40 FEATURE The Root of Georgia's Pellet Boom Near-perfect project development ambiance makes Georgia a hotspot for pellet industry activity. By Chris Hanson

THERMAL 46 NEWS 47 COLUMN What Does the Future Hold for U.S. Biomass Heating?

48

By Joseph Seymour

48 DEPARTMENT How It Works: A Biomass Boiler By Chris Hanson

BIOGAS 50 NEWS

52

51 COLUMN Bright Future for Biogas Energy Systems By Amanda Bilek

52 CONTRIBUTION Biogas: Value Engineering Tips for developers on how to minimize costs while building the ideal digester. By Doug VanOrnum

ADVANCED BIOFUELS & CHEMICALS 56 NEWS

58

57 COLUMN Surveying the Algae Industry By Mary Rosenthal

58 DEPARTMENT Plant Profile: Myriant Inc. By Tim Portz

APRIL 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 5


¦EDITOR’S NOTE

Building Impressive Momentum

TIM PORTZ VICE PRESIDENT OF CONTENT & EXECUTIVE EDITOR

tportz@bbiinternational.com

Last month, while touring the site of the nearly complete American Renewables-owned Gainesville (Fla.) Renewable Energy Center I had to make a conscious effort to say “wow” less often. I was concerned that my hosts from project builder Fagen Inc. would learn that I had never before seen anything quite like what I was taking in right then. In hindsight, I realize I had no reason for concern, as this facility, which is now racing toward substantial completion, is unique unto the world in its size, scope and technological complexity. This $500 million project joins a sister facility in Nagodoches, Texas, as one of two 100-MW woody biomass-fired power plants to come online in the past two years. As the sun comes up in Gainesville, Fla., a steady stream of trucks fills first one parking lot, and then another, as hundreds of workers file onto the site to lift, weld and will this massive facility into being. As our spring Biomass Construction Update (page16) clearly points out, this scene is not unique to Gainesville. The biomass industry is on the move, and construction projects in every sector of the biomass-to-energy space are well-underway. In many cases, these projects are months away from coming online and delivering clean power, pellets, thermal energy or liquid fuels to a waiting energy marketplace. Each time a project is completed, the promise of biomass-derived energy is fulfilled and likely expanded. While job creation is often touted as one of the great benefits of the expansion of biomass-derived energy, when delivered in aggregate, job numbers run the danger of becoming abstract. Once on a real construction site, however, the interconnected web of economic activity created by that one project becomes readily apparent, and its varied material input strands unfold to all corners of the global economy. We’re all incredibly proud of this issue of Biomass Magazine. This pride does not stem primarily from the great reporting, data collection and photography that carry the message of this growing industry in this month’s issue, however. Rather, this pride comes from the realization that all of you who continue to innovate, advocate, and invent, have built impressive momentum in the continual battle for energy market share, and every day firmly cement the role of biomass in our energy future.

6 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | APRIL 2013


EDITORIAL PRESIDENT & EDITOR IN CHIEF Tom Bryan tbryan@bbiinternational.com VICE PRESIDENT OF CONTENT & EXECUTIVE EDITOR Tim Portz tportz@bbiinternational.com MANAGING EDITOR Anna Simet asimet@bbiinternational.com NEWS EDITOR Erin Voegele evoegele@bbiinternational.com COPY EDITOR Jan Tellmann jtellmann@bbiinternational.com

GLOBAL BIOMASS PROVIDING BIOMASS ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS WORLDWIDE

s Power Generation Systems s Field Erected Boilers s Modular Boilers

ART ART DIRECTOR Jaci Satterlund jsatterlund@bbiinternational.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Elizabeth Burslie bburslie@bbiinternational.com

PUBLISHING & SALES CHAIRMAN Mike Bryan mbryan@bbiinternational.com CEO Joe Bryan jbryan@bbiinternational.com VICE PRESIDENT, SALES & MARKETING Matthew Spoor mspoor@bbiinternational.com EXECUTIVE ACCOUNT MANAGER Howard Brockhouse hbrockhouse@bbiinternational.com ACCOUNT MANAGERS Marty Steen msteen@bbiinternational.com Andrea Anderson aanderson@bbiinternational.com Kelsi Brorby kbrorby@bbiinternational Tami Pearson tpearson@bbiinternational.com CIRCULATION MANAGER Jessica Beaudry jbeaudry@bbiinternational.com

s EPC/Design Build s Engineering Studies s Emissions Compliance Projects s Construction Services s Operator Training s Start-up & Commissioning s Spare & Replacement Parts s Field Engineering Services s Condition Assessment s Maintenance & Repair

ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Marla DeFoe mdefoe@bbiinternational.com SENIOR MARKETING MANAGER John Nelson jnelson@bbiinternational.com

Subscriptions Biomass Magazine is free of charge to everyone with the exception of a shipping and handling charge of $49.95 for any country outside of the United States, Canada and Mexico. To subscribe, visit www.BiomassMagazine.com or you can send your mailing address and payment (checks made out to BBI International) to Biomass Magazine Subscriptions, 308 Second Ave. N., Suite 304, Grand Forks, ND 58203. You can also fax a subscription form to 701-746-5367. Back Issues & Reprints Select back issues are available for $3.95 each, plus shipping. Article reprints are also available for a fee. For more information, contact us at 701-746-8385 or service@bbiinternational.com. Advertising Biomass Magazine provides a specific topic delivered to a highly targeted audience. We are committed to editorial excellence and high-quality print production. To find out more about Biomass Magazine advertising opportunities, please contact us at 701-746-8385 or service@bbiinternational.com. Letters to the Editor We welcome letters to the editor. Send to Biomass Magazine Letters to the Contributions Editor, 308 2nd Ave. N., Suite 304, Grand Forks, ND 58203 or email to asimet@bbiinternational.com. Please include your name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity and/or space.

BIOMASS ENERGY SYSTEMS

McBurney.com


¦INDUSTRY EVENTS International Biomass Conference & Expo April 8-10, 2013

Setting the record straight on Centrifugal Separation Imagine a company like Audi or BMW that publishes a full page add to distinguish itself from a new entrant to the automobile market. Imagine Apple or Samsung doing the same to emphasize their unique selling points from a new player. Why would a company that dominates the market do that? But it is exactly what's now happening in the separation industry. With a full-page advertisement an industry giant positioned their Disc Stack centrifuges against Evodos’ Spiral Plate technology. eir title "Setting the record straight on Algae Separation" says enough. We regard this as a major compliment. As a newcomer we are determined to continue to serve our customers with the best possible separation equipment, both in process performance, ease of operations as in maintainability. We sincerely thank our customers for their trust in our organization and equipment. Customers like Algae to Omega, BioProcess Algae, General Atomics, Heliae, US Air Force and many more. See here a quote: "We've known Evodos since they entered the algae industry – At Heliae, we've field-tested their equipment at our demo plant along with multiple other methods. We’ve run various strains at different operating parameters and believe they offer the best performance and value in the industry. Evodos is one of a kind for harvesting technology tailored to microalgae." - Dan Simon, Heliae, President & CEO

In the coming months Evodos will publish a series of articles which have as title "Setting the record straight on Centrifugal Separation'. Follow our website www.evodos.eu for the topics and dates. Marco Brocken (CEO) and Hen Boele (CTO)

Minneapolis Convention Center Minneapolis, Minnesota Building on Innovation Organized by BBI International and coproduced by Biomass Magazine, the International Biomass Conference & Expo unites industry professionals from all sectors of the world’s interconnected biomass utilization industries—biobased power, thermal energy, fuels and chemicals. (866)746-8385 | www.biomassconference.com

Heating the Midwest with Renewable Biomass Conference & Expo April 24-26, 2013 Black Bear Casino Resort Carlton, Minnesota The second Heating the Midwest with Renewable Biomass Conference & Expo will take place on April 24-26 at the Black Bear Casino Resort in Carlton, Minn. The conference program will include important regional topics, and the expo setting will provide opportunities to view equipment and meet new industry partners. info@heatingthemidwest.org www.heatingthemidwest.org

21st European Biomass Conference & Exhibition June 3-6, 2013 Bella Center Copenhagen, Denmark The 2013 EU BC&E will be one of the leading annual meetings for the international biomass community. The conference will discuss major issues for the biomass markets in technical and business areas. +39 055 5002280 ext. 221 | www.conference-biomass.com

www.evodos.eu +31 76 571 1170

International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo June 10-13, 2013 America’s Center St. Louis, Missouri Where Producers Meet From its inception in 1985, the mission of the event has remained constant: The FEW delivers timely presentations with a strong focus on commercial-scale ethanol production, from quality control and yield maximization to regulatory compliance and fiscal management. (866)746-8385 | www.fuelethanolworkshop.com

8 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | APRIL 2013


scie sc ienc ce iinno nnova vati tion ti on, thatt iiss. We’ e’ve gott nott o one ne butt ttwo wo top top rre e earc esea es rch h inst in stit itut utio ions ns, Io Iowa wa S Sta tate te U Uni nive vers rsit ityy an and d Un Univ iver ersi sity ty o off Io Iowa wa. No N t on Not only lyy are ar e th they ey p pro rodu duci cing ng b bre reak akth thro roug ughs hs iin n se seed ed ssci cien ence ce,, ch chem emic ical alss an and d biofuels. Each is transferring patented discoveries to Iowa’s bioscience companies. Which attracts a cluster of the most innovative bioscience leaders in the world. Which attracts more R&D investment—more than $600 million a year at the two universities in cumulative grants, contracts and cooperative research. Which attracts a skilled talent pool. We call this Iowa’s “agronomic ecosystem.” It’s why Iowa has produced a bioscience employment increase that was 80 percent higher than the national average from 2001-2008. And why Battelle Technology wrote, “No other location in the country has such a complete suite of capabilities for bioscience development.” Find your opportunity at IowaEconomicDevelopment.com.

iowaeconomicdevelopment

businessiowa


¦ENERGY REVIEW

Alternative Fuels for Military, Only if Price is Right BY CHRIS ZYGARLICKE

As a means of ensuring long-term fuel supply security, the U.S. military is actively pursuing development of petroleum alternative jet fuels from domestic resources. In addition to being “drop-incompatible” with, and less carbon-intensive than their petroleum-derived counterparts, they must be cost-competitive. The U.S. Congress has been debating over whether to allow funding for production of renewable biofuels for use by the military. Last year, the U.S. Navy spent approximately $26 per gallon to acquire renewably derived jet fuel for testing by jet aircraft. While it can probably be agreed that $26 per gallon is unsustainable, “first-off ” technologies are almost always considerably more expensive than their proverbial “nth plant” versions, which benefit from process optimization, engineering and manufacturing improvements generated as commercialization progresses and market penetration increases. Recently, the Energy & Environmental Research Center at the University of North Dakota produced a specification-compliant jet fuel by combining blendstocks made from coal and biomass. The EERC has already developed a technology to produce 100 percent renewable jet fuel from vegetable oil, but a better near-term solution may be an approach that combines fossil and renewable resources. Production of the coal blendstock utilized an Accelergy Corp. microcatalytic direct coal liquefaction (DCL) technology to convert coal to raw liquids, which were then upgraded via hydroprocessing. Because DCL leverages the fuel chemistry of coal, DCL liquids typically require less hydrogen consumption and are less carbon-intensive than other coal-derived liquids that require more extensive processing. The biomass blendstock was a 100 percent renewable jet fuel product made from canola oil using the EERC’s integrated hydrotreating and isomerization technology. The fuel produced from these blendstocks was evaluated by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright–Patterson Air Force

10 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | APRIL 2013

Base, and was found to comply with AFRL alternative jet fuel preliminary screening criteria. In addition to energy density, freeze point, and flash point, another critical performance parameter for synthetic—as well as petroleum-derived—jet fuel is thermal stability. By exceeding the thermal stability standard for U.S. military jet fuel, the coal-biomass fuel was demonstrated to burn cleanly, which means it will not leave performance- and safety-degrading deposits on important turbine engine parts. The new fuel is part of a long-term EERC effort to broaden the resource base for fuel production beyond petroleum, in alignment with the military need for energy security. Enhanced operability, energy security, and reducing aviation’s impact on the environment are drivers toward the use of renewable and nonpetroleum sources for producing jet fuel. New technologies such as coal-biomass liquefaction reduce the environmental footprint of the fuel, limit land use competition between food and fuel production, and draw on the vast coal reserves in the U.S. Such fuel processing allows the U.S. to continue to tap existing infrastructure while integrating a greenhouse gas-neutral biomass feedstock. In summary, an advanced direct liquefaction process shows promise for producing alternative fuels. Liquefaction-derived fuel comprises essentially the same chemical composition as petroleum fuels and integrates well with all aspects of petroleum fuel utilization, including production, distribution, storage, and combustion in ground, aerial, and marine vehicles. With the technology showing great viability, work continues to lower the cost well below $26 per gallon. Author: Chris J. Zygarlicke EERC, Deputy Associate Director for Research 701-777-5123 czygarlicke@undeerc.org


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Business Briefs PEOPLE, PRODUCTS & PARTNERSHIPS

Amyris names chief business officer Amyris Inc. has appointed Zanna McFerson as its chief business officer, effective March 4. In her new position, McFerson will be McFerson has responsible for experience developing Amyris’s commercial commercial and product line arrangements, supply activities. McFerson chains and marketing strategies. was previously a vice president at Cargill, serving as business director of Truvia, a natural sugar substitute she helped create over the past decade. In her prior position, she directed an extensive global team with resources across research and development, agronomy, supply chain, and scientific and regulatory affairs and marketing. During her two-decade career

at Cargill, McFerson helped commercialize new, breakthrough products. RSB Services Foundation adds board member The RSB Services Foundation, the implementing entity of the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels, a global sustainability standard and certification system for biofuel production, has named Richard Palmer as a board member of the RSB Services Foundation. Palmer currently serves as president and CEO of Global Clean Energy Holdings Inc. He is also a trustee and president for the Center of Sustainable Energy Farming. Palmer has more than 30 years of senior-level management experience, where he has brought insight and innovation to a diverse group of companies in the energy industry. He is an active member of the American Council on Renewable Energy and the American Society of Plant Biologists.

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Proterro expands executive team, receives patent Proterro Inc. has added Edi Eliezer as its engineering vice president. Eliezer has three decades of experience in industrial bioengineering, Eliezer will aid in with expertise in the development and execution of biochemicals and Proterro’s pilot biofuels. He also has and demonstration commercial operations projects. experience in bioprocess development, fermentation systems, bioreactor design, facility engineering, scale-up and downstream/upstream process integration. Prior to joining Proterro, Eliezer served as director of bioprocess technology and engineering at Fluor Corp., and as vice president of technology research and development at DuPont Tate & Lyle BioProducts. Proterro has also received a

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BUSINESS BRIEFS¦

composition of matter patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that protects its engineered photosynthetic cyanobacteria and their genetic code. BTEC launches associate network The Biomass Thermal Energy Council has announced the launch of its new associate class membership, a complimentary membership level for recognized educational institutions and government agencies. Associate status in the BTEC allows qualifying organizations to receive all informational updates and participate in all membership activities. They are excluded from taking part in policy activities and leadership of the organization, such as election of the board, running for board seats, or chairing but can receive full membership benefits by upgrading to the nonprofit level. BTEC’s associate network currently features six organizations.

Rotary Dryer

Cereplast subsidiary to develop algae-based polymers Bioplastic manufacturer Cereplast Inc. has announced the incorporation of a new wholly owned subsidiary, Algaeplast Inc. Algaeplast's focus will be on the development and manufacture of algaebased bioplastics. Cereplast brought the first products made from Cereplast Algae bioplastics grades to market in 2011, and commercialized Biopropylene 109D in December. Biopropylene 109D has 20 percent postindustrial algae biomatter. While Cereplast’s goal was to create a bioplastic made from 50 percent algae content, Algaeplast’s ultimate goal is to bring to market new polymers made from 100 percent algae content. European producers, airlines form biofuels organization The Sustainable Biofuels Initiative in Europe aims to expedite the deployment

m rgy Syste Heat Ene

of advanced biofuel technologies. CEOs representing seven European biofuel producers and airlines formed the group in February. Organizations participating in the group include Chemtex, British Airways, BTG, Chemrec, Clariant, Dong Energy and UPM. The group’s manifesto said its members aim to speak with a single voice and take a lead position in the development of advanced biofuels. They will address EU policy matters, national governments and financial institutions of common interest. The initiative also plans to work with other related international groups.

SHARE YOUR INDUSTRY NEWS: To be included in the Business Briefs, send information (including photos and logos, if available) to Business Briefs, Biomass Magazine, 308 Second Ave. N., Suite 304, Grand Forks, ND 58203. You may also email information to evoegele@bbiinternational.com. Please include your name and telephone number in all correspondence.

Boiler

Biomass Pelletizing & Energy Systems Pellet Plants | Dryers | Furnaces | Steam Boilers | Thermal Oil Heaters | Cogeneration Dieffenbacher USA, Inc. 2000 McFarland 400 Blvd. | Alpahretta, GA 30004 Phone: (770) 226-6394 | mail@dieffenbacheratl.com

www.dieffenbacher.com APRIL 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 13


Thank You

2013 Sponsors, Supporting Organizations & Media Partners

Platinum Level Sponsors

Gold Level Sponsors

Silver Level Sponsors

Supporting Organizations

Media Partners Global Water Intelligence

2014 Sponsorship Opportunities Available

APRIL 8-10, 2013 Minneapolis, MN


Thank You 4B Components Ltd. ABBOTT Energy Systems Abengoa Abhitech Energycon Limited ADI Systems Inc AGCO Corporation AGRA Industries, Inc. Aircon Corporation Air-Cure Inc. AirPro Fan & Blower Co., LLC ALL Power Labs Altech Environment U.S.A. Amandus Kahl USA Corp. AMEC ANDRITZ Inc. Applied Chemical Technology ArcMelt Company L.C. ASI Industrial Atlas Systems LLC B.I.D. Bulk Material Handling Systems Babcock & Wilcox Company Bandit Industries, Inc. Barr Engineering Co/Genivar Basic Machinery Company, Inc. Bioenergy Insight Biomass Briquette Systems, LLC Biomass Engineering & Equipment Biomass Magazine Biomass Power Association Biomass Products & Technology Biomass Thermal Energy Council Bionomic Industries Bliss Industries, LLC BM&M Screening Solutions BOCCARD ENERGY Corp. Boerger, LLC Boldt Construction Brad Penn Lubricants BRUKS Rockwood, Inc. Brunette Industries Ltd Bühler Inc. C.H. Robinson Canadian Biomass Magazine

CHS Renewable Fuels Marketing City of Benson MN ClearSpan Fabric Structures Cousineau Forest Products CPM CST Storage DeJaye Technologies LLC Detroit Stoker Company Dieffenbacher USA, Inc. Direct Automation Dome Technology Dresser-Rand Drying Technology, Inc. Dürr Systems, Inc. DustMASTER Enviro Systems Ecomembrane LLC Ecostrat Inc. and General Biofuel Inc. EISENMANN Corporation Elliott Group Enerquip, LLC Envitech, Inc. ERM - Environmental Resources Management Evergreen Engineering, Inc. Exponent F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems Fagen, Inc. Feedstox Ferrite Microwave Technologies Fike Firefly North America, Inc. FLAMEX, Inc. Frank Lill & Son, Inc. Fuel Tech, Inc. Fusion Tanks & Silos GEA Westfalia Separator Geoenergy Division of AH Lundberg Associates

GICON Engineering North America GmbH Global Refractory Installers and Suppliers

GreCon, Inc. Green Globe Services, LLC.

2013 Exhibitors Hallco Industries, Inc. Heyl & Patterson Inc. Himark bioGas Hoerbiger Corporation of America Hunt, Guillot, & Associates Project Managers & Engineers

Hurst Boiler & Welding Company, Inc. Imerys Industrial Molded Rubber Products Intertek Jacobs Corporation Jeffrey Rader a brand of TerraSource Global

KEITH Mfg Co Komptech USA Inc. Konecranes, Inc. Laidig Systems, Inc. Liyang Yongli Agro Machinery Co., Ltd. LTB America LLC Maas Companies MCS Mechanical & Ceramic Solutions, Inc.

Measurepoint Mechanika Nawrocki Sp z o.o. MEGTEC Systems, Inc. Metso Meyer and Sons Mid-South Engineering Company Minnesota - Positively Minnesota Miron Construction Co., Inc. Morbark, Inc. Muyang Group MVTL Laboratories NESTEC Inc. NETZSCH Instruments North America, LLC

Nol-Tec Systems North American Clean Energy North Carolina's Northeast Commission Northwest Manufacturing, Inc./WoodMaster

Novaspect, Emerson Process Management Nucor Building Systems Orthman Conveying Systems Outotec

Reserve 2014 Exhibit Space Today Visit Biomass Magazine @ Booth #827 Paul Mueller Company Pellet Fuels Institute Phelps Industries, Inc. PHG Energy Plibrico Company, LLC Powder/Bulk Solids Pratt & Whitney Power Systems Precision Energy Services Price LogPro, LLC. Process And Storage Solutions ProcessBarron Processbio.com PRODESA North America Protectoseal Company, The Quantum Energy (Fluidized Beds) Inc Rapat Corporation Rawlings Waste Wood Recovery Systems

REPREVE® Renewables Retsch Inc. Rotochopper, Inc. Rovanco Piping Systems RUD Chain S. Howes, Inc. Scan American Corporation Schaeffer Manfacturing Company Scheuch Inc. Schutte-Buffalo Hammermill, LLC Scott Equipment Company Screw Conveyor Corporation SEH Service Tech Cooling Towers SHW Storage & Handling Solutions GmbH

TM Filtration Trackmobile LLC Tramco, Inc Tri-Mer Corp. Trinity Consultants TS Manufacturing Co. TSI Turnkey Processing Solutions Twin Ports Testing Inc. United Sorghum Checkoff Program URECON Pre-Insulated Pipe US Department of Energy, Biomass Program

USA Tank Uzelac Industries, Inc. Vecoplan, LLC Vermeer Corporation VIBRAFLOOR Viking Automatic Sprinkler Victaulic Walinga USA Inc Warren & Baerg Manufacturing, Inc. Wechsler Engineering and Consulting, Inc.

Weis Environmental, LLC West Salem Machinery Western Ag Enterprises, Inc. Western Pneumatics, Inc. Wolf Material Handling Systems Wood Bioenergy Magazine/ Hagon‐Brown Publishers, Inc.

Yale Mechanical Zachry

Siemens Industry, Inc. Smith & Loveless Inc. Solutions4CO2 Inc. Southern Environmental, Inc. Stoel Rives LLP Sunomi, LLC - DI PIÙ S.r.l. The Crom Corporation The McBurney Corporation Thomas & Muller Systems LTD Timber Products Inspection/ Biomass Energy Lab

SAVE THE DATE - 2014 Event International Biomass Conference & Expo March 24-26, 2013 Orlando, Florida


Biomass

Construction Update

Biomass Magazine's Biomass Construction Update is designed to illuminate the prominent biogas, pellet, biomass power and advanced ethanol plants being built in North America. Released quarterly, the update offers relevant information on each project, and highlights their recent accomplishments. The spring update finds the biomass-to-energy industry demonstrating healthy growth, with a robust slate of 26 projects currently under construction in North America. Two bioenergy plants, Himark bioGas and Buena Vista Power, have recently completed construction. In December, Himark finished construction and recently began supplying biogas to Western Plains Energy. Buena Vista refurbished and converted an existing coal plant to biomass, becoming fully operational in December. The biomass power sector indicates strong growth with 523 MW of capacity scheduled to come online by the end of 2013. American RenewablesGainesville project is the largest power facility in the update, and one of only two dedicated woody biomass power plants in the country with a capacity of 100 MW. The commercialization of cellulosic ethanol is within a year of being realized. INEOS and Abengoa are on schedule to start producing the first half of 2013, adding 33 MMgy of cellulosic ethanol capacity, effectively quintupling current cellulosic capacity in the U.S. Among pellet plants, Enviva LP and German Pellets are on schedule nearing completion of three 500,000-metric-ton-per-year plants that will add significant export capacity, with Europe being the likely final destination. Himark bioGas’s plant in Oakley, Kan., has been a collaborative endeavor with ethanol producer Western Plains Energy LLC. Himark’s digester will supply Western

PHOTO: TIM PORTZ, BBI INTERNATIONAL

Spring Construction Surges

American Renewables-Gainesville Renewable Energy Center Plains Energy LLC with biogas to support its effort to achieve a 60 percent reduction in greenhouse gases from conventional ethanol production and qualify the facility for D3 RINs. If you are involved in a facility that is in an active construction phase and would like to share your project in an upcoming Biomass Construction Update, please contact Kolby Hoagland at khoagland@bbiinternational.com.

Biomass Power Project Complete

Buena Vista Biomass Power

American Renewables-Gainesville Renewable Energy Center

Location

Buena Vista, Calif.

Primary fuel(s)

Wood waste, ag residue, forest thinnings

Location

Gainesville, Fla.

Primary fuel(s)

Wood waste, logging residue

Nameplate capacity

19.5 MW

Boiler type

Circulating fluidized bed

Nameplate capacity

100 MW

Boiler type

Metso-circulating fluidized bed

Engineer/builder

Otoka

Qualify for state RPS

Yes

Engineer/builder

Fagen

Qualify for state RPS

N/A, no RPS

Employ CHP

No

Cofire with coal

No

Employ CHP

No

Cofire with coal

No

Broke ground

2010

Target start-up

Summer 2012

Broke ground

March 2011

Target start-up

August 2013

Became fully operational December 2012.

All equipment has been set. Woodyard is complete and will be receiving material at press time. Boiler has passed initial hydro tests.

Dominion-Hopewell Power Station

Cate Street Capital-Burgess BioPower

Location

Hopewell, Va.

Primary fuel(s)

Wood waste

Location

Berlin, N.H.

Primary fuel(s)

Logging residue

Nameplate capacity

50 MW

Boiler type

Stoker

Nameplate capacity

75 MW

Boiler type

Fluidized bed

Engineer/builder

Crowder Construction

Qualify for state RPS

Yes, voluntary program

Engineer/builder

Babcock & Wilcox

Qualify for state RPS

Yes

Employ CHP

No

Cofire with coal

No

Employ CHP

No

Cofire with coal

No

Broke ground

August 2012

Target start-up

August 2013

Broke ground

October 2011

Target start-up

Q4 2013

Currently pouring foundations for wood-handling equipment.

16 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | APRIL 2013

Retrofit of an existing paper mill. New 244,755-pound Fuji Electric steam turbine delivered and placed in the newly-constructed turbine building.


CONSTRUCTION UPDATEÂŚ Nippon Paper Industries USA

Northern Virginia Electric Coop.-South Boston Energy, LLC Location

South Boston, Va.

Primary fuel(s)

Logging residue

Location

Port Angeles, Wash.

Primary fuel(s)

Logging and mill residue

Nameplate capacity

49.9 MW

Boiler type

Stoker

Nameplate capacity

20 MW

Boiler type

Detroit Stoker

Engineer/builder

Fagen

Qualify for state RPS

Yes, voluntary program

Engineer/builder

AMEC, JH Kelley, FS&E, & VECA

Qualify for state RPS

Yes

Employ CHP

No

Cofire with coal

No

Employ CHP

Yes

Cofire with coal

No

Broke ground

December 2010

Target start-up

June 2013

Broke ground

June 2011

Target start-up

September 2013

Foundation work is 95 percent complete. Boiler and turbine house is 90 percent complete. Fuel handling system commisioning to start in June. Boiler comissioning to start in July.

Substantial completion by June 2013.

Location

Allendale, S.C.

Primary fuel(s)

Logging residue

Nameplate capacity

17.8 MW

Boiler type

Factory Sales & Engineering stoker

Engineer/Builder

Bibb Eng., Summit Industrial Constr., MMR Group, EDF RE

Qualify for state RPS

N/A, no RPS

Employ CHP

No

Cofire with coal

No

Broke ground

2011

Target start-up

Q4 2013

PHOTO:NIPPON PAPER INDUSTRIES USA

EDF-Renewable Energy Allendale Biomass

Testing and commisioning expected to begin in the spring/summer of 2013.

Nova Scotia Power Inc.-Port Hawkesbury Biomass Project Location

Port Hawkesbury, NS, CA

Primary fuel(s)

Logging,mill residue

Nameplate capacity

60 MW

Boiler type

Gotaverken

Engineer/Builder

AMEC & Nova Scotia Power Inc.

Qualify for state RPS

Yes

Employ CHP

Yes

Cofire with coal

No

Broke ground

April 2011

Target start-up

June 2013

Nippon Paper Industries USA

Construction is substantially complete at the site with commissioning of the boiler currently underway. Dominion-Altavista Power Station

We Energies-Rothschild Biomass Cogeneration Plant

Location

Altavista, Va.

Primary fuel(s)

Wood waste, slash, other biomass

Location

Rothchild, Wis.

Primary fuel(s)

Urban wood waste

Nameplate capacity

50 MW

Boiler type

Stoker

Nameplate capacity

50 MW

Boiler type

Metso-circulating fluidized bed

Engineer/Builder

Crowder Construction

Qualify for state RPS

Yes, voluntary program

Engineer/Builder

Boldt

Qualify for state RPS

Yes

Employ CHP

No

Cofire with coal

No

Employ CHP

Yes

Cofire with coal

No

Broke ground

May 2012

Target start-up

May 2013

Broke ground

June 2011

Target start-up

August 2013

Currently commissioning wood-handling equipment.

All major components in place. Completed successful hydro testing of the boiler. First fuel tests set for early June; full biomass operations expected in August.

Dominion-Southampton Power Station

EDF Renewable Energy Dorchester Biomass

Location

Franklin, Va.

Primary fuel(s)

Wood waste

Location

Dorchester, S.C.

Primary fuel(s)

Logging residue

Nameplate capacity

50 MW

Boiler type

Stoker

Nameplate capacity

17.8 MW

Boiler type

Factory Sales & Engineering stoker

Engineer/Builder

Crowder Construction

Qualify for state RPS

Yes, voluntary program

Engineer/Builder

Bibb Eng., Summit Industrial Constr., MMR Group, EDF RE

Qualify for state RPS

N/A, no RPS

Employ CHP

No

Cofire with coal

No

Employ CHP

No

Cofire with coal

No

Broke ground

October 2012

Target start-up

October 2013

Broke ground

2012

Target start-up

Q4 2014

Currently pouring foundations for wood-handling equipment.

Testing and commisioning expected to begin in the spring/summer of 2014.

APRIL 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 17


ÂŚCONSTRUCTION UPDATE

Advanced Biofuels and Chemicals INEOS New Planet BioEnergy LLC Location

Vero Beach, Fla.

Abengoa Bioenergy Biomass of Kansas LLC

Process technology

Gasification-fermentation

Location

Hugoton, Kan.

Process technology

Abengoa

Production capacity

25 MMgy

Feedstock(s)

Corn stover, wheat straw, switchgrass

Production capacity

8 MMgy

Feedstock(s)

Vegetative waste, agricultural waste, MSW

Engineer/builder

AMEC

Cellulosic

Yes

Engineer/builder

Abengoa

Cellulosic

Yes

Coproducts

1-2 MW biomass power

Type of RINs

D3 RINs 100% of capacity

Coproducts

21 MW biomass power

Type of RINs

D3 RINs 100% of capacity

Broke ground

Q1 2011

Target start-up

Q1 2013

Broke ground

September 2011

Target start-up

Aug-2013 biomass power; Dec-2013 ethanol

Renewable power generation began in the third quarter of 2012. Currently commissioning plant. Other participants include Air Products, Emerson, Vogelbusch & CDM-Smith.

Fermentation, wastewater and other tanks are complete. Cooling tower and boiler structure are complete. All major equipment on site or ordered.

Enerkem Alberta Biofuels LP Location

Edmonton, Alberta

Process technology

Proprietary thermochemical process

Production capacity

38 MMly

Feedstock(s)

Sorted MSW

Engineer/builder

Enerkem Inc.

Cellulosic

Yes

Coproducts

Methanol and renewable chemicals

Type of RINs

TBD

Broke ground

August 2010

Target start-up

Methanol: 2013 Ethanol: 2014

Construction is ongoing. Major pieces of industrial equipment have all been installed. Enerkem Alberta Biofuels recently welcomed its first permanent employees.

Location

Soperton, Ga.

Process technology

Proprietary Gas Fermentation

Production capacity

2 MMgy

Feedstock(s)

Woody biomass

Engineer/builder

TBD

Cellulosic

Yes

Coproducts

TBD

Type of RINs

TBD

Broke ground

N/A, acquired Range Fuels facility

Target start-up

TBD 2014

Utilizing Range Fuels existing facility. Currently investigating/planning the integration of proprietary gas fermentation technology into existing site infrastructure.

18 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | APRIL 2013

PHOTO: ENERKEM

Freedom Pines Biorefinery

Enerkem Alberta Biofuels LP


CONSTRUCTION UPDATEÂŚ Dupont Cellulosic Ethanol LLC - Nevada

Poet-DSM Advanced Biofuels LLC/Project Liberty

Location

Nevada, Iowa

Process technology

Enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation

Production capacity

30 MMgy

Feedstock(s)

Corn stover

Production capacity

20 MMgy

Feedstock(s)

Corn cobs and stover

Engineer/builder

Fagen

Cellulosic

Yes

Engineer/builder

Poet Design and Construction

Cellulosic

Yes

Coproducts

Solid biomass fuel

Type of RINs

D3 RINs 90% of capacity

Coproducts

Biomass power

Type of RINs

D3 RINs 100% of production

Broke ground

Q4 2012

Target start-up

Second-half 2014

Broke ground

March 2012

Target start-up

Early 2014

Location

Emmetsburg, Iowa

Process technology

Enxymatic hydrolysis

Presently finalizing saccharification tanks and biomass building. All major equipment pieces on order.

Pellets Enviva Pellets Northampton

Enviva Pellets Southampton

Location

Garysburn, N.C.

Exporting

Yes- Europe

Location

Franklin, Va.

Exporting

Yes- Europe

Builder

Undisclosed

Bulk domestic delivery

No

Builder

Undisclosed

Bulk domestic delivery

No

Feedstock

Hardwood and softwood

Pellet Mill

Undisclosed

Feedstock

Hardwood and softwood

Pellet Mill

Undisclosed

Production capacity

500,000 metric tons/yr

Fire Prevention Technology

Undisclosed

Production capacity

500,000 metric tons/yr

Fire Prevention Technology

Undisclosed

Broke ground

First-half 2012

Target start-up

1st Half 2013

Broke ground

July 2012

Target start-up

Second-half of 2013

On schedule.

On schedule.

German Pellets Texas

Vulcan Renwables LLC

Location

Woodville, Texas

Exporting

Yes-Europe

Location

St. Augustine, Fla.

Exporting

Yes- Europe and Korea

Builder

German Pellets Texas LLC

Bulk domestic delivery

No

Builder

Vulcan Renewables

Bulk domestic delivery

No

Feedstock

Hardwood and softwood

Pellet Mill

Multiple companies

Feedstock

Softwood

Pellet Mill

Bliss 5 ton/hr

Production capacity

500,000 metric tons/yr

Fire Prevention Technology

German Pellets Fire Protection Concept

Production capacity

50,000 metric tons/yr

Fire Prevention Technology

Water Deluge System

Broke ground

January 2012

Target start-up

Q2 2013

Broke ground

January 2013

Target start-up

September 2013

On schedule.

Currently installing triple-pass drum dryer. Pellet mill being rebuilt.

APRIL 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 19


ÂŚCONSTRUCTION UPDATE

Biogas Project Complete

Himark/ Western Plains Energy

Location

Oakley, Kan.

Digester type

Himark Biogas Patented Technology

Engineer/builder

Himark

Gas cleaning technology

N/A

Substrate

Municipal and agricultural waste

Qualify for state RPS

N/A

Installed capacity

100 MM Btu/hr

Biogas end use

Heat for ethanol production

Broke ground

November 2011

Target start-up

December 2012

Construction is complete. Biogas is being fed to ethanol plant. By utilizing biogas, WPE will qualify for D3 RINs.

Location

Ashley, Ohio

Digester type

Complete mix-Quasar technology

Engineer/builder

Quasar Energy Group

Gas cleaning technology

Quasar technology

Substrate

Hog manure, food waste, FOG, biosolids

Qualify for state RPS

Yes

Installed capacity

810 kW

Biogas end use

Electricity and heat (Phase I), CNG (Phase II)

Broke ground

July 2012

Target start-up

March 2013

PHOTO: QUASAR ENERGY GROUP

Ringler Energy

Ringler Energy

Forest City/ Quasar Energy Group-Wheatfield

Forest City/ Quasar Energy Group-Buffalo Location

Wheatfield, N.Y.

Digester type

Complete mix-Quasar technology

Location

Buffalo, N.Y.

Digester type

Complete mix-Quasar technology

Engineer/builder

Quasar Energy Group

Gas cleaning technology

N/A

Engineer/builder

Quasar Energy Group

Gas cleaning technology

N/A

Substrate

Food waste, FOG, biosolids

Qualify for state RPS

Yes

Substrate

Food waste, FOG, biosolids

Qualify for state RPS

Yes

Installed capacity

1 MW

Biogas end use

Electricity & heat

Installed capacity

810 kW

Biogas end use

Electricity and heat

Broke ground

December 2012

Target start-up

May 2013

Broke ground

December 2012

Target start-up

May 2014

20 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | APRIL 2013


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PowerNews Renewable energy gains momentum Bloomberg New Ener- U.S. cumulative nonhydropower renewable capacity (GW) gy Finance and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy have released a report, titled “Sustainable Energy in America 2013 Factbook,” that shows power generation capacity from biomass and waste feedstocks increased from 13.9 gigawatts (GW) in 2008 t0 14.7 GW in 2012. “Since 2008, interest in dedicated biomass combustion has started to pick up, driven by attractive states subsidies or feedstock availability,” said BNEF and BCSE in the report. The report shows that SOURCE: SUSTAINABLE ENERGY IN AMERICA 2013 FACTBOOK annual asset finance for power purchase agreement in place, as biomass generation averaged more than well as an experienced EPC contractor $900 million from 2008 through 2012. This is a substantially lower amount than and protection against feedstock availabilfound in the wind in solar sectors, which ity and price risk. the report attributes to a smaller number of bankable products. The authors of the report also assert that capital tends to be available for biomass projects that have a

EIA predicts increase in biomass power In the February issue of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, the U.S. Energy Information Administration has predicted power production from woody biomass will increase from 103 gigawatt hours (GWh) per day in 2012 to 106 GWh per day in 2013 and 110 GWh per day in 2014. Power production from waste biomass is also expected to increase this year, rising from 54 GWh per day in 2012 to 56 GWh per day in 2013. Overall, the EIA expects total electricity generation across all sectors to increase by 0.5 percent in 2013 and 0.8 percent in 2014. The U.S. electric power sector consumed 177 trillion Btu of wood biomass power in 2012, along with 252 trillion Btu of waste biomass power in 2012. This is expected to increase to a relative 198 trillion Btu and 260 trillion Btu in 2013, and 220 trillion Btu and 261 trillion Btu in 2014.


POWER¦

Strong Support for Gina McCarthy as Head of EPA BY BOB CLEAVES

As we begin to see how the new Congress is shaking out, we’ve also had our eyes on changes in the administration. Even though the president stayed in office, there are inevitably changes from a first term to a second term as cabinet members and advisors shift around. The biomass industry should be encouraged by the announcement of Gina McCarthy as the nominee for U.S. EPA administrator. McCarthy, if confirmed by the Senate, will make an excellent EPA administrator, for biomass as well as the other renewable energy sources that we work closely with. Her career has the ideal—and unusual—mix of state and federal roles, with time served in both Connecticut and Massachusetts state governments and at the EPA. This combination of experience will bode well as important issues like the Tailoring Rule and Boiler MACT/Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials Rules are addressed, and, hopefully, resolved under her leadership. The Tailoring Rule has significant implications for federal and state energy policy because it will define how biomass greenhouse gas emissions are regulated. In addition, if biomass fuels are regulated as “wastes,” costly rules—with no public health or environmental benefit—will be imposed.

McCarthy currently serves as assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, and in this role she has demonstrated a balanced approach toward ensuring improved public health while giving businesses what they need to prosper. This is especially encouraging for biomass, as our industry is a solution for balancing environmental and economic concerns. She also has a strong record of bipartisanship, and a history of supporting the development of biofuels and the implementation of renewable fuels standards, which are closely related to our industry. McCarthy’s confirmation as head of EPA could prove to be a critical step toward a better understanding of biomass and what it does for our nation at the highest levels of government. Biomass Power Association fully supports her nomination, and we look forward to working with her soon. Author: Bob Cleaves President and CEO, Biomass Power Association www.biomasspowerassociation.com bob@biomasspowerassociation.com

APRIL 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 23


¦POWER

24 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | APRIL 2013


POWER¦

Priming a Man-made Masterpiece

PHOTO: TIM PORTZ

Fagen Inc. nears completion of American Renewables’ 100-MW woody biomass power plant in Gainesville, Fla. BY TIM PORTZ

APRIL 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 25


¦POWER

PHOTO: TIM PORTZ

W

hen Eric Johnson, contracts project manager at Fagen Inc., drives off the American Renewable Gainesville Renewable Energy Center job site early this fall, he’ll be completing the final task in a master construction schedule bearing nearly 30,000 individual line items. He will be the last to leave of approximately 1,400 civil engineers, crane and bulldozer operators, boilermakers, millwrights, pipefitters, electricians, ironworkers and hundreds of other laborers directly employed by Fagen, or working under their supervision, who are responsible for building this 100-MW biomass power plant. The asphalt road that will ultimately carry Johnson off the project did not exist just 26 months ago. While the project was certainly in development when talks between project owners American Renewables and Granite Falls, Minn.-based Fagen Inc. were underway, the 130 acres where the facility now sits was an undeveloped pine bog. All of that changed in late March 2011, when American Renewables awarded the construction contract to the Fagen team and issued them a notice to proceed. Upon authorization to proceed, a team of

TRUCK TRIO: The GREC woodyard boasts three truck receiving bays, equipped with truck tippers and dust control equipment.

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26 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | APRIL 2013


POWER¦

POWER TOWER: This stacker/reclaimer towers over the GREC woodyard, which is complete and will begin receiving material in late March.The pile underneath the stacker/reclaimer will approach 125,000 cubic yards of biomass when full.

foresters and loggers descended upon the site and began preparing it for the civil engineering work that needed to be completed to support the coming influx of people, equipment and material necessary to build the facility. Site preparation continued through early summer, with deployment of specialized equipment that sifted the site’s sandy soils to remove tree stumps and roots, leaving a pristine base for construction to begin. After preparing the site, the Fagen team moved into their first civil engineering phase of the job—construction of the truck receiving infrastructure and the facility’s woodyard. Monumental in size and scope on its own, this phase was identified early in the scheduling process as important to get underway as soon as possible. “That was big,” notes Tim Griffin, project manager at Fagen Inc. and the ranking Fagen team member. “That was our first civil phase of the job. We poured concrete on July 6, 2011.” For the truck receiving building, pilings were driven around the perimeter of what would become the structure, and the dirt inside of the pilings was removed. In this void,

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¦POWER a 5-foot thick slab of concrete was poured, and walls were formed to create a giant hopper that would be the first stop for biomass entering the site. The importance of completing construction of this component was not lost on anyone. “We knew it was a critical path project, so that was the first thing we asked engineering to release to us,” Griffin adds. With construction of the truck receiving area and woodyard well -underway, similar work began on the pad and foundation where the facility’s boiler, turbine, and baghouse would ultimately rest. A boiler and steam turbine capable of generating 100 MW of electrical power are massive pieces of machinery and require an immense, burly slab of concrete to support them. The facility’s immense size may best be understood by considering the sheer volume of concrete that was poured into the gargantuan slab. Griffin paints a picture of the slab’s size, saying, “The pad for the baghouse was about 1,800 yards, a 3-foot thick slab. The boiler pad is 5-foot thick and that was about 5,600 yards. We poured the boiler slab not monolithically, but in four different pours.” Considering that a standard concrete truck carries only 10 yards of concrete and measures nearly 40 feet from bumper to bumper, a hypothetical line of trucks needed to pour this slab would stretch nearly six miles. To minimize congestion on the roads and avoid the hottest portions of the day, work on the slabs was conducted during the overnight hours. The resultant slabs are a source of pride for both Griffin and Evan Fagen president and chief operating officer of Fagen. “We have a very good

Gainesville Fast Facts Construction begins: March 2011 Guaranteed completion: Nov. 30, 2013 Project cost: $500 million Owner: American Renewables Builder: Fagen Inc. Boiler manufacturer: Metso Turbine manufacturer: Siemens Contributing workers: 1,400 Materials used in construction: • 8,600 tons of steel • 22,000 cubic yards of concrete • 2,600 tons of rebar • 2,000,000 feet of wire • 25,000 feet of pipe • 15,000 feet of cable tray • 220,000 feet of conduit • 100,000 electrical terminations

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POWER¦ team here, and our crews did just a stellar job just getting us out of the ground,” says Fagen. “The slabs, they are beautiful, there are no bird baths in them. It is just very, very nice work… the civil team sets the tone for the job.” With completion of the dirt and concrete work in the woodyard and boiler, baghouse and cooling tower pads, the project’s various components were ready to “go vertical,” an industry term that denotes when structures begin to rise visibly from the ground.

PHOTO: TIM PORTZ

Going Vertical

WELD INTEGRITY: Nearly every weld performed in the field on the installed boiler is X-rayed.

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The structural steel skeleton that now houses the facility’s boiler, steam turbine and baghouse rises more than 190 feet feet from its concrete base. On the east side of the facility, an elevator has been installed to allow ready access to the boiler, day bins, steam turbine, baghouse and other vital components that will have to be monitored and maintained throughout the life of the facility. This structural skeleton was the result of a planned, carefully orchestrated effort by multiple crews working in concert to complete the assignments needed


for the next phase to proceed, while staying out of one another’s way. “We had the pipe rack up and erected first,” says Griffin. “That’s the equivalent to a couple of floors high of the main boiler. We could start on our pipe rack, and with Metso ready to go vertical with their steel, we could be out of their way. So that was the first vertical structure on the site.” In early spring 2012, the structure was built out enough for the boilermakers to begin the construction and erection of the facility’s boiler. “Then Metso came on the site,” Griffin recalls. “They came on Feb. 2, and by March 15 they were setting their first steel, and began going vertical.” The vast majority of the work on the Gainesville site has been performed by Fagen personnel, but Fagen left the fabrication of the facility boiler to Metso’s boilermakers. Metso crews installed thousands of tons of steel, more than 19,000 feet of pipe of all sizes, and performed more than 10,000 individual field welds, nearly all X-rayed to ensure they were perfectly completed. This meticulous attention to detail paid off as the boiler was just recently

30 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | APRIL 2013

PHOTO: TIM PORTZ

¦POWER

EARLY RISERS: The day begins as workers file to their respective work stations. When GREC is complete, nearly 1,500 skilled laborers will have worked on the facility.


POWER¦ put through its first significant test. “We got our hydrostatic test off last week, which was a big milestone for the project,” Griffin beams. “We filled it full of water and some oxygen scavengers and then brought the pressure up to 2700 pounds. Generally, on new boilers, there are a few leaks. On this job, just about all piping was X-rayed, and we had zero leaks. That is not very common at all.” With that milestone met, the facility is in the final stages of construction. “Right now, there is a lot of mechanical, electrical and instrumentation activities going on but the big push now is the commissioning of the plant,” says Fagen. While commissioning awaits, the process of handing the facility over to owner American Renewables and its contracted operations and maintenance provider, NAES Corp., is well underway. The facility’s plant manager has been on the project site for nearly six months, and in late March the remaining NAES staff will join him to begin their site specific-training. The facility was to begin receiving biomass shipments in March to ensure that the woodyard’s 11 conveyors, stacker and reclaimer are all correctly balanced and capable of delivering the fuel the boiler will require when the boiler is first fired in June. Later this summer, the facility will begin emerging from its construction chrysalis and take flight toward its operational life. Once operational, the site will join a sister facility in Nagodoches, Texas, developed by American Renewables, built by Fagen, and now owned and operated by Southern Power company, as one of the two largest woody biomass power facilities in the country. When asked about the completion date for the facility, Griffin explains that completion is actually broken into two project milestones. On Aug. 30, the project will be classified as having entered “substantial completion.” Once in this phase, Griffin says that boiler performance and emissions profiles are taken at different output levels in a series of final tests, before meeting a guaranteed completion date of Nov. 30.

Pondering the approaching completion date, as well as the end of Fagen’s day-to-day presence on the site, Fagen has much to reflect on. “I was on the road with this company for eight years, and when you finish a job and you’re headed out—you have all your stuff in your vehicle and your headed home or to the next project—and everything is turned over, and the customer is happy, it’s a very good feeling.”

Griffin likens that final moment on site to the experience of leaving his home for a long vacation, noting one significant difference. “The good thing here is you just leave everything on.” Author: Tim Portz Executive Editor, Biomass Magazine 651-398-9154 tportz@bbiinternational.com

APRIL 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 31


¦POWER

32 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | APRIL 2013


POWER¦

Where

Power

Meets Paper After several years of development, the finish line for We Energies’ and Domtar’s 50-MW cogeneration plant in Rothschild, Wis., is in sight. BY ANNA SIMET

APRIL 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 33


¦POWER

N

estled along the Wisconsin River within the town of Rothschild, Wis., sits Domtar’s paper mill. Built over 100 years ago it serves as one of the region’s largest employers. Considered an area landmark, its presence now is perhaps more marked than ever, with the gradual but seemingly overnight construction of a 50-MW biomass cogeneration plant. Reaching a skyscraping 265 feet at its highest point, the facility is a new addition to the landscape that residents across the river have been able to watch grow over the past couple of years, a result of years of partnership, permitting and meticulous planning. The bustling construction site—active even through the harsh winter months—is described by Craig Timm, manager of Domtar’s public affairs, as “its own little city.” Having reached peak construction last fall, with around 500 workers on site any given time, the plant is now in the final stretch of construction. Reflecting on the four-year development process, Domtar and We Energies are enthused—and proud—to share their experiences in working together toward a common goal, but at the same time having completely different backgrounds and objectives.

Terry Carroll, asset manager for We Energies, says that the idea for the project emerged when the utility was exploring ways to meet the state renewable portfolio standard, which requires 10 percent of electric sales from renewables by 2015. “We had one major wind project at the time and were looking at others, but realized that we needed some diversity, so we started looking at biomass,” Carroll says. “Where would it make the most sense, and who would make a good partner? In terms of procuring biomass, papermaking or lumber product companies are already doing that.” After We Energies contacted the Pulp and Paper Products Council to gauge potential for a partnership and explain what the company was hoping to do, Domtar responded to the request. From

34 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | APRIL 2013

PHOTO: BOLDT CONSTRUCTION

Project Pieces

FORGING ON: Construction at the site of We Energies' and Domtar's biomass cogeneration plant continued through the harsh winter.


POWER¦

Rothschild Plant Fast Facts Location: Rothschild, Wis. Construction begins: June 2011 Operational: August 2013 Project cost: $255 million Owner: We Energies Operator: Domtar Power Capacity: 50 MW Steam Production: 200,000 lbs/per hour, 200 psig Builder: Boldt Construction Boiler manufacturer: Metso Steam turbine: General Electric Generator: General Electric that point on, the two businesses became dedicated partners and began the project, groundbreaking of which occurred in June 2011. As Domtar already possessed expertise in feedstock procurement, one of the typical key project puzzle pieces was already in place. “We already do business [in sourcing wood fuel], had a small biomass boiler, and a pulping operation that utilizes logs,” says Jim Freiberg, Domtar project manager. “It made sense for us to partner as the fuel procurement agent, and in terms of our financial interests, this would give us the opportunity to manufacture our product at lower costs, utilizing steam from the plant.”

At the time, Domtar was utilizing three aging pieces of steam generating equipment that were destined for replacement in the near future, according to Freiberg, so the opportunity arose in perfect timing for the papermaker. The power facility will use around 500,000 tons per year of woody biomass material, according to Carroll, which will come ready-to-burn from Domtar’s fuel yard, or will be shredded or chipped off site by suppliers. All fuel will arrive in trucks—about 75 loads per day—and be delivered to one of three receiving stations, where trucks will back into a covered truck tipper and be tilted to release fuel onto the conveyor system. Air in the unloading station is drawn under a vacuum to filter, minimize and suppress airborne dust, and then vented through a 110-foot chimney attached to the truck-unloading baghouse filter. “We have a number of neighbors close by, residences across the street, so all of our biomass handling system is enclosed to keep noise and dust at a minimum,” says Carroll. Enclosed conveyors transport the fuel to the storage building, also completely enclosed, where about five to seven days’ worth of fuel is stored, according to Carroll. There, an automatic loading system will scalp fuel off the pile, pull it up to another conveyor, and send it into the boiler building. “There we have a modest amount of storage, an hour or less, before it’s fired into the boiler,” he says. The Metso circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boiler is housed in a 190-foot boiler building, replacing three old boilers—one biomass-fired, and two old gas boilers, and is accompanied by a natural gas auxiliary boiler. “Since the [biomass] boiler undergoes periodic outages a couple of times per year, Domtar needs a backup supply of steam,” Carroll explains. The CFB boiler, coupled with a state-of-the-art emissions control system, will reduce Domtar’s previous emissions by roughly 30 percent. Designed with the U.S. EPA’s Boiler MACT rules in mind, the project’s timing was ideal for planned compliance. The two-section cooling tower was deployed to eliminate discharge of heated water into the Wisconsin River, and the one selected for the

APRIL 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 35


¦POWER project possesses a plume abatement technology that minimizes water vapor, which is often mistaken for air pollution. At above freezing temperatures, the plume normally will not be visible—if it is, only as a fine mist and will usually dissipate within 30 feet of the top of the tower. Right now, all major components of the project are in place, so it’s just a matter of connecting and testing them. According to Boldt Construction Project Manager Myron Wagner, getting some of the massive equipment pieces in place required a lot more planning than one might suspect.

For jobs requiring movement of extremely heavy equipment, which Wagner says are referred to as “large or major picks,” Boldt uses precision lifting, a complex engineering method used to map out a lift from beginning to end. “The major picks are all engineered, meaning we bring an engineer out with special software, enter in heights and angles and everything is predetermined, right down to the size of chokers and shackles we have to have,” Wagner explains. “One of these picks could be as many as 50 pages of engineering.” There isn’t room for error with these kinds of lifts, Wagner adds, as some of this equipment is 50 or 100 tons. “You have to get it right the first time; you don’t get a second chance. And on this particular job, we had a couple of interesting picks. For instance, for the steam drum, we had to use two 350-ton cranes at one time.” Wagner says this specific project has been unique in that it’s essentially been many smaller projects put together. “At any time, we’re

PHOTO: BOLDT CONSTRUCTION

Construction Perspective

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POWER¦ working in probably seven or eight different major areas. At the same time, that’s been a little challenging, because we’ve been building a powerhouse on a paper mill site, which are [paper mill sites] generally very tight areas, and this one is no exception.” Domtar has to ship its product out, typically having 50 to 80 trucks coming in and out each day, and that has to happen without disturbances. “That’s been tough for us,” Wagner admits. “When we start working in a new area, we have to find a new spot for them to park 50 or 80 trailers. So far though, we’ve managed to do that, and we’re proud we haven’t disrupted their business.” On where the project is currently, hydro testing of the boiler was recently completed, one of the project milestones. “We put water in it and pressurized it to 1.5 times its operating pressure, which in this case was 2,800 psi, and we held that for a length of time to prove there were no leaks, and that was successful,” says Wagner. “The next milestone will be to complete the gas pass—the flu gas that moves through the stacks goes through a number of gyrations to get there—so we can fire this thing up, put fuel through it. Hopefully that’ll happen in early June.” Initially the plant will be fueled on gas until any kinks are worked out, then biomass will be added. Wagner estimates the entire testing period could last up to two and a half months. On what the big priority has been as general contractor of the project, Wagner says safety has been No. 1, followed closely by schedule and budget. “We always want everyone here to go home the same way they came,” he adds. And being a good neighbor has also been important, an aspect that

Freiberg and Carroll also highlight.

Good Neighbor About 90 percent of the labor on site has been hired locally by Boldt, which is based in Appleton, Wis., either within the county or the state. “That’s always a goal of ours, but this local community has been exceptional,” Wagner says. “We have been very fortunate having our craft laborers being very knowledgeable about what they’re doing. “ He adds that We Energies spared no expense to cut down on sound or dust, making sure neither reaches nearby residents or businesses, and that Boldt also tries to source as many building materials locally as possible. And, of course, on top of job creation, in a town of just under 5,300 people, a big construction project means money in the pockets of local goods and services business owners. In turn, the good neighbor attitude has been returned by the community. “Members [of the community] have been great,” Timm adds. They, and elected officials on all levels, labor unions, chambers of commerce…they’ve been right along with us during this whole process.” Author: Anna Simet Managing Editor, Biomass Magazine asimet@bbiinternational.com 701-751-2756

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PelletNews U.S. producer ships torrefied pellets to EU U.S. wood pellet production capacity (in thousand metric tons)

SOURCE: U.S. INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION

Quitman, Miss.-based New Biomass Energy LLC has made its third shipment of torrefied wood pellets to Europe. The shipment, consisting of more than 4,000 tons, will be used to fuel coal-fired power plants. “We see our shipments of thousands of tons during this past year as a great achievement not only for our company, but for the torrefaction industry as a whole,” said Mike White, executive vice president of New Biomass Energy.

38 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | APRIL 2013

The company has been producing torrefied wood pellets using commercial-scale reactors at its Quitman plant since early last year, and is currently in the process of expanding its production capacity to help meet growing demand from Europe. The expansion will increase capacity from 150,000 tons per year to 250,000 tons per year. According to Neal Smaler, president of New Biomass Energy, the expansion is expected to be complete later this year.

Pilot pellet mill opens at Georgia Southern Georgia Southern University’s Herty Advanced Materials Development Center has opened the first fully-integrated pilot pellet mill in the U.S. With nearly $2 million invested in process equipment, the facility will provide a platform for innovation in process technology and pellet design in the U.S. Herty will work with technology providers and developers to help validate a number of product development projects. The team will also support researchers working to enhance pellet design and development methods for lowering operating costs. According to the U.S. International Trade Commission, annual global pellet imports have grown to more than $1.5 billion during the past decade, however, research into improving the production of pellets, as well as optimizing pellet operation and composition has lagged behind industry growth. With the new pilot facility, developers, manufacturers, and researchers will have access to a flexible, integrated production facility that can produce pellets with properties that are consistent with those achieved in large-scale commercial facilities.


PELLETS¦

Strategic Industry Effort Proves Successful BY BILL BELL

The proof will be in the pudding, but up here in the heavily forested northeast corner of the country, we may have hit upon an approach to breaking the Congressional logjam blocking biomass thermal incentives. First, here’s a bit of background. When U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, surprised everyone last year by announcing she would not seek re-election, the partisan sharks and hyenas suddenly saw a chance for Democrats to pick up a Republican seat. At the time, control of the Senate appeared to hang in the balance. Democratic optimism quickly disappeared, however, when popular former Gov. Angus King announced his candidacy. King, an independent, handily won the three-way election with 53 percent of the total vote; the Republican and Democratic candidates received only 30 percent and 13 percent, respectively. Part of King’s success came from his cordial relationships with Maine business leaders; a portion came from his thorough command of energy issues, in part from his investments and management experience in low-head hydro—prior to his election as governor— and wind power, after his two gubernatorial terms. At a debate hosted by Maine’s Environmental and Technology Council, the first such confrontation between the top three candidates, King clearly emerged by far as the bestinformed in a state where energy is a major issue. Fast forward to February, when Maine entrepreneur Les Otten, founder of both Maine Energy Systems and the Maine Pellet Fuels Association, invites King for a tour of his OkeFEN boiler assembly plant in Bethel, Maine. It’s also the home of the Sunday River ski resort, which Otten developed. King accepts, and Otten cuts short the plant tour to provide King with PowerPoint presentations crafted by a carefully assembled group of economic and forestry specialists, each of whom spoke to the logical concerns of an elected official seeking to make broadbased decisions. A constant problem confronting Maine’s pellet industry, with four pellet manufacturing plants plus Otten’s boiler assembly operation, has been objections of the state’s long-dominant pulp and paper firms to perceived competition for fiber. These concerns have led King’s successor as Maine governor to constantly hedge the bets that he wanted to make on behalf of wood pellets replacing some of Maine’s over-dependence on heating oil. Anticipating King’s similar concerns, the group meeting

with him over the Congressional recess included a top executive with one of Maine’s leading forest product firms, who spoke on “how traditional and new wood-based industries can complement, rather than compete.” Additionally, King was provided with a summary by Maine Forest Service’s director of forest policy and management, which set forth the growing surplus of wood in Maine’s sustainably managed forests. The group also assured King that any Maine pellets produced for export would have to meet European sustainable forestry management standards. A former Maine Forest Service employee was on hand to provide Sen. King with a detailed report on how federal stimulus funds entrusted to the forest service for fuel-switching in public buildings are now saving local taxpayers millions of dollars in fuel costs. In the instance of such fuel-switching in a municipality that is home to a large pellet manufacturing plant, such savings result in a substantial reduction in property taxes for the pellet mill, enabling the mill to purchase a pellet delivery truck to better serve the school and other customers. Key to the overall impression made upon the newly elected senator was a presentation by the Northern Forest center, a nonprofit “committed to thriving communities and healthy forests.” The group spoke to the economic and community benefits of developing the pellet heating industry in northern tier states, and specific benefits accruing to homeowners in Berlin, N.H., where the Center is funding a demonstration project converting a neighborhood to pellet heat. The bottom line in this story is the phone call from Sen. King to Otten, upon the former’s return to Washington, stating that he plans to play a lead role in advancing the ongoing quest by the Biomass Thermal Energy Council to obtain the same federal tax incentives that for years have been extended to residential and industrial users of virtually all other forms of renewable energy. In this quest, he will no doubt be joined by Maine’s senior Sen. Susan Collins, a long-time supporter of pellet heating, who, a day later, received the same presentation from Maine’s group of advocates. Author: Bill Bell Executive Director, Maine Pellet Fuels Association feedalliance@gwi.net 207-752-1392

APRIL 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 39


¦PELLET

40 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | APRIL 2013


PELLET¦

The Root of Georgia’s Pellet Boom

PHOTO: JILL STUCKEY

Over 24 million acres of biomass, an attractive business climate and suite of incentives is keeping Georgia in the project spotlight. BY CHRIS HANSON

APRIL 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 41


¦PELLET

T

The late Ray Charles once said an old, sweet song kept Georgia on his mind. Today, it’s the growing biomass production industry that is keeping pellet producers from forgetting the Empire State of the South. Georgia’s forestry industry had every right to sing the blues during the Great Recession. In the years between 2006 and 2010, the industry lost 41,235 direct and indirect employees, dealing a horrible blow to Georgia’s second-largest industry and the 47 counties that are dependent on the state’s forests, according to the Georgia Forestry Commission. With the economy currently rebounding, however, the U.S. Southeast, especially Georgia, has become a hotbed for biomass projects. Georgia’s forestry industry is showing signs of stabilization as of 2011, due in part to the biomass industry. Herty Advanced Materials and Development Center, a "new product accelerator" aligned with Georgia Southern University, currently has 32 bioenergy projects, proposed or in operation, ranking it second in the nation––behind California with 33––according to Jill Stuckey, director of external relations. These projects are investing millions of dollars in rural communities hit hard by the recession and employing dozens of local residents, she says. Germany-based RWE Innogy located its wholly owned subsidiary Georgia Biomass LLC, one of the largest pellet plants in the world, at Waycross, Ga. Neighboring states are experiencing slower development––Florida currently has 15 bioenergy projects and Alabama has eight. So what makes Georgia the Graceland of southern bioenergy? James

Roecker, CEO of Georgia Biomass, says RWE’s decision to locate the company’s first U.S. facility in Georgia was influenced by several factors, largely, Georgia offers an abundant fiber supply in close proximity to the coast. “[And] the Savannah harbor we are utilizing has good capability to handle and ship wood pellets in bulk, and has proven capability and facilities to store and ship other bulk products,” he adds. There is also an established rail corridor that connects the fiber basket with the harbor, plus the city of Waycross has a healthy business climate and provided access to good labor talent, he says. “We received exceptional support from the local, economic development organization, the county, and the state of Georgia.” Though it isn’t the sole factor, as evidenced by Roecker’s statements, an abundant—and growing—biomass supply is playing a major role in what’s being perceived as a pellet and biomass project boom.

More Biomass, More Business Georgia has an estimated 24 million acres of trees, which have been growing roughly 30 percent above usage for the past few years, according to Craig Scroggs, a USDA Rural Business and Cooperative specialist. The state forestry commission says that of the 24 million acres, 92 percent is in private hands and ready for commercial use, the highest in the U.S. Recognizing the value of its largest natural resources, Georgia takes great strides in sustaining its forested lands. According to the forestry commission, the state's forested land has remained stable

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PELLET¦

PELLET PUNDIT: RWE chose Waycross, Ga., for the location of the largest pellet plant in the world.

since the 1950s, and has a greater volume than in the 1930s. Forest loss due to expanding cities is offset by converting old farm lands to forest, the commission says. By responsibly managing its green sea, the forestry industry provides the perfect nest for bioenergy projects and other wood-related businesses. “We have more biomass than anyone in the nation except for Oregon—we plant trees like Iowa plants corn,” Stuckey says. The business environment is the second reason pellet producers are making Georgia their home. State and local governments

cooperate with existing and interested parties to create incentives and an efficient planning process, and it’s that business/government synergy that’s making things happen. One example is Georgia’s Quick Start program. The program provides free workforce training to qualified businesses in the state, and each training program is tailor-made to the specific company. The program trained 80 employees at Georgia Biomass, and Roecker says the training included team dynamics, problem solving, communications and plant operations. He adds that he has received

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¦PELLET

44 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | APRIL 2013

to biomass facilities on a per-ton basis, and biomass projects are eligible for a clean energy property tax credit. The credit is available to businesses installing renewable energy products and can cover up to 35 percent of the cost. Even the USDA invests in biomass projects in Georgia. Scroggs says that in 2012, the USDA Rural Development guaranteed a $9.6 million loan for SEGA Biofuels to retool its facility to produce a more desirable wood pellet, and other USDA programs utilized were the Rural Energy for America Program, Woody Biomass Utilization Grant, and the Advanced Biofuel Producer Program. To date, the USDA has invested up to $450 million in biomass projects in the state. Although Georgia has the natural resources and the government and private programs that assist getting steel in the ground, the existing infrastructure is the last crucial piece of the biomass boom. PHOTO: JILL STUCKEY

very favorable feedback from the involved employees. One Stop Shop, a program established by Herty in 2005, is another tool pellet companies are utilizing. It acts as a networking forum for new and expanding businesses, and includes matching companies to universities and state and federal offices to expedite permitting and explain state and federal policies and procedures. Stuckey says other states have tried to duplicate the program, but was unaware if they were as successful. The Herty program has brought in billions of dollars of new companies to Georgia, and more are coming in, she says. Herty’s newest pilot pellet mill, at Savannah, Ga., also demonstrates the cooperation between state organizations and private businesses. On Feb. 5, Herty announced the opening of the fully integrated pilot pellet mill, which will provide a facility for producers to validate process technology testing different pellet designs. The plant allows producers to lower risk by testing a pellet design without having to interrupt a plant’s production line. Georgia also offers tax credits to taxpayers and biomass projects. Taxpayers are eligible for credits when they transport or divert wood waste

Ideal Infrastructure The cohesion between road, rail, and shipping terminal creates the ideal logistic scenario for producers. As of 2007, Georgia is crisscrossed with over 117,000 miles of public roads, including 18,000 miles of state highway and

PINING FOR PELLETS: Soperton, Ga., is known as “The Land of a Million Pines.”


PELLET¦ ‘We have more biomass than anyone in the nation except for Oregon—we plant trees like Iowa plants corn.’ —Jill Stuckey, director of external relations, Herty Advanced Materials and Development Center

1,000-plus miles of major interstate highway. A $119 million expansion of the Jimmy DelLoach Parkway is one of the most recent updates to the state's road system. Set to come online in late 2015, the project is a four-lane extension from Interstate 95 to less than a mile from the Port of Savannah, and aims to make port traffic more efficient and less congested. With more than 5,000 miles of rail, Georgia’s railroad system could stretch from Chicago to Moscow, attracting many pellet producers to locate their facilities on or near this major line of transportation. Georgia Biomass and SEGA Biofuels are located on the CSX mainline to the Port of Savannah. At the ribbon cutting for Georgia Biomass, Hans Bünting, CEO of RWE Innogy, said the partnership between CSX rail yards and the port in Savannah was one of the most important factors in choosing a location for the project. Although Georgia’s 100-mile coastline is shorter than its northern and southern neighbors, it is home to the fastest growing deep-water ports in the U.S, and their capabilities are being upgraded. The ports in Savannah and Brunswick are in the process of expanding or renovating their facilities. According to the Georgia Port Authority, Gov. Nathan Deal allocated more than $134.4 million and proposed another $46 million to deepen the Port of Savannah to accommodate super-sized container ships. The GPA predicts the expansion project will prepare the area for larger container ships and lower transportation costs. Mostly known for its automobile import and export facility, the Port of Brunswick is also receiving a makeover from the state. In order to meet the growing demand for local biomass fuels, the GPA has upgraded the East River Terminal at the Port of Brunswick, which increased output to 1 million tons annually.

Economics 101 says with a boom, there must be a bust. As more and more biomass projects locate to Georgia, it seems that it is only a matter of time before pellet producers have to compete with each other, as well as other forestry-related industries, while remaining sustainable. Scroggs said although biomass production levels have been 20 to 30 percent higher than usage, tremendous growth in the pellet industry in Georgia will move the state towards a oneto-one production-to-usage ratio in the near future. “The pellet industry is here now and has been really successful and really fast growing,” Stuckey says. While the pellet industry is a wonderful placeholder for the next 10 to 15 years, she adds, where the real future lies will be with companies that can afford to pay more for biomass feedstock to efficiently create crude oil products for drop-in fuel replacements, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. To avoid future feedstock conflicts, Herty is looking at other types of plants that grow faster than pine trees, such as miscanthus and the paulownia tree to create a more sustainable environment, as well as testing different pellet consistencies with Herty’s pilot pellet mill. Roecker, too, is optimistic about the future. “We strategically located our Waycross facility to be in a fiber basket that is not shared by others in our industry or by sawmills along the coast,” he says. “Based on the studies we have participated in, all indications are that fiber supply will be plentiful for the foreseeable future.”

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ThermalNews Bill would allow REC generation for biomass thermal

New Mexico RPS compliance schedule

Pending legislation in New Mexico would enable renewable energy certificates (RECs) to be issued for the generation and use of thermal energy produced from renewable resources, with extra credits assigned to thermal energy generated from forest biomass. The bill, S.B. 204, was introduced by state Sen. Phil Griego. According to the text of the legislation, each REC has a minimum value of 1 kWh for the purpose of renewable portfolio standard (RPS) compliance. For thermal credits, 3,412 Btu of useful thermal energy would be equivalent to at least 1 kWh for purposes of RPS compliance. For biomass energy produced using a majority of feedstock from forestrelated materials, an additional REC per unit of energy would be assigned above the normal allocation.

New England hospital installs biomass boiler Northern Maine Medical Center in Fort Kent, Maine, showcased its new biomass-fueled boilers system at an open house in February. The system features a Chiptec furnace that is designed to make managing the equipment more convenient for the hospital. It includes a gravity-fed storage system that feeds a conveyor to minimize jamming and reduces the number of augers needed to deliver the wood chips to the boiler. In addition, the furnace system can be accessed remotely online.

The system is expected to save the hospital approximately $200,000 per year using fuel sourced from a sawmill in Portage, Maine. The project was funded through a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Forest Service and a $6.7 million Community Facility Guaranteed Loan through USDA Rural Development. With the grant funds and anticipated fuel savings, the $3.5 million project will pay for itself in approximately four years.


ÂŚTHERMAL

What Does the Future Hold for U.S. Biomass Heating? BY JOSEPH SEYMOUR Anyone lucky enough to attend the World Sustainable Energy Days in Wels, Austria, has come close to achieving time travel. This annual biomass energy conference showcases the state of biomass heating that is years ahead of the general U.S. market, some companies notwithstanding. I would not do the event justice by sharing its impressive attendance metrics and globally relevant speaker content. What WSED does superbly is shine a bright and hot light on the path of advanced biomass thermal energy systems and what it takes to get there. Over the course of four days in this midsized Austrian city, I experienced what the US biomass thermal market could be. Aisles upon aisles of biomass thermal vendors displayed equipment for bulk pellet fuel storage, wood chip handling, integration with solar thermal systems, and combusting agricultural fuels. These vendors had not just one solution at a particulate scale, but a suite of products for the broad spectrum of consumers. For example, the industry tour through the snowy country and urban landscapes profiled large, advanced commercial-scale, pellet-and-chip heating systems at a BMW service center, and a high-end architectural complex, respectively. These and numerous other installations are generations beyond the smoking outdoor wood boiler or "grandpa's wood stove,� and they simultaneously represent the future and the norm. This market, however, didn't develop in a vacuum. The presence or omission of policy indeed drives and contributes to biomass sales, encouraging the use of certain products and services over others. While biomass fuels occupy a significant cost savings compared to propane and heating oil, incentives from aboard for power generation have the potential to impact the price of export and domestically used biomass fuels. Let me be clear: markets for biomass are good, and the biomass thermal needs more of them, for fuels, technologies, and a broader array of customers. Several presentations during WSED displayed what we all know, that export markets are in the driver’s seat of the U.S. biomass market,

and European utilities have the ability to pay more for the fuel if they have to. Yes, the biomass thermal market is growing, too, but to achieve the 15 percent penetration of the heating market per the Austrian example, we need a paradigm shift, and we have a role to play in its creation. Europe's ambitious 2020 energy goals will likely undergo serious evaluation of the partner nations' renewable energy incentives, mandates, and treatment of biogenic emissions. Rising European debt, the occasional political instability, and seven more years means that the foreign market now will likely not be the market in 2020. Additional players will arrive from Asia, South America, and even Oceana, with pellet manufacturing facilities that may rival those on our shores. Again, energy policy is the driver and markets are simply responding. The best, provocative conferences are those where one comes home with as many business cards as new questions. What will the global market hold for biomass thermal fuels and the adoption of advanced thermal technologies? How will our state and federal representatives respond to the importation of tens of billions of dollars of oil while cheaper and renewable fuel leaves our shores? Why are we content to provide other nations with renewable energy but so unwilling to use more of it ourselves, creating a few thousand (or more) jobs in the process? Foreign and domestic companies are eager to invest, manufacture, and sell into the U.S. biomass heating market, but they view us cautiously, even skeptically. Even after sharing the string of recent state and federal policy, regulatory and professional achievements to promote biomass thermal fuels and, I could sense that the world wants to see bigger wins and certainty. To my new friends abroad, solutions are coming. Author: Joseph Seymour Executive Director, Biomass Thermal Energy Council 202-596-3974 ext. 302 jseymour@ttcorp.com

APRIL 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 47


ÂŚTHERMAL

DEPARTMENT

How it works: A Biomass Boiler BY CHRIS HANSON

C

limbing oil prices and growing demands for cleaner energy sources inspired many boiler manufacturers to put a fresh spin on the traditional use of biomass to generate steam and heat. Today’s biomass boiler integrates modern technology to develop automatic systems that manage the process from emissions and air control to ash removal. With the modernization of steam boilers came hundreds of varieties, sizes and

48 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | APRIL 2013

manufacturers, each one presenting new designs, cutting-edge technology, and a preview of what is yet to come. Coolidge, Ga.based Hurst Boiler, the design of which is featured here, is one of those companies. The general layout of a Hurst boiler system consists of three sections: a metering bin, a furnace and a hybrid boiler that together to produce steam that can be used for heating or generating power in a steam turbine. Manufacturers use a variety

of methods to combust biomass feedstock. The Hurst system uses reciprocating fire grates to move feed stock through the boiler. Designed for use in large industrial settings such as factories, schools and greenhouses, it produces 3,450 to 10,000 pounds of steam per hour at 100 to 400 psi using biomass with a moisture content of 30 to 50 percent.

Fuel Metering Bin


THERMALÂŚ

At the beginning of the boiler process, fuel from the storage area is supplied via conveyor to the metering bin. The conveyor evenly disperses the fuel and transfers it into the combustion chamber through metering tubes. To determine the correct fuel proportion, the metering bin reacts to the conveyer system based on the current fuel load, system condition, and performance requirements. The metering tubes inside the bin are specifically engineered to move the fuel and treat it before it lands in the feed auger. The tubes are built with rifling, a type of spiral cut, inside to allow fuel to land in the auger in a way that avoids blockage. Additionally, the metering tubes are equipped with thermo-actuated switches to prevent heat from the furnace igniting fuel inside the tubes. When the switch overheats, a solenoid valve activates, releasing water into the tube to diminish any heat working backwards in the system. The switch can be utilized to treat fuel and prevent premature burning to keep the furnace from overheating.

Into the Furnace After the fuel is measured, it is then fed to the furnace section. With temperatures reaching up to 1,850 degrees Fahrenheit, the combustion chamber is encased in 13 inches of heat-retaining material, refractory walls, radiant wet arches, and mineral wool. At 9 inches thick, the bulk of the insulation material is insulation mud, and the last 4 inches consist of steel plating and other materials. The combustion chamber includes the reciprocating grates, above- and under-fire air intakes, and an ash removal system. Inside the combustion chamber, fuel is fed from the metering bin to the reciprocating grates. The step-like, hydraulic grates alternate back and forth to move the fuel through the combustion zone. At the bottom of the steps, the resulting ash is dumped into the water-filled ash collector. Under the grates is the under-fire air

fan. The fan injects preheated air generated from the flue gases and combines with the solid fuel and volatile gases to release heated gas upwards through to the refractory chamber. The under-fire fan is governed by the zone damper slides, and accounts for fluctuating conditions to maintain a constant steam supply. As heat and volatile gases move up to the refractory chamber, they combine with air from an over-fire wall jet nozzle. This causes complete combustion of volatile gases and produces maximum heat from the fuel around the refractory arch. The refractory chamber is located above the combustion area. It is the largest part of the furnace and holds the 1,832 F furnace gases for a set amount of time to ensure complete combustion and breakdown of hazardous hydrocarbons. As the burning gases move up and out of the refractory zone, it reaches the next section of the operation, the hybrid boilers.

Hybrid Boilers The boiler consists of water tube and fire tube sections, which are insulated with 2 inches of mineral wool and covered with sheet steel lagging. It is this coating that keeps the boiler from reaching temperatures of 120 F. The first half of the hybrid boiler, the water tube section, receives the initial heat from the burning fuel below. The water section is gas tight and comprised of arched water tubes to supply heated water for the fire tube section. The burning gases leave the water tube and travel through horizontal pipes inside the fire tube. Each tube is surrounded by water, and evaporates as the heated gas travels and doubles back through the tubes. From the fire tube section, steam travels through the top to be used as heat in buildings, or to power steam generators. At this stage, any heavy particulates, or fly ash, are dropped into a blower system that deposits them into the ash collector. The rest of the

exhaust gas moves to the multicyclone collector.

Collection Tubes The multi-cyclone collector is located past the fire tube section and consists of 9-inch collection tubes. Inside them are spinners that collect even more particulates. Like in the fire tube section, the fly ash goes through a blower system back to the combustion chamber and ultimately the ash collection system. Finally, the heat that the exhaust gas contains is used by the economizer mounted on top of the exhaust stack to preheat water for the feed water storage device.

Ash Much of the heavier waste, such as particulates and ash from burned feed stock, is deposited into the ash conveyer system, which consists of a water-filled trough that saturates ash to prevent dust escaping to the heat exchanger. As it sinks to the bottom, the ash is pulled by a chain outside of the furnace. The water is drained using an inclined slope and the left-over ash is deposited onto another convoyer to be used as fertilizer or other uses. Author: Chris Hanson Staff Writer, Biomass Magazine 701-738-4970 chanson@bbiinternational.com

APRIL 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 49


BiogasNews Louisiana waste disposal district recognized for biogas project The U.S. EPA 2012 Landfill Methane Outreach Program has awarded the St. Landry (La.) Solid Waste Disposal District the Project of the Year Award for using compressed landfill gas to power 13 vehicles in the St. Landry Parish sheriff department’s fleet. To convert the landfill gas into transportation-grade fuel, the biogas is fed through a conditioning system manufactured by BioCNG LLC. The system utilizes sulfa and carbon treatments to remove hydrogen sulfide, siloxane and other volatile organic compounds. The gas is then sent through a series of filters and membranes to remove carbon and particulates before being chilled and compressed for use in compressed natural gas equipped vehicles.

New landfill gas generating units in 2012 Company

Units

Total Capacity

Concord Energy LLC

2

7.8

Illinois Electrical Generation Partners

2

2

City of Marinsville, Va.

1

1

Kootenae Electric Cooperative

2

3.2

WM Renewable Energy LLC

17

27.2

Innovative Energy Systems Inc.

17

27.2

Southern Minnesota Mun P Agny

1

15

PPL Renewable Energy LLC

4

6.2

Brea Power II

5

37.2

SOURCE: U.S. ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION

Wisconsin AD project secures financing GreenWhey Energy Inc. has secured construction and long-term financing needed to construct and operate a $28 million anaerobic digester facility in Turtle Lake, Wis. Once complete, the facility will process 500,000 gallons per day of waste water from local food companies, generating 3.2 MW of power along with process heat and fertilizer coproducts. Power generated at the facility will be sold to Xcel Energy, while waste heat will be sold back to local factories. Baker Tilly Capital LLC, a consultant to project developer GreenWhey Energy, has reported the $28 million in investments include senior load financing from Caterpillar Financial Services, New Markets Tax Credit financing from CAP Services Inc., and equity funding from Geo Investors Fund and a federal grant. Ecolab Inc. is serving as project technology provider and Caterpillar Inc. supplied two engines and generators to the facility. Symbiont Inc. is providing engineering services, while Miron Construction Co. Inc. is general contractor. The project is on schedule to be complete this summer. 50 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | APRIL 2013


BIOGAS¦

Bright Future for Biogas Energy Systems BY AMANDA BILEK I am honored to be writing my first column for Biomass Magazine focused on the U.S. biogas sector. I have worked on biogas energy systems for the past decade, and it is exciting to finally be at a point where increased interest in this valuable and underutilized technology is starting to build. But make no mistake, there is far more work to be done to fully take advantage of the biogas’ enormous potential. The very first biogas energy system project I was involved with was at a Minnesota dairy farm that installed a plug-flow anaerobic digester, in 1998, and used the collected biogas to produce renewable electricity and heat. My organization, at the time, was the coordinator for a team of University of Minnesota researchers and interested stakeholders studying the impact of using digested manure as a fertilizer, the ability of anaerobic digestion to destruct weed seeds in manure, and the economics of the entire system. According to the U.S. EPA AgStar program, today there are 192 biogas systems using manure and other organic resources to provide a source of renewable energy. But we could and should be doing much better, not only in the utilization of livestock manure, but all organic waste streams. As an example, this last year, I collaborated with Joe Kramer at the Energy Center of Wisconsin to examine the current barriers and future opportunities for U.S. swine farms to adopt anaerobic digestion and produce renewable energy, while supplying additional environmental benefits. Our research found there are some technical and policy barriers that need to be overcome to take greater advantage of this resource, but these barriers are not insurmountable, and there is great promise for increased adoption at swine farms. There are countless other organic waste streams that merit closer examination. The past several years have witnessed some incredibly exciting developments that present a real opportunity to put organic waste streams to work in a much larger way towards providing a source of renewable energy to meet our electricity, thermal and transportation energy needs. The opportunity to combine organic waste streams together, known as codigestion, is beginning to grow. This is significant, because when we combine manure with a higher-carbon source such as fats, oils and greases or food processing waste, projects can greatly increase overall biogas production, and this can have a positive impact on project economics. There have also been projects that have pioneered the ability to remove carbon dioxide and other trace gases or impurities to produce a product that is equivalent to natural

gas and can be injected into the natural gas pipeline to meet thermal energy needs, or supply a source of fuel for the natural gas vehicle market. Projects have also experimented with the ability to clean and compress biogas closer to the site of production to supply biobased compressed natural gas to a refueling station. Not only has the U.S. biogas sector been working hard to expand the energy utilization opportunities for biogas, but it has also aggressively pursued projects that capture biogas from our nation’s landfills, municipal wastewater treatment facilities, industrial wastewater treatment and constructed projects to combine waste streams from multiple sources such as livestock manure, food-processing waste, crop residues or source-separated organics from households and institutions. There are new projects slated for construction this year, and I believe we will observe new development models, diverse feedstock utilization and increased demonstration of biogas’s ability to supply renewable energy options to the underserved thermal and transportation markets. Each of these developments are major leaps forward, and when taken together, clearly demonstrate the ability of biogas energy systems to more-effectively manage organic waste streams while supplying a reliable and flexible source of renewable energy. Biogas is unique when compared to other traditional renewable energy sources in its ability to meet electricity, thermal or transportation fuel needs, while making a contribution toward reducing greenhouse emissions and providing multiple other environmental benefits. Even with all the valuable benefits biogas energy systems provide, and recent project developments that create real opportunity to expand the U.S. biogas market, the pace of growth is still too slow. Luckily, there are many advocates of increasing the use of biogas to help meet our nation’s energy needs, and multiple companies and interested stakeholders working incredibly hard to get projects installed that demonstrate the ability of biogas to help us achieve greater levels of renewable energy production while providing multiple environmental benefits. I am excited to use this column in the coming year to share with you exciting industry and policy developments that will move biogas into the spotlight for its contribution towards building a better energy future. Author: Amanda Bilek Energy Policy Specialist, Great Plains Institute abilek@gpisd.net

APRIL 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 51


¦BIOGAS

CONTRIBUTION

Biogas: Value Engineering Being thrifty when building a biogas project may make or break a project. BY DOUG VANORNUM

M

ost biogas projects constructed these days—typically variations of an anaerobic digester —are successful projects for the owners, but unfortunately, not all are. Accurate statistics on exactly why some projects succeed, and others fail, are frustratingly hard to come by. The U.S. EPA Ag-Star program's website maintains a useful database on agricultural digesters that are currently in operation, but for the most part, the database does not include all the digesters that have ceased operations or the reasons why, nor does it in-

clude non-agricultural installations. Some states track biogas projects within state boundaries, but many do not. Anecdotally, it appears as if there are two fundamental ingredients that are key to any biogas project's success: a suitable technology must be selected to solve a particular problem, and the benefits that a biogas project afford an owner must absolutely justify its cost. In other words, the economic return of the project must be acceptable to whoever is paying for it, and the specific technological solutions applied need to be appropriate to the waste stream(s). If either

The claims and statements made in this article belong exclusively to the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Biomass Magazine or its advertisers. All questions pertaining to this article should be directed to the author(s).

52 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | APRIL 2013

of these key ingredients is missing, the biogas project cannot succeed.

Technology Selection Digester designs Doug VanOrnum, vary considerably, and DVO Anaerobic finding the most ap- Systems propriate technology to process a given waste stream requires performing a reasonable level of due diligence. When one hears of a biogas installation that is struggling because the type


PHOTO: DVO ANAEROBIC SYSTEMS

BIOGAS¦

EXPLORING OPTIONS: Digester designs vary considerably, and finding the most appropriate technology to process a given waste stream requires performing a reasonable level of due diligence.

of digester installed was inappropriate for its feedstocks, it often becomes evident that before choosing a specific technology provider, the developer did not engage with multiple anaerobic digestion vendors, or hire an experienced consultant familiar with more than one type of digester. Once a technology provider rises to the top, next steps should include speaking with the provider’s customers and employing independent resources to determine their track record. It is much simpler to perform this research beforehand, than to later suffer the consequences of a technological “bad fit.”

Good, Better, Best Two projects in the same county process a similar volume and type of mate-

rial. Both will probably generate a similar amount of biogas. However, one cost $7 million to construct, and the other will cost $22 million. It is not only possible to find such a disparity—this is a real-world example. Can both projects be successful? Yes. Can either or both fail? Also, yes. Of course, there are many independent variables and circumstances to consider for each individual project, but what holds true for one may not for another. That being said, the more expensive “platinum-plated” installations do need to justify their additional cost, especially if the extra expenditures are not offset by higher revenues. Keep in mind that topend equipment sometimes comes with higher maintenance costs, too. For example, an engine/generator (genset) pro-

vider might require $500 spark plugs for their engines, while others do not. Sears stores famously offered “good, better and best” products. Sometimes the “best” components and configurations are required. But when they are not, perhaps “good” or “better” will do. Your reward for performing prudent due diligence may just be lowered financial risk and a more attractive return on investment.

Rainbows and Unicorns You’re well into the research and planning process. You’ve made your preliminary technology decisions and your financial pro-forma is looking great. But, are you considering only the most optimistic conditions and performance

APRIL 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 53


¦BIOGAS assumptions? How flexible is your pro forma to fluctuations in the nation’s economy? Or to swings in commodities such as natural gas or diesel? Will you depend upon a market for biosolids that already exists, or are you assuming that if you make it, they will come? Overly rosy predictions for biosolids sales, biogas production, conversion ef-

ficiencies to other saleable products such as electricity or compressed natural gas, power purchase agreement renewal rates and long-term feedstock availability are among the culprits found in some underperforming biogas sites. Your project should be robust and flexible enough to handle a range of possibilities. In short, taking a more skeptical, “squinty-eyed”

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perspective of your own pro forma can be a very helpful exercise.

Project Creep and Greed No, this isn’t someone who hovers around asking too many questions. Anyone who has done any home remodeling can relate to the phenomenon of project creep. "As long as we're doing this, we might as well do that too." It's incredibly easy to fall victim to it. For example, amenities such as landscaping, a visitor's observation deck, additional offices, larger gensets, an architect to design the utility building, a fountain and lighted sign out front may not seem expensive or extravagant individually. Sometimes they are justifiable expenses, but taken together they can add up to a sizeable sum. Project creep leads to budget creep. Some biogas projects are overburdened by an unreasonably high cost of financing. Biogas projects have really never been get-rich-quick schemes, and generally one shouldn’t expect a mountain of revenues from only one installation. In fact, one sign that a biogas pro forma may be overly optimistic is an atypically high rate of return. However, as long as they are put together smartly, biogas installations are good, solid investments with an excellent track record, and do not justify a highrisk percentage/classification. The cost of money is quite low these days, and pairing an appropriate funding vehicle with a well-planned biogas opportunity is very much worth the additional matchmaking effort. Don’t forget the adage “Success breeds more success.” One might consider first determining a very stable financial template for a biogas project that provides a reasonable and steady return, then repeat as many times as desired.

The Unexpected Everyone knows how difficult it can be to take more than one bite at the financing apple. Therefore, it can be critically important not to undershoot


BIOGAS¦ Congratulations on your new and successful biogas project. Have you already started the next one? Author: Doug VanOrnum Business Development, DVO Anaerobic Systems dougv@dvoinc.net 920-849 -9797

PHOTO: DVO ANAEROBIC SYSTEMS

for the digester system to reach its maximum output. Every waste stream is unique, and sometimes adjustments need to be made to the process. The bottom line is that there will be a time frame between when you start feeding a digester, and when it begins performing to the point of earning revenue. Expect it.

EXAMINING EXPENSES: Top-end equipment sometimes comes with higher maintenance costs; the additional cost has to be justified.

a project’s estimated capital cost. Here, experience counts and a reputable consultant, general contractor or biogas vendor can help accurately estimate the total project expenses, including the products and services that are not directly provided by them. Even so, there are often certain expenses, such as interconnect costs to a utility that are difficult or impossible to estimate beforehand. There could be other expenses that crop up in the course of construction or startup that nobody anticipated, so setting aside an amount on your pro forma for such unexpected contingencies will lessen the likelihood of a situation where there isn’t quite enough funding to get a project finished. In some cases, the contingency budget could be as high as 10 percent of a project’s total cost. Ideally this cushion will not be needed, but it is included in the event it is.

Startup One often-overlooked or underconsidered expense is the time it will take for a digester to ramp up to full operation. Depending upon the waste stream, it could take days, weeks or even months APRIL 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 55


AdvancedBiofuelNews EPA approves new fuel pathways

Green Dot acquires bioplastic business

Hydrotreating processes to convert camelina oil into diesel replacement fuel and jet fuel Maximized for Diesel Fuel Production

Maximized for Jet Fuel Production

Units (per gallon of fuel produced)

Refined camelina oil

9.56

12.84

Lbs

Hydrogen

0.04

0.88

Lbs

Electricity

652

865

Btu

Natural gas

23,247

38,519

Btu

Diesel fuel

123,136

55,845

Btu

Jet fuel

23,497

118,669

Btu

Inputs

Outputs

Naphtha

3,306

17,042

Btu

LPG

3,084

15,528

Btu

Propane

3,084

15.528

Btu

SOURCE: U.S. EPA

The U.S. EPA has published a new final rule, qualifying additional fuel pathways under the renewable fuel standard (RFS) for cellulosic and advanced biofuels. The rulemaking covers two new feedstocks: camelina and energy cane. It also qualifies renewable gasoline and renewable gasoline blendstocks made from certain feedstocks via specified processes as cellulosic for RFS compliance. Under the new rule, ethanol, renewable diesel (including jet fuel and heating oil) and naphtha produced from energy cane feedstock can now qualify to generate cellulosic

biofuel renewable identification numbers (RINs). In addition, renewable diesel (including jet fuel and heating oil), naphtha and liquified petroleum gas made from camelina feedstock are now eligible for advanced RINs. Regarding renewable gasoline and renewable gasoline blendstocks, new feedstocks are qualified as applicable for cellulosic biofuel production under certain conditions. When utilizing natural gas, biogas and/or biomass as the only process energy source, several technologies are also qualified for cellulosic biofuel production.

Cottonwood, Kan.-based Green Dot Holdings LLC has acquired the bioplastics division of Atchison, Kan.-based MGP Ingredients Inc. The acquisition includes a manufacturing facility located in Onaga, Kan., certain assets at the company’s research and development facility in Atchison, and three lines of bioplastic materials currently sold by MGP under the Terratek brand name. The acquisition increases Green Dot’s product offerings. The Terratek line of products includes wood-based bioplastics, starch composites and biodegradable starch-based resins. In addition to its elastomers and the Terratek line, Green Dot can also develop customized client formations using starch, wood and other biomass materials. According to the company, its state-ofthe-art compounding lab can quickly develop and test formulas for specific formulations. According to Green Dot CEO Mark Remmert, additional acquisitions could be in his company’s future. “We do have an ambition and desire to continue to grow the company,” Remmert said. Green Dot is also investigating the use of alternative feedstocks for manufacturing its bioplastics. “We hope to start two projects this year that would take us down a path of using other starches, for example, to replace the corn and wheat starches that we use today,” he continued.

FSE Energy ensures the success of our woldwide customer base through the delivery of the highest quality heat and energy equipment solutions. Product details at www.fseenergy.com. 56 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | APRIL 2013


ADVANCED BIOFUELS & CHEMICALS¦

Surveying the Algae Industry BY MARY ROSENTHAL When Congress finally made algae eligible for a biofuel tax credit in January, it was capping off a year of extraordinary progress for the companies and research institutions working to make algae biomass a sustainable and economical source of countless products. In 2012, algae-based fuels were successfully demonstrated in military aircraft and ships, and were introduced into commercial markets for automotive fuel. Algae also made advances as an agricultural feed, and even as a source of lower-cost anti-cancer treatments. The future that these industry and policy developments are helping to build can now be put into further context, with the results of a recent survey the Algae Biomass Organization conducted of algae industry experts, researchers and enthusiasts. More than 470 people from every segment of the algae industry, almost 90 more than 2012, participated in the 2013 Algae Industry Survey. As in 2012, respondents this year continue their optimism that algae fuels will be price-competitive within the decade, that production and hiring will increase in both the short and long term, and that improved supportive federal policy could significantly benefit the industry’s development of algae-based fuels, feeds, fertilizers and other products. The fact that these trends stayed positive in this year is perhaps the most encouraging finding of the survey. Last year, the algae industry was heavily criticized during the presidential primaries, biofuel use by the military came under heavy assault by powerful interests, and sustainability research was reaching only vague conclusions about algae’s potential. Despite these challenges, the industry continues to hold steady in its optimism. This is true of those who categorized themselves as producers as well as everyone else. Naturally, the question on everybody’s mind is when fuels derived from algal biomass might become cost-competitive with their fossil fuel counterparts. More than 90 percent overall (and 95 percent of producers) believe it is at least somewhat likely that algae-based fuels will be able to compete with fossil fuels by 2020, and nearly 70 percent overall (75 percent of producers) believe it is moderately likely to extremely likely. Nearly one in four (23 percent) of producers say the price will be below $3 per gallon by 2020. Those numbers are remarkably similar to the results of ABO’s 2012 Industry Survey, which means we are one more

year into the decade and the industry’s confidence remains high. We also found the algae industry is aggressive about pursuing products beyond fuels. More than a quarter of producers reported being involved in fuels, but even more (35 percent) reported looking at algal biomass for its potential in feeds. More than one in four are eyeing nutritional and nutraceutical markets, and others indicated their interest in markets for algae-derived chemicals, plastics, fertilizers and more. Those same producers indicated optimism in increasing their production levels over the next year. Twenty-five percent reported they would be expanding at an existing facility, 22 percent said they would expand with new facilities, and 20 percent reported expansion and both new and existing facilities. On hiring prospects, almost 90 percent of employers said better federal policy support would accelerate job growth in the industry. Employers did predict job growth for 2013, along with larger projections for 2020. Of course, like any advanced feedstock, algae still has challenges to overcome. Our survey respondents identified the two challenges that are the most significant in making cost-competitive, algae-based fuels. The most-favored response by far was “cost-efficient production systems,” selected by 44 percent, followed by “harvesting and extraction systems,” selected by 21 percent of producers. These challenges may not come as a surprise to anybody following the impressive efforts of algae companies to meet and exceed the commercialization milestones of the past year. Yet, we all know these accomplishments are just the stepping stones to full commercial operations. The steady and optimistic results of ABO’s 2013 survey, the executive summary of which is posted on the ABO website, should encourage all of us working to commercialize sustainable sources of biomass for fuels and other products. Author: Mary Rosenthal Executive Director, Algae Biomass Organization mrosenthal@algaebiomass.org 763-458-0068

APRIL 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 57


¦ADVANCED BIOFUELS

DEPARTMENT

Plant Profile: Myriant Inc.

Renewable chemical company Myriant enters final commissioning phase BY TIM PORTZ

A

s the construction of Myriant Inc.’s $100 million biosuccinic acid production facility draws to a close in the river town of Lake Providence, La., the facility’s commission stage is wellunderway. While the 450-plus construction jobs that were created when this project officially broke ground in December of 2011 will move on to other projects, 53 permanent jobs will be established once the facility becomes operational. Additionally, the

58 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | APRIL 2013

sorghum growers in the delivery radius of the facility will enjoy an additional market opportunity for their crop. The process used to convert sugars into bio-succinic acid is a biological one requiring a proprietary biocatalyst that creates succinic acid by virtue of its own metabolic process. The Lake Providence facility has been designed to efficiently carry out this process at commercial scale, producing nearly 30 million pounds of biosuccinic

acid per year. Biosuccinic acid is an important platform chemical and can be furthered refined into plastics, urethanes and coatings. "This an exciting, yet extremely busy time for the entire team as we work to bring the

Cenan Ozmeral, Myriant COO


ADVANCED BIOFUELS¦

Myriant Facility Profile Products manufactured Feedstocks Manufacturing process Cost to build Construction jobs Permanent jobs Indirect jobs Funding partners

Succinic acid Sorghum grits Fermentation using the Escherica coli biocatalist $100 illion 450 53 250 U.S. DOE, USDA, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development

Design/construction partners

Uhde Corp., CH2M Hill, Shaw Group

Groundbreaking First steel in ground Commercial operations commence

December 2011 March 2012 Q2 2013

plant online," says Cenan Ozmeral, Myriant's chief operating officer. "Plant commissioning is never as easy as one hopes. That said, Myriant has taken a deliberate and step-wise approach to scaling our proprietary process, and we benefit from having an experienced engineering and operations team that has built and commissioned dozens of plants over the last 20 years.” Ozmeral adds that the company firmly believes it will be successful bringing online the first biosuccinic acid chemical plant in the U.S. “We very much look forward to reporting that progress." Author: Tim Portz Executive Editor, Biomass Magazine 651-398-9154 tportz@bbiinternational.com

APRIL 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 59


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21st European Biomass Conference and Exhibition (in attendee bags)

Editorial Focus: Dry Sorbent Injection Solutions t Mitigation of Hg SO2 SO3 HCI HF t Customized innovation based on proven technology t Flexible design to meet your precise needs t Reliable, automated operation and control t On-site, self-contained testing systems

Biomass Quality Analysis, Certification and Standards Artwork Deadline is April 18th | Visit Booth #827 LIMITED TIME OFFER Offer is only good for exhibitors, sponsors and attendees of the 2013 International Biomass Conference & Expo. Offer ends April 10, 2013.

First time advertisers only!

Call 651-780-8600 today to begin an analysis of your mitigation needs. www.nol-tec.com sales@nol-tec.com

APRIL 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 61


4B Components Limited

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IN STOCK FROM 4B MORTON, IL USA

625 Erie Avenue

Morton, IL 61550 USA

Tel: 309-698-5611

www.go4b.com/usa

SPROCKETS & TRAILERS


Leading the way toward sustainable energy generation Visit us at booth # 301

Metso is proud to be the supplier of the 100-megawatt bubbling fluidized bed boiler island for the Gainesville Renewable Energy Center (GREC). Metso’s advanced technology will allow the flexibility to use a wide range of biomass fuels to achieve the best available emissions standards. Metso Automation will supply the entire plant automation system and critical control valves. Once operational, the boiler will be one of the largest and most environmentally friendly biomass boilers in the world. To learn more about GREC and some of our other renewable energy projects, visit us at the International Biomass Show, Booth 301. Metso Power: 704-541-1453 | Metso Automation: 215-393-3900

www.metso.com


Reserve Your Exhibit Space Today! June 10-13, 2013

America’s Center | St. Louis, MO www.fuelethanolworkshop.com

Save $200

on Registration with Early Bird Rates

“IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO NETWORK WITH VENDORS AND FELLOW PLANTS.” - BILL PAIGE, BADGER STATE ETHANOL

Producers representing 87% of all U.S. installed capacity attended last year. 866-746-8385 | service@bbiinternational.com


April 2013 Biomass Magazine