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Deadline: 8/19/2013

Agenda Now Online

www.algaebiomasssummit.org

“The ABS provided the right mix of industry, academia, and interested investors, committed to building and expanding the role of algae in biofuels, feeds, and products. Collaborations and partnerships developed at ABS will influence the field and industry for decades to come.” Ryan Dorland, Ph.D., Cellana LLC

“This conference is at the forefront of the latest and most-up-and-coming industry. From exhibitors, to speakers, to attendees, the conference bridged the gap between the unknown and achievable.” Erica Mason, M-E-C Company


INSIDE ¦ ADVERTISER INDEX¦ JULY 2013 | VOLUME 7 | ISSUE 7

06 EDITOR’S NOTE Small-Scale Biomass Delivers Big Benefits 2013 Algae BIomass Summit

By Tim Portz

2

2013 National Advanced Biofuels Conference & Expo 4 & 8 2013 Pellet Fuel Institute Annual Conference

42

2014 International Biomass Conference & Expo

15

Agra Industries

37

Airoflex Equipment

16

All Power Labs

9

B.I.D. Bulk Material Handling Systems

28

Biomass Industry Directory

34

Bruks Rockwood

27

Corn Stover Harvest & Transport Seminar

41

Detroit Stoker Company

07 INDUSTRY EVENTS 08 BUSINESS BRIEFS 10 Q2 BIOMASS CONSTRUCTION UPDATE 41 MARKETPLACE

5

Dieffenbacher

13

Fagen Inc.

12

Himark bioGas

38

Hurst Boiler & Welding Co. Inc.

26

KEITH Manufacturing Company

22

Pellet Mill Magazine

43

PHG Energy

44

RUD Chain

7

Wolf Material Handing Systems

33

14 POWER 16 NEWS 17 COLUMN Fueling Misplaced Outrage By Bob Cleaves

18 FEATURE Rise of the Portables Power on demand, feedstock flexibility and portability drive growth of the mobile biomass power system market. By Chris Hanson

COPYRIGHT © 2013 by BBI International

Biomass Magazine: (USPS No. 5336) July 2013, Vol. 7, Issue 7. 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.

22 July 2013

Heat Healthy Millinocket Regional Hospital Drops Fuel Oil for Wood Pellets Page ??

On the Cover: Millinocket Regional Hospital CEO Marie Vienneau and Plant Operations Director Dale McLaughlin stand in front of the facility's recently installed wood pellet heating system.

PELLETS 22 NEWS 24 DEPARTMENT Why We Did It Millinocket Regional Hospital Maine replaced its heating oil with wood pellets and is poised to save millions as a result. By Anna Simet

Plus: Portable Power Systems Provide Community Convenience Page ??

And:

Biogas-powered Fuel Cells Enabling Self Suf¿ciency Page ??

www.biomassmagazine.com

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

JULY 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 3


The Advanced Biofuels Event of the Year!

www.AdvancedBiofuelsConference.com

One FREE Producer Pass Per Biofuels Facility Deadline: July 30

Ethanol | Biodiesel | Advanced Biofuels | Cellulosic

Primed for Market Expansion

Make your plans to attend the 2013 National Advanced Biofuels Conference & Expo in Omaha, Nebraska. With 70 first generation biofuels facilities within 250-miles of Omaha all capable of utilizing bolt on technology, and the largest cellulosic ethanol plants in the country currently under construction or about to go online, the region is primed to prove new technology and produce advanced biofuels.

Conference includes:

• 65+ Comprehensive Presentations • 3 Program Tracks: - Pathways & Partnerships - Inputs & Supply Chains - Money & Markets • Important Industry Update • Educational Expo Hall • Networking Opportunities

Contact us: service@bbiinternational.com or 866-746-8385

CO -L OC A TED EV ENT

September 10, 2013 Omaha, NE Learn More Visit: www.AdvancedBiofuelsConference.com


INSIDE ¦

JULY 2013 | VOLUME 7 | ISSUE 7

32 THERMAL 28 NEWS 29 COLUMN Residential Solar Spreading, But Still Outperformed by Wood Heat By John Ackerly

30 DEPARTMENT: Q&A Cooking Up Innovation BioLite co-founder Jonathan Cedar dishes on the company’s biomass cook stove technology and its widespread potential. By Tim Portz

32 CONTRIBUTION Oregon’s Forest-to-Boiler Movement Oregon leads the U.S. in community-scale biomass projects and is working hard to maintain its momentum. By Renee Magyar

BIOGAS 34 NEWS 35 COLUMN Vermont, now Connecticut, Models for Diverting Organics By Patrick Serfass

30 DEPARTMENT Technology Profile Biogas fuel cells’ ability to transform waste streams directly into electricity with zero emissions is attracting attention from power users of all kinds. By Chris Hanson

ADVANCED BIOFUELS & CHEMICALS 38 NEWS 39 COLUMN Overcoming Regulatory and Legislative Volatility By Wayne Simmons

40 COLUMN Positioning for Success

Call Toll Free: 1.800.STOKER4 sales@detroitstoker.com www.detroitstoker.com

By Chris Zygarlicke

JULY 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 5


¦EDITOR’S NOTE

Small-Scale Biomass Delivers Big Benefits Two of biomass’s most valuable characteristics are its ubiquity and its adaptability to scale. These attributes have been explored, each in turn, in this and last month’s installments of Biomass Magazine. In June, we explored biomass inputs as a less carbon-dense TIM PORTZ supplement or replacement for coal. VICE PRESIDENT OF CONTENT & EXECUTIVE EDITOR The enormity of the energy needed tportz@bbiinternational.com by the massive, grid-connected facilities we profiled are generating billions of dollars of investment worldwide to produce and move biomass, quite literally by the shipload. This month, we turn our attention to the other end of the spectrum and look closely at biomass energy systems that, in some cases, require little more than a handful of biomass to generate vital heat and power. Interestingly, the societal, economic and local benefits for biomass energy systems at these small and micro scales rival—and arguably eclipse—the benefits of the enormous conversions covered in last month’s issue. Consider this from this month’s Q&A with BioLite co-founder Jonathan Cedar and co-inventor of that company’s HomeStove product: Each day, 3 billion people cook over open fires, breathing raw wood smoke loaded with particulate matter. The resulting respiratory ailments and diseases kill more people each year than HIV and malaria combined. Our other features this month outline different but equally compelling benefits. Fuel cost savings, forest restoration, increased local economic activity and dispatchable power for storm-ravaged communities are all deliverables afforded by biomass energy systems that are highly portable, easy to use and incredibly clean. In Anna Simet’s “Why We Did it” department, Millinocket (Maine) Regional Hospital CEO Marie Vienneau notes that the forecast $2 million savings delivered to the hospital over the next 10 years can be redirected to expenditures that will result in greater patient benefits. Director of Plant Operations Dale McLaughlin takes the benefit conversation even further saying, “We also like the fact that the money is being spent on wood pellets. It’s still in the U.S. and even better yet, here in our area,” This month’s stories are reminders that while the Btus delivered by small-scale biomass energy systems may lack the eye-popping enormity of those at massive power facilities, the benefits they deliver for their users are no less profound.

6 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | JULY 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 STAFF WRITER Chris Hanson chanson@bbiinternational.com

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 BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR Howard Brockhouse hbrockhouse@bbiinternational.com ACCOUNT MANAGERS Kelsi Brorby kbrorby@bbiinternational Chip Shereck cshereck@bbiinternational.com CIRCULATION MANAGER Jessica Beaudry jbeaudry@bbiinternational.com ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Marla DeFoe mdefoe@bbiinternational.com SENIOR MARKETING MANAGER John Nelson jnelson@bbiinternational.com

EXTERNAL EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS Shane Chrapko, Himark Biogas Stacy Cook, Koda Energy Benjamin Anderson, University of Iowa Gene Zebley, Hurst Boiler Andrew Held, Virent Inc. Kyle Goerhing, Eisenmann Corp. 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 701-7465367. 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.


INDUSTRY EVENTS¦ National Advanced Biofuels Conference & Expo September 10-12, 2013

CenturyLink Center Omaha Omaha, Neb. Proving Pathways. Building Capacity. Produced by BBI International, this national event will feature the world of advanced biofuels and biobased chemicals—technology scale-up, project finance, policy, national markets and more—with a core focus on the industrial, petroleum and agribusiness alliances defining the national advanced biofuels industry. 866-746-8385 | www.advancedbiofuelsconference.com

Algae Biomass Summit

September 30-October 3, 2013 Hilton Orlando Orlando, Fla. This dynamic event unites industry professionals from all sectors of the world’s algae utilization industries including, but not limited to, financing, algal ecology, genetic systems, carbon partitioning, engineering & analysis, biofuels, animal feeds, fertilizers, bioplastics, supplements and foods. 866-746-8385 | www.algaebiomasssummit.org

International Biomass Conference & Expo March 24-26, 2014

Orlando Convention Center Orlando, Fla. Organized by BBI International and coproduced by Biomass Magazine, the International Biomass Conference & Expo program will include 30-plus panels and more than 100 speakers, including 90 technical presentations on topics ranging from anaerobic digestion and gasification to pyrolysis and combined heat and power. This dynamic event 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

International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo June 9-12, 2014

Indiana Convention Center Indianapolis, Ind. Celebrating its 30th year, the FEW provides the global ethanol industry with cuttingedge content and unparalleled networking opportunities in a dynamic business-tobusiness environment. The FEW is the largest, longest running ethanol conference in the world—and the only event powered by Ethanol Producer Magazine. 866-746-8385 | www.fuelethanolworkshop.com


Business Briefs PEOPLE, PRODUCTS & PARTNERSHIPS

Genomatica adds advisory board member Genomatica Inc. has announced the appointment of Frances H. Arnold to its scientific advisory board. Arnold is a leading authority on protein engineering, Arnold’s experience directed protein will help Genomatica evolution, enzymology, tackle scientific and technical challenges and metabolic as it continues to engineering. Genomatica push the capabilities of biotechnology. will leverage her expertise as it pursues the development of new manufacturing processes for intermediate and basic chemicals produced from renewable feedstocks. Arnold is currently a professor of chemical engineering, bioengineering and biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology. She is the recipient of numerous

accolades from industry and academia, including the Charles Stark Draper Prize in 2011 and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2011 Amyris appoints board member Amyris Inc. has appointed R. Neil Williams as a member of its board of directors, and chair of its audit committee. Williams has served as senior Williams has 30 vice president and chief years of experience financial officer of in the financial Intuit Inc. since January services industry. 2008. At Intuit, he is responsible for all financial aspects of the company, including corporate strategy and business development, investor relations, financial operations and real estate. Prior to joining Intuit, he was executive vice president

and chief financial officer for Visa U.S.A. Inc., where he led all financial functions for the company and its subsidiaries, including financial planning, business planning and financial monitoring. He will bring extensive financial, corporate strategy and execution experience to Amyris’s board. Canadian professor awarded Marcus Wallenberg Prize The Marcus Wallenberg Foundation has awarded Derek Gray , a professor at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, the 2013 Marcus Gray’s discovery Wallenberg Prize for his has extended the study of nanocrystalline boundaries of the uses of forest raw cellulose. The prize material, creating aims to recognize, potential for a series of new products in encourage and the forest industry.

The Advanced Biofuels Event of the Year! www.AdvancedBiofuelsConference.com

One FREE Producer Pass Per Biofuels Facility Deadline: July 30

Ethanol | Biodiesel | Advanced Biofuels | Cellulosic

Advanced Biofuels Facilities

8 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | JULY 2013

Ethanol Facilities

Biodiesel Facilities


BUSINESS BRIEFS¦

stimulate path-breaking scientific achievements. Gray’s research has shown that cellulose crystals in water suspensions align spontaneously in a specific pattern, creating unique optical properties. He discovered that solid films of crystalline cellulose suspensions make it possible to produce films with unique optical properties in wavelengths representing visible light. Possible applications include polarizing mirrors, lasers and optical security systems. ABO elects board members The Algae Biomass Organization has announced the election of seven members to its board of directors for the 2013-2015 term. The new and Burns re-elected board

members will join eight others already serving terms of the board. Newly elected board members are Tim Burns, president, CEO and co-founder of Olivares BioProcess Algae LLC, Jose Olivares, biofuels program manager for Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Todd Taylor, an attorney with Fredrikson & Byron P.A. Current Taylor board members reelected to new two-year terms are David Hazlebeck of General Atomics, Margaret McCormick of Matrix Genetics, Paul Woods of Algenol Biofuels and Tim Zenk of Sapphire Energy.

Ɛ ŝŽŶ ϭϯ ƚ Ɖ ǁŽ ϮϬ  EĞ ŝŶŐŝŶ ďůĞ Ăƚŝ Ɖ ŵ ĐŽ ĐŽŵ Biomass

ŝĞ ĚͲƚ ƚŝĨŝĞĚ ŝ ƌ ͻ ' ĐĞƌ ͻ 

ReEnergy Holdings adds executive ReEnergy Holdings LLC has appointed Mark Fidler as its chief financial officer. Fidler will Fidler is experienced oversee all aspects of in public equity and finance and accounting, debt markets. banking, tax, audit, strategic planning, information technology, and corporate debt and equity financing activities. Before joining ReEnergy Holdings, Fidler served as chief financial officer for Ambient Corp.

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.

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JULY 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 9


Biomass

Construction Update

Construction of bioenergy plants in the U.S. and around the Northern Hemisphere is expanding as the building season welcomes summer. The positive growth of bioenergy in this sluggish but expanding economy is most evident on the construction sites of the 22 projects featured here. The Biomass Construction Update is not an exhaustive record of all construction projects in the biomass-to-energy space, but rather highlights prominent construction projects across the biomass power, pellet, biogas and advanced biofuel industries. From groundbreaking to completion, the health of the bioenergy sector is measured in the investment and activity around the building of biomass-fed plants. Completed this quarter were Ringer Energy in Ashley, Ohio, and Piedmont Green Power in Barnesville, Ga., both now fully on line and adding substantial quantities of biobased renewable energy to their respective markets. Rollcast Energy accomplished a noteworthy feat by financing the Piedmont project without the backing of a major utility. The success of that project-financed endeavor demonstrates the potential for other similarly financed biomass power projects to succeed. The pellet industry continues to grow with new plants and the acquisition of existing ones. The Zilkha Biomass Selma (Ala.) plant is pursuing refurbished equipment, while German Pellets of Woodville, Texas, is installing all new equipment. The biogas sector continues to experience growth in areas where agriculture and food processing is prominent, and waste management partnerships can result in biogas. The six advanced biofuel plants listed in the BCU represent well over $1 billion of investment. Though cellulosic ethanol plants comprise the majority of activity, Myriant’s bio-succinic acid and WB Service’s

Biomass Power

Pellets

PHOTO: ABENGOA

Summer Construction in Full Swing

Abengoa Bioenergy Biomass of Kansas bio-based diesel plants, at Lake Providence, La., and Sedgwick, Kan., respectively, demonstrate the diversity of projects in the advanced biofuel sector. The plants included in the Q2 Biomass Construction Update represent thousands of jobs and the growing market presence of biomass-derived energy. 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.

Biogas

Altavista Power Station, Dominion

Advanced Biofuel Burgess BioPower, Cate Street Capital

Location

Altavista, Va.

Combined heat and power

No

Location

Berlin, N.H.

Combined heat and power

No

Engineer/builder

Crowder Const., ESI, B&W

Government incentives

Federal PTC, RECs

Engineer/builder

Babcock & Wilcox

Government incentives

NA

Primary fuel

Wood waste

IPP or Utility

Utility

Primary fuel

Woody biomass

IPP or Utility

IPP

Boiler type

Stoker

Groundbreaking date

May 2012

Boiler type

Fluidized bed

Groundbreaking date

October 2011

Nameplate capacity

50 MW

Start-up date

May 2013

Nameplate capacity

75 MW

Start-up date

Q4 2013

The plant is currently in start-up, and doing emissions performance testing.

In its 21st month of construction, this project is expected to transition from construction to full operations by the end of the year.

Atikokan Generating Station, Ontario Power Generation Inc.

Covington Waste-To-Energy Plant, City of Covington

Location

Atikokan, Ontario, Canada

Combined heat and power

No

Location

Covington, Tenn.

Combined heat and power

Yes

Engineer/builder

Aecon, Doosan, Nordmin

Government incentives

10-year PPA

Engineer/builder

PHG Energy

Government incentives

Tennessee DEC grant

Primary fuel

Industrial pellets

IPP or Utility

IPP

Primary fuel

Urban wood waste, biosolids

IPP or Utility

IPP

Boiler type

Babcock Wilcox

Groundbreaking date

October 2012

Boiler type

PHG Energy Gasifier

Groundbreaking date

May 2012

Nameplate capacity

211 MW

Start-up date

Q2 2014

Nameplate capacity

125 kW

Start-up date

August 2013

Major structural shells are complete. Boiler modifications and control system replacements are underway.

10 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | JULY 2013

Concrete is poured and steel has been erected. Gasification equipment, thermal oxidizer, heat exchanger, dryer and ORC unit are being installed. July commissioning is expected.


CONSTRUCTION UPDATEÂŚ Project Complete

Drax Power, Drax Group plc

Piedmont Green Power, Rollcast Energy

Location

Drax, Yorkshire, U.K.

Combined heat and power

No

Location

Barnesville, Ga.

Combined heat and power

No

Engineer/builder

Shepherd Construction

Government incentives

ROC

Engineer/builder

Zachry

Government incentives

Federal 1603 grant

Primary fuel

Industrial pellets

IPP or Utility

IPP

Primary fuel

Woody biomass

IPP or Utility

IPP

Boiler type

Fluidized bed

Groundbreaking date

July 2012

Boiler type

Bubbling fluid bed

Groundbreaking date

November 2010

Nameplate capacity

400 MW

Start-up date

Phased start up

Nameplate capacity

60.5 MW

Start-up date

April 2013

First unit will be online and firing at capacity this quarter, second unit in 2014, and the third unit is already ahead of schedule.

Plant is operational.

Gainesville Renewable Energy Center, American Renewables LLC

South Boston Energy LLC, NOVEC

Location

Gainesville, Fla.

Combined heat and power

No

Location

South Boston, Va.

Combined heat and power

No

Engineer/builder

Fagen Inc.

Government incentives

Federal 1603 grant

Engineer/builder

Fagen Inc.

Government incentives

NA

Primary fuel

Woody biomass

IPP or Utility

IPP

Primary fuel

Logging residue

IPP or Utility

IPP

Boiler type

Metso- circulating fluidized bed

Groundbreaking date

Q3 2011

Boiler type

Detroit Stoker

Groundbreaking date

December 2010

Nameplate capacity

100 MW

Start-up date

July 2013

Nameplate capacity

49.9 MW

Start-up date

June 2013

The project is in startup and commissioning, first fire was set for July 1.

The project is nearing the end of commissioning. Service road work is being completed. Initial synch with the grid is imminent. German Pellets Texas

NPI USA Co-Generation Facility, Nippon Paper Industries USA Location

Port Angeles, Wash.

Combined heat and power

Yes

Location

Woodville, Texas

Fire prevention technology

German Pellet Proprietary

Engineer/builder

AMEC, JH Kelley, FS&E, & VECA

Government incentives

Federal 1603 grant

Builder

German Pellets Texas LLC

Annual production capacity

550,000 short tons/yr

Primary fuel

Logging/mill residue

IPP or Utility

IPP

Pellet mill

Multiple companies

Export country

Europe

Boiler type

Detroit Stoker- stoker

Groundbreaking date

June 2011

Feedstock

Hardwood, softwood

Groundbreaking date

January 2012

Nameplate capacity

20 MW

Start-up date

September 2013

Type of pellets

Industrial and premium

Start-up date

Q2 2013

At time of press, the plant is anticipating completion.

Blue Water Energy has been hired for commissioning. Fuel side commissioning begins in July with boiler commissioning to start in August. Estimated sync date is in mid-September.

Vulcan Renewables LLC Location

St. Augustine, Fla.

Fire prevention technology

NA

Builder

Vulcan Renewables

Annual production capacity

150,000 Short tons/yr

Pellet mill

Amandus Kahl 15MT/hr

Export country

Europe and Korea

Feedstock

Softwood

Groundbreaking date

January 2013

Type of pellets

Premium and industrial

Start-up date

September 2013

Construction continues on schedule.

Covington Waste-To-Energy Plant, Covington, Tenn.

PHOTO: PHG ENERGY

Zilkha Biomass Selma Location

Selma, Ala.

Fire prevention technology

Spark Detct./Supprs, HRD powder

Builder

ITAC, Zilkha Biomass Fuels

Annual production capacity

300,000 Short tons/yr

Pellet mill

Andritz 27LM

Export country

Europe

Feedstock

Mostly softwood, some hardwood

Groundbreaking date

January 2013

Type of pellets

Zilkha Black Pellets

Start-up date

Q2 2014

Equipment from Dixie Pellet Plant is being reconditioned and reused. Removal of excess existing equipment and site preparation for new equipment is complete.

JULY 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 11


ÂŚCONSTRUCTION UPDATE Biomass Power

Pellets

Biogas

Advanced Biofuel

Green Whey Energy Location

Turtle Lake, Wis.

Biogas production capacity

868 scfm

Engineer/builder

Ecolab & Symbiont/Miron Construction

Biogas end use

Electricity production

Substrate(s)

Waste water

Installed power capacity

3.2 MW

Digester type

Upflow

Groundbreaking date

January 2013

Gas cleaning technology

Unison Gas Conditioning System

Start-up date

July 2013

Concrete work is complete, and piping is nearly complete. Precommissioning work underway.

Location

New Franklin, Ohio

Biogas production capacity

195 scfm

Engineer/builder

Quasar Energy Group

Biogas end use

Electricity, heat

Substrate(s)

Food waste, FOG, biosolids

Installed power capacity

810 kW

Digester type

complete mix

Groundbreaking date

May 2013

Gas cleaning technology

NA

Start-up date

September 2013

On schedule, working towards substantial completion by Sept. 30.

Green Whey Energy, Turtle Lake, Wis.

PHOTO: ENERKEM

Quasar Energy Group - Barberton


CONSTRUCTION UPDATEÂŚ Biomass Power Project Complete

Pellets

Ringler Energy Ashley, Ohio

Biogas production capacity

Engineer/builder

Quasar Energy Group

Biogas end use

Substrate(s)

Hog manure, FOG, biosolids

Digester type

Complete mix Quasar membrane

Advanced Biofuel Abengoa Bioenergy Biomass of Kansas LLC

Location

Gas cleaning technology

Biogas Location

Hugoton, Kan.

Annual production capacity

25 MMgy

Electricity, heat, CNG

Engineer/builder

Abengoa

Type of RIN(s)

D3

Installed power capacity

810 kW

Process technology

Proprietory process

Coproducts

21 MW of biomass power

Groundbreaking date

July 2012

Biofuel/biochemical

Cellulosic ethanol

Groundbreaking date

September 2011

Feedstock

Corn stover, wheat straw, switchgrass

Start-up date

December 2013

Start-up date

Project complete

On schedule to start up electric cogeneration facility in August, and the plant by year's end.

Plant is operational.

DuPont Cellulosic Ethanol LLC - Nevada

The Plant, Bubbly Dynamics, LLC Location

Chicago, Ill.

Biogas production capacity

42 scfm phs. 1 83 scfm phs. 2

Engineer/builder

Eisenmann Corp.

Biogas end use

Combined heat and power

Engineer/builder

Fagen Inc.

Type of RIN(s)

90% D3 RINs

Substrate(s)

Food and brewery waste

Installed power capacity

500 kW

Process technology

Enzymatic hydrolysis

Coproducts

Solid biomass fuel

Digester type

Continuous mixed horizontal plug flow

Groundbreaking date

October 2012

Biofuel/biochemical

Cellulosic ethanol

Groundbreaking date

Q4 2012

Gas cleaning technology

Biological desulphurization

Start-up date

October 2013

Feedstock

Corn stover

Start-up date

2nd half 2014

Location

Nevada, Iowa

Annual production capacity

30 MMgy

Foundation work is in progress, and fermenter installation is scheduled for August.

Rotary Dryer

m rgy Syste Heat Ene

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 JULY 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 13


¦CONSTRUCTION UPDATE Biomass Power

Pellets

Biogas

Green Energy Products, WB Services

Advanced Biofuel Myriant Lake Providence Bio-Succinic Acid Commercial Plant

Location

Sedgwick, Kan.

Annual production capacity

3 MMgy

Location

Lake Providence, La.

Annual production capacity

30 M lbs per yr

Engineer/builder

WB Services

Type of RIN(s)

1.7 D4 RINs per gallon

Engineer/builder

ThyssenKrupp Uhde

Type of RIN(s)

NA

Process technology

Proprietary technologyCetane Energy

Coproducts

Steam and biogas

Process technology

Fermentation

Coproducts

AMS

Biofuel/biochemical

ASTM spec bio-based diesel

Groundbreaking date

Q1 2013

Biofuel/biochemical

Bio-succinic acid and derivatives

Groundbreaking date

December 2011

Feedstock

Organic fat, oils, greases

Start-up date

Q4 2013

Feedstock

Corn and sorghum

Start-up date

May 2013

Engineering is 95 percent complete; steel work is 60 percent complete. Equipment is being delivered and piping and electrical work have begun.

Commissioning is currently underway.

Indian River Bioenergy Center, INEOS Bio

Project Liberty, POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels LLC

Location

Vero Beach, Fla.

Annual production capacity

8 MMgy

Location

Emmetsburg, Iowa

Annual production capacity

25 MMgy

Engineer/builder

AMEC

Type of RIN(s)

D3

Engineer/builder

Poet Design and Construction

Type of RIN(s)

D3

Process technology

INEOS Bio (gasifc./ferm.)

Coproducts

6 MW biomass power

Process technology

Enzymatic hydrolysis

Coproducts

Biomass power

Biofuel/biochemical

Cellulosic ethanol

Groundbreaking date

Q1 2011

Biofuel/biochemical

Cellulosic ethanol

Groundbreaking date

March 2012

Feedstock

Agriculture/yard waste, MSW

Start-up date

Q2 2013

Feedstock

Crop residue

Start-up date

Q1 2014

All construction and commissioning is complete. The plant is in the final start-up phase.

Fermentation, saccharification tank foundations are complete. Feedstock storage building is nearing completion. The installation of process equipment is beginning.

Increase Sales & Stay Top of Mind in 2014 The map is distributed to the following: • Mailed to all Biomass Magazine subscribers • Mailed to all biomass power facilities • International Biomass Conference & Expo (in attendee bags) • PFI Annual Conference • National Advanced Biofuels Conference & Expo

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Biomass Power & Thermal | Pellets | Biogas | Advanced Biofuels

At the 2013 event in Minneapolis…

100% of the exhibitors

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PowerNews EIA publishes consumption, price estimates for biomass

Rollcast Energy signs PPA with Georgia Power

The U.S. Energy InforWood and waste biomass consumption for 2011 mation Administration published a set of annual statistics in May that include state-level estimates of consumption, Electric Power Residential prices and expenditures for 436.7 trillion Btu 450 trillion Btu Commercial woody and waste biomass. 111.7 trillion Btu The most recent release includes data for 2011. The electric power sector consumed a total of 436.7 trillion Btu of wood and waste Industrial biomass in 2011. California 1,473.6 trillion Btu led consumption on a state level, with 69 trillion Btu. Florida’s electric power producers consumed 50.3 trillion SOURCE: U.S. ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINSTRATION Btu, with electricity producers in Pennsylvania consuming 28.7 trillion Btu. On a combined basis, the U.S. electric power industry f$2.64 per million Btu. However, the EIA consumed 436.7 trillion Btu of wood and reported prices as high as $3.68 per million waste biomass in 2011. Btu in New Hampshire, and as low as 40 The average price of woody and waste cents per million Btu in Kentucky. biomass for the U.S. industrial sector was

Georgia Power, Southern Company’s largest subsidiary, has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with Rollcast Energy for the electrical output of its Piedmont Green Power Plant, a 53.4 MW facility located in Barnesville, Ga. Under the agreement, Rollcast will retain all the renewable energy credits earned through the state’s renewable portfolio standard. The plant is the first greenfield biomass project developed by Rollcast. It will take in approximately 500,000 tons of locally-sourced woody biomass each year and generate enough electricity to power more than 35,000 homes. The plant, which began operations April 19, took two years to construct. Zachry Industrial Inc., a subsidiary of Zachry Holdings, served as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the project. Delta Power Services, a subsidiary of Babcock & Wilcox, is providing operations and maintenance services to the plant.

16 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | JULY 2013


POWER¦

Fueling Misplaced Outrage BY BOB CLEAVES

Biomass opposition is back, continuing a misleading and counterproductive campaign, “Our Forests Aren’t Fuel.” The latest battleground of the campaign is the wood pellet industry, specifically the shipping of wood pellets overseas for use by biomass plants in Europe. The campaign kicked off with a splashy Wall Street Journal article questioning the practice of shipping pellets overseas. While the biomass, managed forestry and pellet industries are somewhat distinct and serve different purposes here in the U.S., we are all siblings in the larger bioenergy family. Attacking all these industries at once allows our opposition to further confuse the complex issues surrounding biomass. The real shame is that a national conversation on bioenergy and how it fits into the nation’s complicated energy equation is long overdue. No one is saying that biomass will or should eventually power the entire country. But, as I’ve said countless times before, it’s an important part of the energy portfolio that reduces the use of fossil fuels and our dependence on foreign energy sources. It also contributes to sound environmental practices by providing an outlet for wood residue materials that can worsen forest fires, clog landfills and emit the harmful methane gas during decomposition. On the economic side, biomass allows local communities to generate jobs and harness the local materials that are available to it. Just last month, Biomass Power Association member ReEnergy Holdings held the grand opening for a new facility in Fort Drum, N.Y. The new ReEnergy Black River facility earned wide praise for a number of reasons. The new facility creates more than 30 full-time jobs in the rural North Country region of New York State, supporting nearly 150 additional logging positions. ReEnergy’s lease-to-own wood chipper program is enabling 14 local logging companies to expand their market offerings, while working toward even greater profits. One local logging operation estimates that it will be able to sell around 60,000 tons of tree bark and limbs each year—materials that are otherwise unus-

able and would rot in a landfill—to ReEnergy for its new biomass facility. On the day of its opening, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo lauded ReEnergy Black River as “the future of energy in New York State.” ReEnergy also made news last month when it became the first company solely devoted to electricity production to be certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative 2010-2014 standard. In voluntarily seeking this third-party certification from SFI, ReEnergy has made a formal commitment to procure its forest materials from qualified logging professionals who utilize best management practices and operate with an ethic of land stewardship that integrates reforestation, and protects the longterm quality of soil, air, water resources, biological diversity and aesthetics. Biomass, managed forests and pellet companies don’t need SFI certification to show their commitment to sustainability. But companies like ReEnergy, which put the time and effort into earning the certification, demonstrate that biomass is fully able to comply with stringent and widely recognized sustainability standards. In a sound rebuttal to the original Wall Street Journal article, Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell, whose family owns and operates 2,500 acres of private forests in Georgia, wrote: “Just as musicians are passionate about their craft, independent forest owners are passionate about the art of land management. Our mantra is to leave the land in better shape than when we found it. Not only do we care about this from aesthetic and recreational perspectives, but for many it is good business to care.” This is exactly what we want the biomass opposition to understand: for the bioenergy industry, sustainability is not a window treatment – it’s our business. So "rock on," Chuck, and everyone involved with biomass. Author: Bob Cleaves President and CEO, Biomass Power Association www.biomasspowerassociation.com bob@biomasspowerassociation.com

JULY 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 17


¦POWER

FIRST FIRE UP: NREL demonstrates proof of concept for its small modular biopower unit. PHOTO: COMMUNITY POWER CORP.

18 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | JULY 2013


POWER¦

Rise of the Portables Small-scale power solutions tap into waste streams and local biomass. BY CHRIS HANSON

P

ropagated from R&D labs, think-tanks and even art communities, portable biomass power units have the ability to generate energy for a diverse set of applications and users. By providing a sundry of industries and communities with power, portables are comparable to other distributed power options, such as solar and wind. From California to New York and up into Canada, companies are finding creative solutions to the technological challenges surrounding portables. Nestled in the Bay Area of Berkeley, Calif., All Power Labs is the offspring of the art world. Tom Price, evangelist of the company, says local artists experimenting with large-scale pieces of industrial sculpture that incorporated fire elements spurred the research into gasification technology. The first biomass unit was constructed in 2007 and was a last-minute feature at the CleanTech Open.“That’s how we found ourselves in the fire lane of the center crowd of the convention center,” recalls Price. “The gasifier running, made out of junk, with all these VPs and CEOs standing around with their jaws on the floor, because we had just made the thing they were trying to invent—basically for free.” After open sourcing its technology in 2008, the lab developed its PowerPallet technology. Currently, the lab is offering two sizes, 10 and 20 kilowatts (kW), at the average cost of $1.50 per watt. Both units stand only 6 feet high and have a footprint the size of a standard shipping pallet. Price says keeping the project small

JULY 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 19


¦POWER scale forced them to creatively integrate the components, and enables users to easily transport the unit to be used for rural electrification, off-grid homes and similar applications. The units can operate on a variety of feedstocks, with a preference for hardwood, softwood, and nut or coconut shells. Systems to handle additional feedstocks, including poultry litter and straw, are in development. At 75 percent load, the 20 kW unit’s General Motors Vortec engine will consume roughly 952 pounds of biomass to generate a power output of 360 kW-hours. With installations in 45 universities in the U.S. and elsewhere, and in 30-plus countries, demand for the power technology has been increasing. Price recently visited with a representative from Africa interested in testing more than 240 units in trial villages. Many developing countries have incomplete electrical systems and several war-torn places have damaged systems, says Jess Hobbs, All Power founder. “There’s a general trend towards approaching energy from a microstructure. That’s another important reason we developed our trial-scale systems.”

In Great Neck, N.Y., AgriPower Inc. also manufactures portable biomass power systems. Barry Berman, AgriPower CEO, says the project began in 2002 with the development of a heat-only unit that was deployed in schools, hospitals and prisons for hot water production. A combined heat-and-power module—the waste heat generator (WHG)—is the product of research and development within the past two years. The biggest challenge of the design was solving a combustion chamber issue, according to Berman, as the initial gaspowered turbine used did not mesh well with the WHG combustion chamber’s performance. The turbine was designed for immediate operation, whereas the chamber needed time to heat up to operating temperatures. Altering the turbine design solved the problem, says Berman. Unlike All Power Lab’s pallet-sized unit, AgriPower’s system is twice as tall and stretches about 40 feet once assembled. Because of the size, the heat and power units are transported separately via truck, then assembled and in operation within three to five days. The units are designed to provide baseload power to whatever application is used, lessening the amount of power needed from the grid. Once in operation, a 375 kW system will consume roughly 15 tons of fuel, depending on composition, density and moisture content, for 24 hours of continuous use. The system can be fueled by wood residue, crop and animal wastes and operates between 1,000 and 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit. During emission tests of the AgriPower combustor, the unit consumed more than a ton of shredded wood chips with 40 percent moisture content, while emitting only 1.47 pounds per hour (lb/hr) of particulates with less than 0.20 lb/ hr of carbon monoxide. Demand for the units is growing, and Berman says the company is getting ready to ramp up production. He has been contacted by both domestic and international organizations and businesses interested in using them. One interested company in remote, northern 20 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | JULY 2013

PHOTO: CREDIT: JESS HOBBS, ALL POWER LABS

Waste Heat and Power

PACKING A PUNCH: All Power Labs’ 20kW portable biomass unit can be fueled by multiple fuels including wood residue and animal waste.

Canada could potentially save $1.6 million each year in carting and disposal fees, he says, by using discarded wood and food waste in the portable unit. In addition to powering remote locations and villages in developing countries, Berman says some government agencies, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Homeland Security, have shown interest in the units. Debris from natural disasters could be used as fuel to power emergency electrical generation and water purification.

Containerized Solution Canadian-based EverGreen Energy Corp. has a 50 kW portable biomass power unit capable of using a medley of feedstocks. “We are fortunate that we have a list of waste streams that we can take, from woodchips, to slash, biodegradable municipal solid waste, some manure and woodchip mixes, corn, miscanthus, and other energy crops,” says President Garry Spence. When evaluating a project, the company assesses available waste streams. Spence says the unit can utilize fuels with 10 to 40 percent moisture content, with 20 percent being the sweet spot.


PHOTO: BARRY BERMAN, AGRIPOWER

POWER¦

SENSIBLY SIZED: AgriPower's portable unit generally fits upon two semi trailers

EverGreen units are shipped from the manufacturer in 40-foot containers and picked up from the plant by truck to be transferred to rail or trucked to their final destinations. Spence adds that for remote locations, units can travel via multiple shipping modes. “So much of the energy that has been used by different remote areas is diesel-electric,” Spence says. “Nothing against diesel-electric, but we can replace that with biomass. But you have to have biomass available and you have to have the technology that can be positioned. So that’s why we like the containerized sizes, so they can be easily delivered.”

Future Applications Henry Quesada-Pineda, assistant professor of sustainable biomaterials at Virginia Tech, believes there are both environmental and cultural implications for portable biomass technologies. He says utilizing renewable resources, such as biomass and agricultural wastes, will help alleviate waste management concerns for remote locations and could offset methane produced from decaying crop residues in developing countries. He adds that the unit the college is currently testing works well with hardwood and softwood fuels, but newer units will need to utilize a broader variety of feedstocks. Some, such as chicken litter, will require developing additional processes to turn the waste into a viable fuel.

In addition to environmental benefits, Quesada-Pineda foresees cultural benefits from using portable biomass units. One of his proposals to the college involves transporting a few portable biomass power units to Central American countries such as Costa Rica and Guatemala. “We tried to tell them we can help you to understand that waste can actually be a value-added product and for them it’s kind of surprising,” Quesada-Pineda explains. “I think it’s mostly because in most cases they lack the access to the knowledge.” Increasing public awareness and overcoming inaccurate perceptions is perhaps the biggest obstacle restraining future market growth. To overcome this challenge, Berman seeks out speaking engagements and attends trade shows to demonstrate AgriPower’s abilities. Spence says developing more cost-effective technology will generate more interest among potential users. Price sums up his vision for future applications of portable units this way: “I don’t think it’s up to us to decide. What we’re trying to do is create the opportunity for people to empower themselves.” Author: Chris Hanson Staff Writer, Biomass Magazine chanson@bbinternational.com 701-738-4970

JULY 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 21


PelletNews Enviva LP celebrated the official opening of its Northampton County, N.C., pellet plant May 21. The 500,000-metricton plant is the twin of a second facility under construction in Southampton County, Va. North Carolina Gov. Patrick McCrory was on hand with several other local and state officials to celebrate OPENING CELEBRATION: North Carolina Gov. Patrick McCrory the plant’s opening. speaks at the grand opening of Enviva’s new plant. “Enviva’s decision to locate this facility in Plans for the project were originally Northampton County is a big win for the announced in August 2011. Wood pellets region, the forest products industry and the produced at the facility are being exported state of North Carolina,” he said. “They to Europe via Enviva’s Port of Chesapeake are creating good jobs in a growing industry export terminal near Norfolk, Va. The and represent exactly the kind of business company acquired the deep-water port North Carolina needs to continue to attract from Giant Cement company in 2011. to our state.”

22 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | JULY 2013

Canadian pellet plant to restart midyear

PHOTO: ENVIVA LP

Pellet plant opens in NC, boon for forest industry

Vancouver, British Columbia-based Viridis Energy Inc. has announced the closing of the second, and final, installment of its $5 million non-brokered private placement. The second portion consisted of 20 million units priced at 10 cents per unit. According to Viridis, the proceeds of the private placement will be primarily used for capital expenditures and operating expenses associated with its Scotia Atlantic Biomass Co. Ltd. pellet plant, which the company acquired last year. The Middle Musquodoboit, Nova Scootia-based facility is expected to become operational this summer, bringing Viridis’s total annual pellet production capacity to 180,000 metric tons. The company also owns the Okanagan Pellet Company pellet plant, located in Kelowna, British Columbia. “As targets for green, renewable energy consumption set by major industrial countries become effective, we expect demand for wood pellets to far surpass supply,” said Christopher Robertson, chairman and CEO of Viridis. “To prepare for the projected growth in demand, we are also studying production expansion alternatives at the company’s Kelowna, B.C., plant.”


PELLET NEWS¦

Pellet producers receive payments under Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels Companies receiving $2,500 or more in payments:

The USDA has announced $14 million in payments to 162 advanced biofuel producers in 38 states under the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels. The program awards payments to eligible producers based on the amount of advanced biofuel produced from renewable sources of biomass, other than corn starch. Payments are not just awarded for liquid fuels, producers of other advanced biofuels, including wood pellets and biogas, are also eligible for the program. Two dozen pellet producers received awards of $500 or more during the latest

award announcement. Since the program’s inception, more than 280 producers of all types of advanced biofuels have received a total of $192.5 million in payments. “These payments represent the Obama administration’s commitment to support an ‘all of the above’ energy strategy,” said Acting Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien. “Producing advanced biofuels is a major component of the drive to take control of America’s energy future by developing domestic, renewable energy sources.”

SCFC publishes harvesting guidelines for bioenergy feedstock The South Carolina Forestry Commission has released guidelines for the harvest of woody biomass used to generate energy. Its recommendations aim to protect water quality, plant and animal diversity, soil nutrition and quality, and productivity near harvesting operations. The guidelines build upon existing best management practices (BMP) used by North Carolina timber harvesters via supplemental recommendations. They are not an alternative to BMP guidelines, which apply to all forestry operations. Guidelines related to harvesting include avoiding the removal of stumps, roots and leaf litter for biomass. Those harvesting biomass are also directed to ensure piles of chips or other fine materials are not placed in areas where they might enter wetlands or water bodies. In addition, the recommendations call for limiting biomass removal on slopes, where it could lead to erosion. The guidelines also note that, where appropriate, biomass harvesting can be employed as a means of vegetation control to enhance habitat for rare, threatened and endangered species.

Study recommends ways to overcome bioenergy development barriers The U.S. Endowment for Forestry & Communities Inc. released a report that assesses how community-scale, wood-fueled facilities could address forest health issues as well as losses from wildfires. The report, titled “Financing Wood Biomass Clusters: Barriers, Opportunities, and Potential Models for the Western U.S.,” is part of a series produced by the Endowment in collaboration with the U.S. Forestry Service. The report identifies factors that have contributed to the success for failure of biomass energy projects, with the goal of understanding how bioenergy can be more widely adapted in

the U.S. The analysis uses survey data collected from 73 bioenergy plants and eight producers and distributors of biomass fuel. Of the 73 facilities, five are combined-heat-and-power plants, three produced electricity only and the rest produced only thermal energy. Barriers to the development of bioenergy facilities identified by the analysis include high upfront capital costs, lack of profitability among fuel producers and the seasonality of heat demand. Additional barriers include feedstock transportation costs, unreliable biomass fuel sources, insufficient policy incentives and risk aversion.

The report describes several specific recommendations for action, including more effective financing methods, and the use of project development best practices. The analysis also recommends the development of lower-cost, standardized biomass energy systems along with project investments in regions where there is a dependence on propane, electricity and heating oil. Additional recommendations relate to fuel supply, fuel delivery, creating nontraditional revenue sources, policy, and understanding the importance of regional differences. JULY 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 23


¦PELLET DEPARTMENT

Why We Did It Maine’s Millinocket Regional Hospital is the first hospital in the U.S. to bring on line a wood pellet-fired heating system. BY ANNA SIMET PHOTOS BY AARON D. PRIEST

D

ale McLaughlin has served as director of plant operations at Millinocket Regional Hospital for 15 years. During that time, he has continually researched and pursued different heating options that might be a good fit for the facility, with the ultimate goal of replacing its use of expensive No. 2 heating oil that so many homes and businesses in the Northeast U.S. are reliant upon.

24 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | JULY 2013

Besides nixing heating oil, McLaughlin’s endeavors were driven by a couple of additional motivators—the desire to keep dollars spent on fuel at home, and to switch to something more environmentally sound. MRH CEO Marie Vienneau paints a picture of McLaughlin as someone who is not only an extremely competent and seasoned plant operations director, but is also really looking out for the best interests of the hospital. “Dale

has been very proactive in exploring other types of energy,” she says. “We’ve wanted to reduce our oil use for cost reasons, but for those other reasons as well, and he’s been at it for many years.” Like McLaughlin, Vienneau has a long history at MRH, as she initially began working there in 1990 as a registered nurse. She assumed the position of CEO a few years later, which she has held for over a decade. When discussing their re-


PELLET¦

JACK OF TRADES: Dale McLaughlin has held his position of director of plant operations for over 15 years.

cent accomplishment of bringing on line a wood pellet-fired heating system, both McLaughlin and Vienneau exude pride, not only because it’s the first to come on line in a U.S. hospital, but because of all that will be achieved as a result.

Exploring Options When the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act made Wood-2-Energy grants available through the USDA Forest Service, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for MRH. “We live in the middle of America’s wood basket, so when this money became available, we decided to pursue it,” says Vienneau, adding that it covered half of the cost of the half million dollar project. The ARRA grants totaled $11 million, used to convert 37 buildings from HUNGRY AUGER: The auger-fed wood pellet boiler system at MRH will consume about 665 tons of pellets annually.

JULY 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 25


¦PELLET oil to wood heat. In all, the projects will annually displace more than 900,000 gallons of fuel oil, according to Peter Beringer of the Maine Forest Service. The project at MRH is predicted to displace nearly 80,000 gallons of fuel annually, saving the 70,000-square-foot facility $149,000 each year. How well the system actually performs will be tracked and compared to the projections, Beringer explains. “One of the requirements of this project is a five-

year fuel consumption reporting requirement. At the end of five years, we will be able to determine how accurate the estimates were and be able to have solid fuel data to help other potential conversion projects to make informed decisions.” Once the grants were awarded and the Swiss Schmid Energy Solutions-supplied boiler arrived in the U.S., Washington-based Northline Energy began the installation. It took about three months

Biogas Biomass Natural Gas Propane Gas Biodiesel Digestion Landfill Gas Pellet Fuels

STEALTHY STORAGE: MRH's wood pellet silo can store up to 36 tons of wood pellets at a time.

to finish, according to McLaughlin, and getting it done smoothly in a busy hospital setting wasn’t a problem. “It was pretty seamless,” he says. “We already had the valves needed for the biomass boiler in place, so there was no shut-down time.” The 700-kilowatt, 2,200 MMBtu/ hour low pressure steam boiler went live Dec. 7, and will annually consume 665 tons of wood pellets. Athens, Mainebased supplier Maine Wood Pellets is delivering fuel pellets to MHR, which are being stored in a 36-ton silo that sits outlearn more...

hurstboiler.com 26 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | JULY 2013

tel: 229.346.3545


PELLET¦ side the building. On how often deliveries are required, McLaughlin said one every two weeks during the coldest part of the winter season. Plant operation staff is on during the day, but just on call at night. “It can be monitored from anywhere you have access to the Internet,” McLaughlin explains. “To do a hard reset you have to be there physically, but otherwise it can be operated remotely. It’s a real basic design.” Via an automated system, ash produced on the back end of the system— a very minimal amount—is sent into a barrel on wheels that fits onto a regularsized pallet. Since installation, the barrel has only had to be emptied four times, according to McLaughlin. If the MRH had paid the full $5 million price tag, a return on investment would be expected in about five years. Thanks to the Wood-2-Energy Program grant of $258,978, it’ll be achieved in 2.5 years. McLaughlin’s meticulous fuel cost calculations indicate that from the startup date to March 1, about $75,000 was saved. “We also like the fact that the money is being spent on wood pellets,” he adds. “It’s still in the U.S. and, even better yet, here in our area.” Vienneau adds that the region needs any help it can get economically, as its once booming paper industry is depressed. “Anything that can be done for wood workers to find other customers for their goods is a good thing [for the region’s economy],” she says. MRH, as well as Northern Maine Medical Center, which brought a pellet heating system on line shortly after MRH, will now serve as an example to other hospitals or institutions in the area looking to switch fuels. And there are many mulling it over, Vienneau says. “A lot of hospitals are looking at alternative energy sources…several in our area are going to natural gas, which is cheaper than oil, but not as cost effective as pellets right now.”

As for advice for those evaluating wood pellets, McLaughlin says he advises them to contact MRH directly with any questions. “It’s not a huge transition,” he says. “And it’s just a win-win to us and the local community.” MRH hopes to eventually expand the system to be able to use it year-round. Vinneau adds that over 10 years, the hospital is projecting to save nearly $2 million. “That $2 million can go directly to-

ward improving our hospital through the expansion of services, job creation or even upgrading equipment.” Author: Anna Simet Managing Editor, Biomass Magazine asimet@bbiinternational.com 701-751-2756

JULY 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 27


ThermalNews Current and proposed tarrif levels for biomass Biomass Boiler Size

Current tariffs

Reviewed tariffs (proposed for 2014-’15)

Tier 1: 8.6, Tier 2: 2.2

No change

Medium (200 kW to 1 MW) Tier 1: 5.3, Tier 2: 2.2

No change

Small (up to 200 kW) Large (1 MW and higher)

1

SOURCE: U.K. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

UK proposes increasing renewable heat incentive for large biomass systems The U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change has proposed increasing the tariff levels for heat generated by large biomass systems, ground source heat pumps and solar thermal kits accredited under the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive scheme. The move could benefit office buildings, factories and community centers by providing more cash for renewable heat. The proposed tariff levels are designed to increase uptake of the three listed technologies. According to the DECC, it is not proposing to increase the tariffs for small and medium bio-

28 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | JULY 2013

mass systems due to current high levels of demand for those technologies. A consultation on the proposals was to will close June 28. “The Renewable Heat Incentive has been running for nearly 18 months, so now is a timely moment to look again at the tariffs,” said Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker. “We need to make sure they are set at the right level to continue bringing forward investment and growth and at the same time keep costs to the taxpayer to a minimum. That’s what our proposals set out today are designed to do.”

Massachusetts coalition urging thermal parity A new coalition in Massachusetts has formed to advocate for renewable heat policies within the state. The Biomass Thermal Energy Council, the Massachusetts Forest Alliance, and the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas are among the biomass-focused organizations that have formed the new Massachusetts Renewable Thermal Coalition. The coalition is urging for support of Massachusetts legislation, S. 1593, that would add renewable thermal energy technologies and fuels to the state’s Alternative Portfolio Standard. “For the last decade, the commonwealth has been a leader in promoting technologies that generate renewable electricity. But until now, our renewable energy strategy has lacked similar incentives for renewable heating fuels. This bill closes that gap and brings us one step closer to achieving the goals set forth in our Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008,” said State Sen. Barry Finegold, who is sponsoring the legislation. “Thermal energy represents more than one-third of all energy consumed in Massachusetts,” says David O’Connor, former Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources. “Despite this, support for renewable heat through state policy has been very limited, while promotion of renewable electricity generation gets significant attention.”


THERMALÂŚ

Residential Solar Spreading, But Outperformed by Wood Heat BY JOHN ACKERLY

The U.S. Energy Information Agency recently released 2011 residential energy generation data showing that solar is making gains, and added the equivalent of nearly 40 trillion Btu in 2011. Comparatively, wood and pellet stoves added just 30 trillion Btu in 2011, yet, according to EIA statistics, wood heating still produces three times more energy than solar panels and 11 times more than geothermal. New EIA projections, however, predict solar may only produce the equivalent of .21 quadrillion Btu of energy in 2040, and that wood heat will produce .45 quadrillion Btu. This assumes a continuation of existing incentive policies that heavily favor solar. How many policymakers know that our government is predicting wood and pellet heating to still double the capacity of residential solar PV, even with all the rebates and incentives? I expect not many. Residential solar and wood and pellet heat share some key attributes: both are distributed sources of energy powered by the sun. Solar panels convert the sun’s energy directly through photovoltaics, whereas wood and pellet stoves and boilers convert it through photosynthesis, storing it in the tree for later use. They complement each other beautifully, as one produces kilowatts and is inefficient to heat with, while the other produces Btus and is inefficient for electricity. Solar is typically installed by urban, educated, wealthy families whereas wood and pellet stoves tend to be installed by rural, low- and middle-income families. Policies that give generous incentives to wealthier families, and not to middleincome families, for their respective technology of choice are based on an array of values, perceptions, assumptions and choices. The growth differential is partially due to state, not federal, incentive structures. From 2010 to 2011, 70 percent of the growth in solar occurred primarily in California and Florida, states with healthy incentives. With wood and pellet heating, the growth is far more incremental and organic across many states. Five states provide some state-level incentives for modern U.S. EPA certified stoves, but are far less generous than solar incentives. Even without significant federal or state incentives or rebates, wood and pellet stoves added far more capacity than solar panels between 2006 and 2008.

The EPA is about to announce new emission regulations for wood and pellet heating equipment, including furnaces and boilers that will be far stricter than existing regulations. Currently, wood and pellet stoves can emit up to 7.5 grams per hour. The EPA has floated a 1.3-gram-anhour threshold to take effect 5 years after promulgation. The emergence of cleaner and more efficient wood and pellet equipment is likely to help the growth of wood and pellet heating, as it has in Europe. There is also a green label for wood and pellet equipment being developed in the U.S., to help consumers easily identify the cleanest and most efficient heaters, and enable states to use that label in incentive programs. If the U.S. government predicts that residential wood heating will produce double the energy of residential solar PV, does this argue for even more aggressive solar subsidies? I believe we need to build on what works, and that means creating technology-neutral incentive structures. This would allow the consumer to decide what makes the most sense for their situation, based on their values, assumptions, and economic situations. Maine Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins just introduced S. 1007, the Btu Act of 2013, which seeks to include high-efficiency wood and pellet appliances in the provision of the IRS tax code currently giving a 30 percent consumer tax credit only for solar PV. Let the consumer decide, not the policymakers who seem to think solar PV is the only solution. The cleanest and most efficient wood and pellet appliances deserve incentives, otherwise consumers will likely buy less clean and less efficient appliances, or will keep using existing technology that is often very polluting and inefficient. It is time we guided the wood and pellet sector, as Europe has, maximizing its benefits instead of continuing to rely on outdated equipment. Author: John Ackerly President, Alliance for Green Heat 301-841-7755 jackerly@forgreenheat.org

JULY 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 29


Q&A Cooking Up Innovation

BioLite's wood-fired cook stoves are bringing clean, reliable power to people in developing countries. Jonathan Cedar and BioLite cofounder Alexander Drummond met in a product design shop in New York in 2006. Quickly realizing they shared a passion for sustainable design, the two went to work developing a camping stove that operated on a fuel other than petroleum products. A last minute entry—and subsequent win—at a clean stove competition at a conference focused on biomass use in developing nations led to the development of the company’s HomeStove product. With the product's design now finalized, BioLite is working to grow distribution so more people can benefit from the powerful tool Cedar and his team have created. Talk a little about your background. My background is in engineering and environmental science. I did my undergraduate work at Dartmouth’s school of engineering. After that, for a few years, I did a combination of undergraduate teaching and energy research with an oceanographic research group. BioLite started as a nights and weekends project back in 2006, with my co-founding partner, Alec Drummond, during which our initial objective was to create a camping stove that didn’t require petroleum. The insight was that by using a fan to force air into the combustion mixture in particular ways, you could promote certain types of gasification or secondary combustion that made wood extremely clean and easy to use as a fuel, which was surprising to us at the time.

30 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | JULY 2013

What were some of your earliest efforts in product design? I’ve always been a tinkerer type. Going back to when I was a little kid, I probably broke every possession my parents owned trying to take it apart and figure out how it worked. In high school, I spent half of my afternoons scrounging around junkyards for old motor parts to build go-karts. In college, my engineering program, while no one was talking about product design, was very much design and build. Half of every course was a rote knowledge component, and the other half was taking the theory and the calculations and applying it to a real world system. For example, if it was a thermodynamics course, you would do the math behind a sterling engine, but you would also go down to the machine shop and fabricate an innovation on the sterling engine that would improve the temperature differential. You would have to actually build one and make it work. Can you explain the prototyping of BioLite’s first effort, the CampStove? We had the luxury and burden of having to go through five to seven full-scale generations of the product over a five-year period. I think for a normal company that would be a heck of a lot of time, especially for an early stage company. But we started with very simple, quick and dirty proof of concept prototypes: folded sheet metal; cutting the inside out of a stainless steel thermos and punching a bunch of holes in it. We tried to break it out and design each of the systems separately, so we built ways to adjust primary and secondary airflows independently. We


Jonathan Cedar

Q&A ¦

INTERVIEW BY TIM PORTZ

did a lot of refinement of the systems at the individual scale, and then in each generation we would refine the individual systems, build them back up into an integrated prototype and kept that. What triggered the development of the HomeStove? It seems the market for this product is completely different than the market for the CampStove, yet the technology is virtually the same. In 2008, when we were on our third iteration of the CampStove and the prototype was becoming a recognizable product, we went to a clean wood combustion conference—with a camping user still in mind—with the thought that we were going there to learn more about advanced biomass combustion. It turned out to be very different. First of all, the conference was almost exclusively about the use of biomass as a primary fuel in developing countries. Every day, 3 billion people cook on wood, and the emissions from those fires kills 4 million people every year, more than malaria and HIV combined. So our eyes were opened to the need. At the same time, we had our funny little prototype and we entered it into the clean cook stove competition that year—really impromptu—and we ended up winning the cleanest stove of the year award. We were the only stove that wasn’t plugged into a wall outlet to achieve those low levels of emissions. Can you elaborate on how the CampStove and HomeStove work? The stoves are both what we call closely coupled gasifiers. The HomeStove is built around the combustion architecture commonly known as a rocket stove. This is

a rocket stove with limited primary air and forced secondary combustion. It’s mixing methodologies of a closely coupled gasifier and a side-fed stove, allowing the use of much larger pieces of wood, essentially logs that may be used in a potbelly stove. The product and the combustion technologies are somewhat different between the two, but what is the same is the thermoelectric system that drives the forced air for mixing, also creating extra electricity that can be used to charge mobile phones, LED lights, or anything that is USB chargeable. We first saw the application in these potbelly stovetop fans that use the heat from the top surface of the stove as a power source to circulate heat around the room. We thought, “We’ve got 5 kW of heat in this fire, and we only need a couple of watts of electricity to do some pretty useful stuff.” You are deploying large-scale pilot programs in India, Ghana and Uganda. What do you hope to learn and iron out as a result? We’ve been through two and a half years of prototype refinement, and qualitative product testing and market analysis of the home stoves. Now, we’re trying to answer three questions in what we call “at-scale commercial pilots.” The first question regards the willingness to pay. The second question is how we work effectively with our distribution partners there. In a place where there is no Walmart, Target or REI, what does it take for us to be effective partners? Of the partners we were working with initially, most of them looked like Avon models of sale where local village-level representatives essentially do door-to-door sales. There would be a public demonstration and an opportunity to interact with the product, so how do we work

effectively with those partners? So that’s the second piece—how we market it. I think the third question is, how do we support it? What kinds of ongoing maintenance will be required for the product? So far we have found very little, but we know that there will be a place where you can’t FedEx a warranty claim back to the factory, so how do we train these agents to support the product effectively? What most excites you about bringing a more reliable energy solution to people in developing nations? If you look at the magnitude of the effect of open fire cooking in developing countries, you are talking about a problem that is something on the order of the world’s No.1 killer. The idea that a device like this could have impact on the scale of penicillin is a pretty humbling opportunity. It’s hard to wrap your mind around that on a daily basis. I think what gives us a lot of pleasure is going into markets where companies haven’t spent as much time thinking about what consumers want, and what will make their lives easier and more pleasurable on a day-to-day basis. Being able to say, “Hey we’ve thought a lot about this and I think you are really going to enjoy using it.” Not even talking about the health benefits, just talking about the same product attributes that make you and me want to buy an iPhone, and seeing the pleasure on people’s faces when experiencing a product like that. Finally, I would say the piece that I’m most excited about, personally, is the team that we’ve built here as a company, the wide breadth of capabilities in combustion, electrical, mechanical, mass manufacture and marketing. It really feels like we’ve built a team as a company that is ready to tackle huge problems.

JULY 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 31


¦THERMAL

PHOTO: PATRICK KENNEDY

CONTRIBUTION

WARM LEARNING: On a snowy winter day in John Day, Ore., Grant Union High School is heated with local, renewable wood fuel.

Oregon’s Forest-to-Boiler Movement Community-based biomass projects restore economic vitality and forest health, but funding forest restoration—the lifeblood of many projects— poses challenges. BY RENEE MAGYAR

I

n areas of Oregon not served by natural gas, there is a new fuel in town that is replacing heating oil: wood. And it’s saving money for schools and restoring forest lands. Natural gas is the preferred fuel for heating homes and businesses in Oregon due to its relatively low cost, but the majority of the state does not have access to natural gas and instead must rely on much more expensive petroleum heating oil. Following the farm-to-table sustainable sourcing model, the forest-to-boiler movement is picking up steam. Oregon is among the leaders in U.S. biomass energy production, with a total of 19 projects up and running at schools, hospitals, airports and other facilities. Wood pellet boilers currently heat 12 schools—up from only two in 2010—and those that have switched from oil to wood pellets or wood chips are sav-

ing between $20,000 and $120,000 annually on heating costs. Saving money and using a renewable fuel is great for small towns and schools, and it’s also great for the neighboring national forests. Since the decline of the timber industry in the early 1990s, forests in eastern Oregon have grown to an unhealthy, fire-prone condition. Restoration projects are underway each year to thin overcrowded and dead trees, but the U.S. Forest Service is still struggling to fund the amount of work necessary to return the forests to historic, fire-adapted conditions where forest fire is natural and beneficial instead of widely destructive. Twenty years ago, the primary barrier to forest management projects in the West was heated disagreement over how to treat the forest—one side wanted to protect it, while another

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).

32 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | JULY 2013

wanted to keep the mills running. This conflict has largely been resolved, as opposing interests have found new ways to work together. Now, the main challenge is funding. Forest restoration work needs to be profitable, otherwise it can’t happen. Wallowa County in northeastern Oregon is taking an innovative approach to addressing this challenge. A partnership between local businesses, a local nonprofit, and the county government created an integrated biomass campus that is able to process a variety of local tree species and log sizes into various marketable products, including heating fuels, firewood, landscaping timbers and post and poles. This increased revenue stream provides an incentive for the forest service to implement additional restoration projects, and allows for more acres to be restored. Historically, different log species and sizes would have been sent to separate mills, greatly increasing the cost of transportation, thus lowering the value of


THERMAL¦

the wood, the subsequent sticker price, and the impetus for restoration. In addition, having that many more log trucks in the forest would require a much larger landing site, the clearing in the forest where the logs are piled, sorted and loaded onto trucks. The integrated campus includes a sorting yard allowing for a much smaller forest impact. It also helps reduce carbon and air particulates by making use of the slash—the underbrush, branches and tiny trees that get piled up during thinning projects. The forest service is required to remove the piles since they add fuel to wildfires, and, without a cost-effective use for them, the slash piles are otherwise burned in the forest. Now the piles are being sent to the biomass campus in Wallowa, Ore., for processing into wood fuel, some of which is used at the facility in a 100-kilowatt combined-heat-andpower biomass plant that brings onsite material efficiency close to 100 percent. The remaining wood fuel is sold in the local market for use in high-efficiency, U.S. EPA-certified boilers that have significantly lower particulate and carbon output than slash piles. All of this adds up to incredible cost savings, and a renewable local system of restoration and efficient use of natural resources, not to mention the jobs that are created in the forest and the mills. But funding restoration projects— the keystone of the whole system—is still a huge challenge. The federal government is stuck in a cycle of fire suppression. Wildfires in the West are greatly increasing in scale and severity as the effects of climate change set in. In 2012 alone, 9 million acres (14,062 square miles) burned in the nation, of which 600,000 acres were in Oregon. Through our Dry Forest Investment Zone program, Sustainable Northwest has helped establish conditions that allow integrated biomass campuses to be established in Oregon, and we continue to advocate for increased funding for large-scale federal forest restoration projects. Last year, the U.S. Forest Service spent $3 billion—half its annual budget—fighting wildfires, but only $350 million on forest management and restoration. We’re working to change that ratio. In addition to holding budget conversations with federal land management agencies and Congressional appropriations committees this spring, our rural policy network met with Congressional staff about reauthorization for

the Community Wood Energy Program in the Farm Bill. The Senate Farm Bill supports a fiveyear reauthorization at the level of $5 million annually, with the House version also supporting a five-year reauthorization, but at only $2 million per year. Barring an unlikely untying of House purse strings, we’ll be happy to see a compromise in the final version. There is increasing state and national attention on the symbiosis of local biomass energy production and forest restoration. The Obama administration is looking for ways to incentivize biomass energy development projects across the country. One possible pathway is through investment tax credits. Maine Sen. Angus King recently introduced the Biomass Thermal Utilization Act of 2013, which would create parity between biomass and other renewable energy credits, such as wind and solar, for thermal energy purposes. Last August, Oregon received a Forest Service pilot grant to develop biomass energy

cluster projects that will use residuals from forest restoration for heating energy. Six groups each received between $9,000 and $50,000 to perform feasibility and engineering studies for biomass conversion projects. The intent of this pilot is to replicate successful results from Oregon in other states across the country. In the meantime, the Oregon Department of Energy is working to establish financing mechanisms to help suitable projects with implementation. As we see more and more positive results from innovative systems like forest-to-boiler, it’s easy to remain optimistic that our small towns will continue to rebound. As long as we remain on an upward trend, counties will continue to save money and see increased independence from fossil fuels. Author: Renee Magyar Marketing Manager, Sustainable Northwest www.sustainablenorthwest.org rmagyar@sustainablenorthwest.org 503-221-6911

JULY 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 33


BiogasNews GHG emissions for renewable diesel and naphtha produced from landfill biogas GHG emissions (kg CO2-eq/mmBtu) Biofuels Life cycle stage

Renewable diesel

Naphtha

Petroleum Baselines 2005 Diesel baseline

2005 Gasoline baseline 19

Fuel production

44

44

18

Fuel transport

1

2

*

*

Tailpipe emissions

1

2

79

79

Total emissions

47

48

97

98

% change from petroleum baseline

-52%

-51%

*Emissions includedin fuel production stage SOURCE: U.S. EPA

EPA proposes to allow landfill gas-based fuels to generate RINs under RFS The U.S. EPA has published a proposed rule to allow renewable diesel, renewable naphtha, and renewable electricity produced from landfill gas and used to power vehicles to generate cellulosic or advanced biofuel renewable identification numbers (RINs) under the renewable fuel standard (RFS). In addition, renewable compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas produced from landfill biogas would also be able to generate cellulosic RINs. "Without commenting on any particular part of the rule making, the ABC is pleased that the EPA has issued the notice of proposed rulemaking," said Patrick

Serfass, American Biogas Council executive director. "ABC as an organization and many of its member companies have been anticipating the release of this rule for some time. We are very excited to be working with the EPA to shape a pathway for biogas and its transportation uses, and look forward to a final rule being released later this year." The proposed rule also includes several other amendments to the RFS, including those allowing biobased butanol to qualify as an advanced biofuel and clarifying the definition of crop residue to include corn kernel fiber.

AD project planned near rendering plant

Canadian rendering company Sanimax and Wisconsin-based engineering and construction firm Green Energy Partners are partnering to develop a $30 million anaerobic digester in South St. Paul, Minn. The proposed SaniGreen Bioenergy facility will produce pipeline-quality biogas. A portion of the biogas produced will also power the facility via a 1.1 MW generator. Once complete, the new facility will take in 150,000 tons of solid and liquid organic waste annually. Feedstock will be sourced from local schools, grocery stores, municipalities and food processing facilities. Construction is expected to begin this fall, with completion scheduled for March 2015. The facility will be located near an existing Sanimax rendering facility and an Excel Energy electrical and natural gas distribution center. According to Dan Ostrenga, director of organic solutions at Sanimax, co-locating the new anaerobic digestion facility with its current rendering facility will create a “green campus� atmosphere and offer a sustainable solution to local industries interested in diverting waste from landfills.

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BIOGAS¦

Vermont, now Connecticut, Models for Diverting Organics BY PATRICK SERFASS

It’s difficult to talk about the future of the biogas industry without a discussion of diverting organics. After all, organics or organic waste is the “fuel” that drives the nonstop production of renewable biogas. With the June 20 signing of Connecticut’s Public Act 13-285, An Act Concerning Recycling and Jobs, the Constitution State will start to divert organics to organics recycling facilities next year. At the same time, we might be observing the beginning of a new pattern that will be very good for biogas and composting businesses. It can also easily benefit waste haulers and others in the waste management industry. In industry-speak, diverted organics usually means food waste or yard waste, the most common types of organic waste that can be separated by the waste generator. The pattern begins with two New England states building on each other's good ideas. Connecticut got the ball rolling in October 2011 with the passage of Public Act 11-217, which required large commercial waste generators (more than 104 tons per year) to divert food waste if they were within 20 miles of a licensed facility. However, that requirement only kicked in six months after two licensed facilities could accept the material—a high risk for the first developer to not know when the second system would be built. Nine months later, Vermont signed into law Act 148, An Act Relating to Establishing Universal Recycling of Solid Waste, which borrowed the Connecticut model of applying the law to large generators, but took it a couple steps further by gradually ratcheting down the threshold from 104 tons per year of food residuals all the way down to all food residuals in 2020. Vermont also required a recycling facility to be within 20 miles of the waste generator for the law to activate.

Connecticut returned the favor this year in Public Act 13-285, which keeps the 104-ton- per-year starting point for commercial generators, reducing to 52 tons per year in 2020. Again, the key is that the requirement only applies if a licensed facility exists within 20 miles of a generator. This approach, which requires organics diversion once local infrastructure exists, is the key to building biogas and composting companies in the U.S. and incentivizing the development of new, local businesses. It ensures that if a developer builds a system nearby, they’ll have organic waste to feed it. That’s the start of a viable business model, the creation of new jobs and infrastructure that protects and improves the environment. Ideally, it also alleviates a mantra many of us have heard regarding yard waste bans: “no ban without a plan.” These are bans with a plan. Since Connecticut’s law doesn’t get activated until Jan. 1, 2014, and Vermont’s— although passed the year before—doesn’t activate until July 1, 2014, in many ways, it’s too early to claim success. Yet, the passage of these two bills provides a significant step forward for the organic waste sector of the biomass industry—especially financing new projects. They also beg the question: Could this kind of policy, once that requires organic waste generators to send their waste to a recycling facility if such a facility exists nearby, be one that might be adopted in other states? And perhaps federally? The American Biogas Council and partner in this effort, the US Composting Council, certainly hope so. We also hope those of you reading this will join us as we take more steps to advance the biogas, composting and organics recycling industry. Author: Patrick Serfass Executive Director, American Biogas Council pserfass@ttcorp.com 202-640-6595

JULY 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 35


¦BIOGAS DEPARTMENT

IN THE LAB: NREL researcher Guido Bender works in the gas manifold corridor for cell testing in the Fuel Cell Test and Development Laboratory at NREL.

Equipment Profile: Biogas-powered Fuel Cells Zero-emissions, grid independence and fuel flexibility are driving growth in the biogas-powered fuel cell market. BY CHRIS HANSON

B

iogas-powered fuel cells hold great promise for their ability to transform waste streams directly into electricity, with zero emissions. Far from new technology, dating back to 1839, fuel cells are becoming one of the popular methods of generating cleaner energy not only for automobiles and space craft, but also for residential, commercial and industrial sites. Today, companies such as AT&T, Coca-Cola Co., Apple and The Kroger Co. are utilizing biogas-powered fuel cells to generate energy for television studios, data hubs, distribution centers and administration offices. Tony Leo, vice president of application engineering and new technology development of FuelCell Energy, says the top benefit of biogas-powered fuel cells is the ability to transform a waste stream directly into electricity to offset grid purchases. Even for facilities that are flaring biogas for electricity or powering a combustion-engine generator, fuel cells produce more electricity per unit of biogas with zero emissions, he says. 36 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | JULY 2013

In addition to utilizing waste for energy, Leo says other benefits include heat generation and self-sufficiency. The exhaust of a fuel cell is roughly 750 degrees Fahrenheit, and can be fed back into a digester to maintain heat or support faster material breakdown. Additionally, the heat may be used for hot water systems, absorption chilling systems or sold to neighboring facilities. Fuel cells enable a facility to become energy self-sufficient, Leo says. “We like to describe this as building one’s own micro-grid, where in instances the grid goes down, you can keep your facility operational.”

How It Works A fuel cell is basically electrolyte material, sandwiched between positive and negative electrodes, that utilizes chemical reactions, rather than combustion, to produce energy. To generate electricity, outside air flows through piping. Upon contact with a negatively charged cathode, oxygen atoms acquire extra electrons, thus becoming ions that diffuse through the elec-

trolyte material. The oxygen ions travel to the positively charged anode, where they react with the hydrogen in the fuel, shedding extra electrons that travel out of the fuel cell as electricity. To provide an idea of how much gaseous fuel is utilized in one of these fuel cells, Leo says when its DFC3000 unit is running at full capacity, the fuel cell consumes roughly 565 cubic feet of biogas per minute. If the fuel cell ran at full capacity 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it will utilize nearly 300 million cubic feet of biogas over the course of a year.

Biogas Sources As more fuel cells come on line, a growing demand for sustainable fuel will stimulate growth in biogas utilization. Leo explains in the near term, wastewater treatment facilities represent the largest market potential in biogas because the anaerobic digesters already exist at many sites. One such biogas project is in Fountain Valley, Calif., where a fuel cell is powered by digester gas from a wastewater treatment


BIOGAS¦ facility. This system produces roughly 300 kilowatts (kW) of electricity and also pipes the exhaust through a catalyst, which results in a hydrogen stream that can be used to fuel vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells. In the long term, however, wastewater applications will be in the minority. “If you look at how much of this resource is available, it’s actually a fairly small amount per capita,” says Mike Penev, senior chemical engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Considering the number of people and the amount of wastewater flowing into the facility, he says, “how much energy is generated is actually not a very large amount.” Other sources of biogas have more plentiful supplies, such as dairy farms and landfills, he adds. Landfills are a third source of biogas that can be purified to power fuel cells. Penev explains the methane in landfill gas can be purified by removing sulfur, hydrogen sulfide and siloxanes to produce fuel that may be utilized within a fuel cell. “I know there are some landfill-to-energy projects, though I don’t think any of them are running fuel cells,” says Genevieve Saur, engineer and hydrogen systems analyst from NREL. “I think they’re generally combusting the landfill gas.” Another source for biogas fuel may lie within the food and beverage processing industry. Leo indicates the food and beverage processing plants are a promising short-term market, but only on a small scale. Instead of feeding off biogas from the waste of an entire city, these projects get their biogas from a single factory, he adds, but the cost and energy self-sufficientcy gains to be had by these factories are materially significant to the bottom line.

Growing Market Fuel cell deployments have been steadily rising, especially in the U.S. and overseas, in places where air pollution and fuel access are larger concerns, such as Los Angeles, Penev says. “They have so much pollution per capita that they don’t allow additional power generation to be put online unless the quality of the exhaust basically contains no pollution.” He adds fuel cells, in general, have practically zero criteria pollutants, such as carbon monoxide and particulate matter. This has made fuel cells more popular in heavily population areas in

California and the Northeast, where more of the nonattainment areas exist. Internationally, Penev says most of the fuel cell utilization that he knows of is occurring in South Korea. “As I understand it, they don’t have a native natural gas supply and they end up importing all their natural gas,” he explains. “And, for the natural gas they ship into the country, they want to get every last Btu out of it.” To accomplish that, he adds, South Korea has invested in very efficient technologies that can utilize natural gas to produce electricity.

Future Possibilities In terms of project size, multimegawatt fuel cell projects running on natural gas currently represent the biggest growth spot for stationary fuel cells, Leo notes, adding that the biomass and biogas markets stand to benefit from these types of projects, since higher volume production of fuel cells will continue to drive down the project cost of smaller-scale installations. By building bridges with fuel cell users, biogas producers may help strengthen the market. Leo says, by working with trade organizations such as the National Fuel Cell Research Center, biogas producers can help build relationships with fuel cell users and producers. He recommends interested biogas producers seek out and speak with facilities that currently operate fuel cells. Biogas producers may want to look into the costs of upgrading the biogas into hydrogen fuel for automobiles. “Most of the large auto manufacturers are coming out with hydrogen fuel cells within a 2015 to 2017 timeframe,” Penev explains. “There’s a least half a dozen manufacturers coming out with hydrogen cars.” There are currently two ways to produce hydrogen fuel, he says, one of which is accomplished from natural gas. Some states, like California, require certain portions of it to be derived from renewable resources. Author: Chris Hanson Staff Writer, Biomass Magazine chanson@bbinternational.com 701-738-4970

JULY 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 37


AdvancedBiofuelNews Myriant, ThyssenKrupp Uhde scale bio-succinic acid process Myriant Corp. has successfully scaled its bio-succinic acid process to the commercial scale at ThyssenKrupp Uhde’s biotech commercial validation facility in Leuna, Germany. Myriant signed an exclusive alliance agreement with ThyssenKrupp Uhde in 2009. Since then the companies have worked together to ensure the production process is cost competitive and procures the highest purity product. The relationship also enabled ThyssenKrupp Uhde to provide important process and performance guarantees for the bio-succinic acid process at future Myriant plants built by Uhde. “With the success at Leuna we have achieved the first objective set out in our alliance agreement with ThyssenKrupp Uhde. Producing on-spec, commercial grade bio-succinic acid while meeting our

SOURCE: MYRIANT CORP.

commercial cost targets would not be possible without the expert engineering, design and process expertise of ThyssenKrupp Uhde, our global alliance partner and our

selected engineering partner for future commercial production plants,” said Cenan Ozmeral, Myriant chief operating officer.

United to purchase biojet from AltAir Fuels

12 Greenway Plaza | Suite 1100 | Houston TX 77046 Toll Free: 1 855 8HIMARK (1 855 844 6275) | e-mail: info@HimarkBioGas.com

38 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | JULY 2013

United Airlines has executed a definitive purchase agreement with AltAir Fuels for advanced biofuels on a commercialscale, representing a historic milestone for aviation. With United’s strategic partnership, AltAir Fuels will retrofit part of an existing petroleum refinery near Los Angeles, into a 30 MMgy advanced biofuel refinery. United has agreed to purchase 15 million gallons of renewable jet fuel from the facility over a three-year period., with the option to purchase more. The airline is purchasing the biojet at a price competitive with traditional jet fuel, and will use the biofuel on flights operating out of its Los Angeles hub at LAX. AltAir expects to begin delivering fuel in 2014. AltAir has partnered with an existing oil refinery for the operation of the facility, and will retrofit that refiner’s existing refinery. The biofuel plant will utilize process technology developed by Honeywell’s UOP to convert nonedible natural oils and agricultural waste into advanced biofuels and chemicals.


ADVANCED BIOFUELS & CHEMICALS¦

Overcoming Regulatory and Legislative Volatility BY WAYNE SIMMONS In 2007, Congress passed the renewable fuels standard 2 (RFS2), which called for building a biofuels industry capable of 36 billion gallons by 2022. In that legislation, Congress sought to encourage and incentivize the advanced and cellulosic sectors of the biofuels industry. As a guest columnist for Biomass Magazine this month, I want to convey my thoughts on some of the challenges facing the advanced biofuel industry. Currently, I serve as the CEO of Sundrop Fuels, as well as this year’s chairman of the Advanced Biofuels Association. In this capacity, I not only have firsthand experience with the current industry challenges as Sundrop Biofuels builds its first plant, but also as the chairman of ABFA, I have been able to engage with a significant number of our industry’s leading CEOs and executives facing a similar task. Most, if not all of these leaders will tell you that much of our job is managing risk. These risks are principally three types: volatility in the commodity market for both fuels and feedstocks, unpredictability in the regulatory and legislative sector, and the risk associated with scaling up new innovative technologies. All three of these risk issues can significantly impact the ability to garner the financing necessary to build new facilities, which ultimately were the goal of Congress in passing the RFS2 in 2007. This month, I want to discuss the volatility in the regulatory and legislative sector.

Inconsistent Federal Policy To reasonably discuss the potential of financially expanding their organization, any good CEO has to describe a situation that conveys clear facts and projections. For instance, it is far more difficult to provide a spreadsheet showing profitability of a potential plant, including the portion of that profit coming from the value of the RINs afforded under the RFS2, if the pathway, feedstock or molecule is not already approved by U.S. EPA. Unfortunately, that is the circumstance for many producers who have new innovative technologies and must petition EPA for approval in the pathway system. The tax code can also be a challenge. Today’s tax code has leaders asking themselves questions such as,

“What if I make a drop-in diesel, but the renewable diesel credit tax provision might expire at the end of this year?” Another example: companies can claim the alternative fuels mixture credit, but can no longer receive it in a refundable nature like many other credits. Finally, companies can receive $1 for diesel, but only 50 cents for gasoline, and this credit expires at the end of the year. These inconsistencies become difficult obstacles to overcome when attempting to close on a round of financing. Finally, the industry’s most important policy tool, the RFS2, is currently under debate, and opponents have Congress introducing weekly amendments and/ or hearings to call for its repeal.

A Call to Action The only solution is for all of us in the advanced and cellulosic industry to redouble our efforts and work together to educate policy makers and their staffs at all levels of the effect the current uncertainty in Washington is having on our ability to build the next generation of plants. As you know, we have many good technologies, plenty of feedstock, and the desire to compete for America's fuels demand. We simply need to have a more uniform, expeditious and consistent policy framework if we are to reach our goals in this area as a nation. July will be a busy month with a great deal happening on Capitol Hill. I encourage all of you to weigh in with your respective members of Congress, tell them how far you have come and where you are headed. Tell them to stay the course to build new jobs, provide more energy and national security, while being good stewards of our resources and the environment. Tell them the RFS2 and consistent, foreseeable tax policy are key in the building of your industry. This is not a partisan issue, it is a national one. Redouble your efforts, let your voice be heard, and let’s build the future of the advanced and cellulosic industry together. Author: Wayne Simmons CEO, Sundrop Biofuels 720-890-6501 info@sundropfuels.com

JULY 2013 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 39


¦ADVANCED BIOFUELS & CHEMICALS

Positioning for Success BY CHRIS J. ZYGARLICKE In this second term of President Obama’s administration, many different entities are trying hard to get their position on renewable or fossil fuels recognized and, at the same time, eliminate opposing positions. What might make more sense is to position for success all around. Biofuels and fossil fuels could coexist to achieve some level of success come the end of this present presidential term, if a few positions are maintained. First, there is the position of respect. All sides or positions could benefit if some sense of mutual respect between renewable fuel advocates and fossil fuel advocates could be attained. Arguments for and against renewable fuels or biofuels need to change toward marketing solutions. If the position is held that biofuels are not cost-competitive, do little to help the environment and global warming, and should not receive any government incentives, that is a position well enough. But some level of respect might be warranted to give the biofuels industry some time to prove out. Remember, the biofuels industry, in reality, is only about a decade old. Yes, it is true that science and engineering have been trying to make energy and fuels out of grasses, wood, and straw since the early 1980s, but only recently have small commercialscale plants been erected. In addition, markets do exist for ethanol and biodiesel worldwide, markets that have been established during this young decade. Some of these markets, but not all, are indeed dependent on government assistance. Some respite of time could be warranted here before an entire U.S. industry is eliminated. Second, if a position is held that biofuels can replace petroleum-based fuels in the U.S. in the next half century or less, again, that is a position well enough. Renewable fuel advocates need to realize that the entire globe has awakened to the possibility of owning a fossil fuel automobile or power generator. For some, this simply was not on their radar a decade ago. Environmentally, right or wrong, fossil fuel consumption is not on the decrease but is on the increase, and petroleum production advances are so staggering that experts really have no clue as to when world peak oil production may actually occur. Throw in astounding natural gas reserves, once deemed unrecoverable, and new technologies for gas-to-liquids and CNG–LNG (compressed natural gas–liquefied natural gas)-powered vehicles, and we definitely have serious challenges with wholesale conversion to biofuels. The fossil fuels position is also in need of a little respect. Finally, if a position is held that petroleum and fossilderived vehicular fuels will dominate for at least a century, with prudent attention to biofuels industries that can rise 40 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | JULY 2013

above food-based feedstocks and supply significant but not total replacement quantities of lower-carbon footprint fuels, then there might exist an environment for success. This position is one that needs to happen in order to benefit the global society and the environment. Certain positional debates between these two industries need to take a break. For instance, both sides claim to have solved the calculation of which industry gets more subsidies or incentives to hold their position of success. It seems that this calculation is some type of Riemann hypothesis (an insolvable equation) and should probably be answered by markets instead of mathematicians or economists. Positions of respect solve the insolvable equation by allowing both positions to exist, perhaps with the help of a few incentives until markets can truly get entrenched and technologies can catch up with economics. Here is a factual situation that shows both fossil and renewable positions hold sway and can coexist. The U.S. has lowered its oil imports drastically over the past several years and will likely continue to do so for many years. The U.S. Energy Information Administration has published data showing that daily petroleum consumption in the country will remain below 19 million barrels through the year 2040, where in 2004, consumption was 20.6 million barrels. In about 25 years, the U.S. could still be below its all-time oil consumption record. Those facts testify to a vibrant oil production industry that has excelled in the face of lower petroleum consumption, higher oil prices, increased fuel efficiency, and a U.S. and worldwide recession. However, those EIA facts are also because of well-entrenched ethanol and biodiesel industries that have significantly impacted domestic petroleum consumption. In the end, it can only be hoped that positions of respect will allow both sides to continue to grow toward market and environmental sensibility. At the Energy & Environmental Research Center, we will continue to forge new technologies to crack the cellulosic barrier for producing biofuels from nonfood biomass, and we will continue to develop new technologies and strategies to capture carbon dioxide, inject it into oil formations to sequester a portion of it, and drive out once-unrecoverable oil resources. We will continue to be respectful to both of these sides. Author: Chris J. Zygarlicke Deputy Associate Director for Research 701-777-5123 czygarlicke@undeerc.org


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