Zero Waste Zest Scotlandâ€™s Lofty AD Goals Page 38
Expanding Markets For Densified MSW Fuel Page 18
Waste-To-Energy Plant Anticorrosion Techniques Page 12
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INSIDE ¦ MAY 2015 | VOLUME 9 | ISSUE 5
ON THE COVER:
An expansion at Energen Biogas in Cumbernauld, Scotland, was largely driven by Scotland's Zero Waste initiative. The facility is now the largest AD plant in Scotland, capable of processing more than 100,000 tons of food waste per year and generating up to 4.8 MW.
06 EDITOR’S NOTE On The Verge By Tim Portz
07 INDUSTRY EVENTS 08 BUSINESS BRIEFS 50 MARKETPLACE
PHOTO: ENERGEN BIOGAS
12 POWER 10 NEWS 11 COLUMN Washington Update: Carbon Tax And Policy By Bob Cleaves
12 FEATURE Combatting Corrosion
The corrosive nature of MSW fuel leaves waste-to-energy plants battling metal wastage. By Anna Simet
PELLET 18 NEWS 19 COLUMN Living In The Limelight By Bill Bell
20 FEATURE A Solid Approach To MSW Fuel
Densified MSW fuel producers are working to expand markets and prove competitiveness with other fuels. By Katie Fletcher
MAY 2015 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 3
INSIDE ¦ MAY 2015 | VOLUME 9 | ISSUE 5 ADVERTISER INDEX¦ 34-35
2015 International Biomass Conference & Expo
2015 National Advanced Biofuels Conference & Expo
American Pulverizer Co.
Andritz Feed & Biofuel
CLARCOR Industrial Air
Continental Biomass Industries, Inc.
CPM Roskamp Champion
Hermann Sewerin GmbH
Iowa Economic Development
Javo International BV
KEITH Manufacturing Company
Les Aciers J.P. Inc
New Holland Agriculture
Pellet Fuels Institute
SCHADE Lagertechnik GmbH
SWANA Solid Water Association of North America
West Salem Machinery Co.
Wolf Material Handling Systems
WorldWide Electric Corp.
THERMAL 28 NEWS 29 COLUMN Solar Generation May Sideline Biomass Heating By John Ackerly
30 FEATURE Cogeneration Cohorts
Procter & Gamble and Constellation Energy are building a 50-MW, combinedheat-and-power plant that will be fired on P&G’s manufacturing plant waste. By Keith Loria
38 BIOGAS 36 NEWS 38 FEATURE Making Haste To Zero Waste
Anaerobic digestion will play an integral role in Scotland’s path to waste elimination. By Ron Kotrba
ADVANCED BIOFUELS & CHEMICALS 44 NEWS 45 COLUMN Strengthening The RFS For Next-Gen Biofuels By Michael McAdams
46 FEATURE Profit In Plug And Play
Armed with potential to make a variety of different fuels, a project in Bend, Oregon, will use landfill gas to produce ethanol. By Katie Fletcher
MAY 2015 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 5
On The Verge I recognize that characterizing the production of energy products from waste as an industry segment on the verge of rapid growth runs the risk of appearing to ignore its existing widespread use, but today's industry innovators are proving that statement to be true by continually thinking outside of the box and testing and deploying new technologies. The U.S. EPA reports that 86 facilities in the U.S. TIM PORTZ combust municipal solid waste (MSW) to create electricVICE PRESIDENT OF CONTENT & EXECUTIVE EDITOR ity. Biomass Magazine’s biomass power map illustrates email@example.com the scope of waste-to-energy (WTE) plants’ grid contributions, with California and Florida earning the top two spots among all states for biomass power production, largely due to the proliferation of WTE plants there. Outside of traditional waste combustion plant data capture, last year, our team began a multiphase project to identify, track and verify the basic operational data of anaerobic digesters that produce an energy product for downstream markets. Even without including landfill gas capture facilities, our list quickly grew to nearly 400 sites. I’m very excited to draw your attention the printed version of that map included with this issue. Waste-based energy is hardly a segment of our business that is on the verge of a beginning. Still, the stories included in this month’s issue, focusing entirely on this topic, suggest that a new chapter in WTE may be upon us, and a period of rapid growth is just around the corner In “Making Haste to Zero Waste” on page 38, Senior Editor Ron Kotrba reports that industry is acting well in advance of aggressive organic waste legislation, and food waste collection is growing steadily. Scotland’s Zero Waste Plan seeks to drive organic waste streams from landfills entirely by 2021. Kotrba reports that the Energen Biogas facility is doubling its capacity, and Robert Etherson, operations director at the plant, shares that the plan was “fundamental to making the decision to invest in the expansion project.” Similarly, in both of Staff Writer Katie Fletcher’s stories this month, on pages 20 and 46, she interviewed technology providers who are confident that once their technologies are proven commercially, the market opportunity for subsequent projects will be significant. Terry Moore, chief business development officer at WastAway, which has developed and patented a process to make pellets from MSW that are virtually free of metals, pathogens and inerts, told Fletcher, “If we talk this time next year, there will probably be five to 10 sales that we have completed.” This issue of Biomass Magazine makes it clear that Moore is not alone in his belief that waste to energy will continue as a major contributor of the greater biomass industry.
EDITORIAL PRESIDENT & EDITOR IN CHIEF Tom Bryan firstname.lastname@example.org VICE PRESIDENT OF CONTENT & EXECUTIVE EDITOR Tim Portz email@example.com MANAGING EDITOR Anna Simet firstname.lastname@example.org SENIOR EDITOR Ron Kotrba email@example.com NEWS EDITOR Erin Voegele firstname.lastname@example.org STAFF WRITER Katie Fletcher email@example.com COPY EDITOR Jan Tellmann firstname.lastname@example.org
ART ART DIRECTOR Jaci Satterlund email@example.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Raquel Boushee firstname.lastname@example.org
PUBLISHING & SALES CHAIRMAN Mike Bryan email@example.com CEO Joe Bryan firstname.lastname@example.org VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS Matthew Spoor email@example.com SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR John Nelson firstname.lastname@example.org BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR Howard Brockhouse email@example.com SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER Chip Shereck firstname.lastname@example.org ACCOUNT MANAGER Jeff Hogan email@example.com ACCOUNT MANAGER Tami Pearson firstname.lastname@example.org CIRCULATION MANAGER Jessica Beaudry email@example.com TRAFFIC & MARKETING COORDINATOR Marla DeFoe firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS Chris Sharron, Western Oregon Wood Products Amanda Bilek, Great Plains Institute Stacy Cook, Koda Energy Ben Anderson, University of Iowa Justin Price, Evergreen Engineering Adam Sherman, Biomass Energy Resource Center Subscriptions Biomass Magazine is free of charge to everyone with the exception of a shipping and handling charge of $49.95 for anyone outside the United States. To subscribe, visit www.BiomassMagazine.com or you can send your mailing address and payment (checks made out to BBI International) to Biomass Magazine Subscriptions, 308 Second Ave. N., Suite 304, Grand Forks, ND 58203. You can also fax a subscription form to 701-746-5367. Back Issues & Reprints Select back issues are available for $3.95 each, plus shipping. Article reprints are also available for a fee. For more information, contact us at 701-746-8385 or email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters to the Editor We welcome letters to the editor. Send to Biomass Magazine Letters to the Managing Editor, 308 2nd Ave. N., Suite 304, Grand Forks, ND 58203 or email to email@example.com. Please include your name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity and/or space.
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6 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | MAY 2015
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INDUSTRY EVENTS¦ International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo JUNE 1-4, 2015
Minneapolis Convention Center Minneapolis, Minnesota The FEW provides the global ethanol industry with cutting-edge content and unparalleled networking opportunities in a dynamic business-to-business 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
National Advanced Biofuels Conference & Expo OCTOBER 26-28, 2015
Hilton Omaha Omaha, Nebraska 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. With a vertically integrated program and audience, the National Advanced Biofuels Conference & Expo is tailored for industry professionals engaged in producing, developing and deploying advanced biofuels, biobased platform chemicals, polymers and other renewable molecules that have the potential to meet or exceed the performance of petroleum-derived products. 866-746-8385 | www.advancedbiofuelsconference.com
International Biomass Conference & Expo APRIL 11-14, 2016
Charlotte, North Carolina Organized by BBI International and produced by Biomass Magazine, this event brings current and future producers of bioenergy and biobased products together with waste generators, energy crop growers, municipal leaders, utility executives, technology providers, equipment manufacturers, project developers, investors and policy makers. It’s a true one-stop shop—the world’s premier educational and networking junction for all biomass industries. 866-746-8385 | www.biomassconference.com
MAY 2015 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 7
Business Briefs PEOPLE, PRODUCTS & PARTNERSHIPS
Javo International introduces toploader to North America Javo International has introduced its patented toploader for biomass use in North America. The toploader provides a robotic solution for bulk storage and distribution of biomass materials. The toploader, in use for biomass energy production in Europe for nearly a decade, can move up to 60 cubic meters per hour, and has virtually unlimited bunker capacity.
ment award. Both Dickens and Kane are professors in UGAâ€™s Warnell School of Forstry and Natural Resources. WPAC appoints Rebiere as president, director
president of Pacific BioEnergy since 2009. WPACâ€™s other board members include Vaughan Bassett of Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc., Narda Brink of Control Union Canada, Jenna MacDonald of Belledune Port Authority, and Ken St. Gelais of Granules LG Inc.
Lux Research acquires data analyst firm Energy Points Lux Research, a global leader in emerging technology research and advisory services, has acquired the assets of UGA professors recognized Energy Points, a leading provider of data Rebiere Landry analytics that gives the most accurate and precise analysis of energy and resources. Headquartered in Boston, Energy Points The Wood Pellet Association of helps large companies and government Canada has appointed Michele Rebiere as entities improve their resource efficiency president and director following the resigthrough analysis of energy, water, fuels and nation of Brad Bennett. Rene Landry will materials. As part of the transaction, Ory serve as vice president and director, while Wayne Young will serve as director. Rebiere Zik, founder and CEO of Energy Points, Dickens Kane and all of the data scientists from Energy is chief financial officer of Viridis Enegy The Southeastern Society of American Inc., where she began in 2009. Since joining Points, will be joining Lux Research. Lux Viridis, Rebiere has been an active industry Research clients will gain access to the EnForesters has recognized two University ergy Points team, who have a combination advocate and a member of the board of of Georgia professors for their service of modeling, predictive analytics, statistidirectors and vice president of the WPAC to forestry education and research. David cal programming, and physics-guided data Dickens was awarded the public education/ the past five years. Landry joined Shaw Resources in May 2014 and currently serves mining experience. technology transfer award while Michael as operations manager. Young has served as Kane received the research and develop-
8 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | MAY 2015
Alliance BioEnergy Plus announces board members Alliance BioEnergy Plus Inc. has announced new board members. Incumbent members Ted Chasanoff of CBIZ MHM LLC, Michael Bilodeau, Daniel de Liege and Mark Koch were reelected to the board of directors, while retired Army Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling and newly appointed CEO David Matthews were added. Chasanoff will serve as chairman of the board. Amyris, Genome Compiler announce collaboration Amyris Inc. and Genome Compiler Corp. have entered into a collaboration agreement to integrate Amyrisâ€™s automated lab services with Genome Compilerâ€™s online design tools and e-commerce platform to enable users to design and order DNA or other biological products seamlessly. Capstone Turbine to upgrade biogas operation Capstone Turbine Corp. has received an order to upgrade the Irvine Ranch Water Districtâ€™s Michelson Water Recycling Plant
in Irvine, California, with five C200 microturbines. Regatta Solutions Inc., Capstoneâ€™s distributor in California, secured the order, which is expected to be commissioned in early 2016. Once commissioned, the microturbines will cleanly and effectively operate on the biogas produced on-site from municipal solid waste. Capstone microturbines will be installed in a grid connect configuration to provide electricity to the recycling plant in parallel with the local utility. The site will include a biogas conditioning skid to compress the plantâ€™s biogas for use in the microturbine engines. The microturbines are deployed in a combined-heat-andpower (CHP) configuration. Fecon announces expansion Fecon Inc. has purchased 9.25 acres of land a 40,000-square-foot building. The addition will complement the companyâ€™s 111,000-square-foot facility. In addition to providing more room for engineering and tractor production, the new building will also offer an expansive research and development department.
Viridis secures pellet contract Viridis Energy Inc. has announced its wholly owned subsidiary Viridis Merchants Inc. has secured a contract with an existing supplier for exclusive distribution of up to 18,000 metric tons of 100 percent Douglas fir pellets. The contract value is more than CA$6 million during 2015. Anesco appoints commercial director Delvin Lane has been appointed commercial director at U.K.-based Anesco. Lane will oversee all aspects of the day-to-day running of the company, with particular focus on the ECO, ESCO and the biomass businesses. Lane has nearly 20 years of experience in the energy and environmental sector. Prior to joining Anesco, he served as head of energy services at EDF.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and telephone number in all correspondence.
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MAY 2015 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 9
PowerNews USDA finalizes BCAP rule
Global electricity generation revenue (millions) 2011 Waste Biomass
$4,700 $2,750 $10,500 $7,200
2014 (estimate) $5,065
U.S. electricity generation revenue (millions) 2011
SOURCE: NAVIGANT RESEARCH
Report shows growth in advanced energy markets The Advanced Energy Economy recently commissioned a study completed by Navigant Research that found the U.S. advanced energy market grew by 14 percent last year, which is five times the rate of the U.S. economy overall. According to the report, the U.S. advanced energy market was worth an estimated $199.5 billion last year. Waste-to-energy (WTE) and biomass electricity generation were among the types of advanced energy addressed by the report. Navigant Research found that in the U.S. and other developed economies, municipal solid waste is increasingly being diverted from landfills to facilities where it
10 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | MAY 2015
is used as a feedstock for renewable power or advanced biofuels. Combustion-based WTE infrastructure and landfill gas recovery projects alone contributed nearly $500 million in annual revenue in the U.S. The report estimates more than 800 WTE facilities are deployed in at least 40 countries round the world. These facilities, which are much more advanced than incinerators, typically employ sophisticated emissions control systems. The report also addresses landfill gas-to-energy, anaerobic digestion, and several other advanced technologies.
The USDA recently published the final rule for the Biomass Crop Assistance Program. Although the general scope of BCAP has not been altered, some key changes are being made to the program, including matching payment and funding amounts, material eligibility and project areas. According to the rule, matching payments have been reduced from $1 for each $1 per ton provided by the biomass conversion facility up to $45 per ton, to no more than $20 per dry ton, for a period of up to two years. Bagasseâ€”which includes sugarcane and sorghumâ€”and other materials not harvested directly from the land are no longer eligible crops. The rule provides the example of manufactured wood wastes, such as sawdust or sawmill residues, as not being eligible woody material. In addition, the rule expands the scope of eligible material as materials that can now be used by a biomass conversion facility for the purpose of research, in addition to the four previous categories of heat, power, biobased products and advanced biofuels. Additional changes were made to project area selection criteria and other aspects of the program.
Washington Update: Carbon And Tax Policy BY BOB CLEAVES
Last month, the Biomass Power Association contributed to evolving policy and regulatory discussions at the U.S. EPA and U.S. Senate Finance Committee. Both proceedings could have a major impact on the future of the biomass power industry. In late March, we testified at the EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board meeting to review the Framework for Assessing Biogenic CO2 Emissions from Stationary Sources that the agency released last November. This panel’s scientists, experts representing several areas of forestry and agriculture, have been meeting regularly for the past four years. Their simple-sounding mission is to determine a method for accounting for carbon from all biogenic sources. Not surprisingly, this has proven to be a daunting task with implications far beyond the realities of the biomass power sector. How to account for corn ethanol and its production? Dedicated energy crops? Pelletized fuel? While interesting topics to consider, none of them have much bearing on biomass power. The goal of the panel is to come up with an allpurpose and all-encompassing way to measure carbon from biogenic fuels. However, in keeping the process completely separate from policy considerations, the panel may be keeping biomass power in a policy limbo at a time we can’t afford uncertainty. The EPA’s final Clean Power Plan is due out this summer, and will shape how states are able to design carbon reduction plans. We need a clear understanding of how biomass will count under the Clean Power Plan. If the final language defers to the SAB panel’s future decision on biomass—one that may not be available for years—states may be uncomfortable including biomass in their carbon reduction plans. States with abundant biomass, or the potential for a strong biomass industry, need a baseload power source to include in their energy mix alongside intermittent sources like wind and solar. Failure to create certainty around biomass would be a major oversight.
Fortunately, there is an easy fix here: The EPA simply needs to declare biomass from residuals and low-value, organic sources as a permissible, zero-carbon power source under the Clean Power Plan. Virtually every scientist who has studied biogenic carbon accounting agrees with this approach, even the staunchest biomass skeptics. We are doing all that we can to make this point to the EPA. Meanwhile, the Senate Finance Committee, led by Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., is undertaking another challenging task: how to reform our tax code. The two senators have broken down the tax code into five sections, and are soliciting comments on each of these pieces of tax law. In late March, Biomass Power Association presented our views on how to improve taxes to preserve our industry. Alongside representatives of the other baseload power sources, we highlighted to a panel of staffers the important role that biomass plays in our power grid. In addition to being a reliable and consistent energy source, biomass also provides rural jobs and is an important market for discarded forestry and agricultural materials. To a panel of Senate Finance Committee staffers, we recommended a more balanced approach to supporting renewable energy sources through the tax system. By ensuring parity among the renewable sources, and taking into account the factors that distinguish them—like longer lead times for building projects—the tax code can play a role in making sure that the appropriate renewable resources are available and taken advantage of in every state and region. Biomass Power Association is holding its annual fly-in to Washington, D.C., in May. Our members will be meeting with their elected officials, emphasizing the need to get tax policy and carbon regulations right. Author: Bob Cleaves President and CEO, Biomass Power Association www.biomasspowerassociation.com email@example.com
MAY 2015 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 11
METAL MAINTENANCE: A Covanta Field Services team member performs a weld overlay during a plant outage.
PHOTO: COVANTA ENERGY INC.
12 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | MAY 2015
CORROSION Waste-to-energy plants have different fuel mixes, but corrosion and metal wastage is a commonality. BY ANNA SIMET
ahen a Covanta Energy waste-to-energy (WTE) plant undergoes an outage, it’s most likely that the company’s traveling maintenance team, Covanta Field Services, will be on the job. It’s during that time that ultrasonic testing—nondestructive testing techniques based on the propagation of ultrasonic waves—is performed, to monitor tubing erosion and corrosion and measure the thickness of the test objects. Metal tube corrosion, a major operating problem at WTE plants due to typically high chloride and sulfur levels in MSW, can cause tube leaks, resulting in downtime and unexpected shutdowns. However, the timely deployment of numerous metal repair techniques enable plant operators to overcome most issues. While every WTE plant experiences different rates of metal loss due to varying fuel composition, Jay Lehr, vice president of operations at Covanta, says that virtually every WTE plant does some kind of thermal spray, weld overlay or other corrosion prevention method. “We’ve actually experimented with a bunch of them [techniques], with Inconel overlay being the most prevalent,” he says. Lehr emphasizes the huge investments the company has made in ensuring it has experienced, expert welders and technicians on the payroll and at its disposal, as corrosion and erosion prevention and maintenance represent a large chunk of a plant’s annual expenditure—much more than at a woodfired biomass plant, where Lehr says weld overlays and other techniques are used, but on a much smaller scale. While specific fuel composition does have an impact on corrosion and erosion rates, Lehr says it’s just the general nature of MSW as fuel. “We see this in all of our plants across the country, and we take preventative maintenance steps to control it each year. When we have a scheduled maintenance outage, we send in a team, scaffold the furnace and perform ultrasonic testing to measure the tubes in there. We have guidelines based on the original manufacturers for tube thickness and ASME guidelines, but we also have our own guidelines—we take a safety margin above the others.”
MAY 2015 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 13
WANDERING WORKFORCE: Covantaâ€™s traveling maintenance team, Covanta Field Services, is VPP Star Certified by OSHA. VPP status, uncommon for mobile workforces to achieve, recognizes employers and workers in the private industry and federal agencies who have implemented effective safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages. PHOTO: COVANTA ENERGY INC.
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14 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | MAY 2015
With 20-plus years of experience in metal loss, Covanta has a good indication of wear patterns and how much metal will be lost each year. â€œWe know how thick the tubes need to be to go another year without any leaks, and weâ€™ve been very successful minimizing them,â€? Lehr says. Once itâ€™s determined a tube needs repair during an outage, itâ€™s taken care of immediately. â€œWe wonâ€™t start up again until the tubes are built up to acceptable levels and we can get a good run,â€? Lehr says, adding that some boilers undergo annual outages, and others more frequently, such as every six months. â€œThe trend really is to do it once a year, because it involves a lot of expense to scaffold the furnace,â€? Lehr says. â€œIf we do that, and the UT testing, most often we will do the weld overlay to give us a safety margin for the next year.â€? Covanta most commonly uses Inconel overlay, though it has experimented with other options. â€œAt one of our biomass plants, we experimented with a form of clad where the tube was wrapped and baked in a vacuum oven,â€? Lehr says. â€œThat seems to work very good in key areas at one of our biomass plants. We also have a boiler reliability team that helps analyze patterns in the furnacesâ€”they look at what options are out there, thermal sprays and overlays, and oftentimes theyâ€™ll set up side-by-side tests with a couple tubes that are thermal spray, Conforma Clad or something else, and weâ€™ll do an evaluation to see if thereâ€™s something that works better or works the same and is less expensive. Weâ€™re constantly looking for other options.â€? One option that is less common at WTE plants but proving itself through research and real-world application is highvelocity thermal spraying. During a research project at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. high-velocity oxy-fuel (HVOF) thermal spraying at WTE was the study focus, and, according to project lead Maria Oksa, it demonstrated and proved sufficient corrosion resistance behavior in relative plant conditions. Oksa says that since
there is a risk of high costs if the coatings fail in operations, attitude toward these thermal spray coatings within power plants is cautious, and there are some doubts surrounding their protection ability, though industry has shown interest in the project’s findings.
Due to very aggressive corrosion conditions at WTE plants, overlay welded claddings—such as the method Covanta typically deploys—are utilized more than thermal spray coatings, Oksa explains. “This is mainly due to the fact that references and scientific data on the ability of thermal spray coatings to endure in such demanding conditions has been lacking,” she says. “However, it is expected that with current advanced thermal spray technologies, dense coatings may increase corrosion resistance of WTE plants.” During Oksa’s research, several thermal spray coatings with high chromium content were sprayed with HVOF technique, and their mechanical properties and high-temperature corrosion resistance were tested and analyzed. “Thermal spray is a complex process with numerous factors that influence the coating formation,” she says. The main factor affecting the formed coating is the selected thermal spray method, which includes flame, arc, plasma, HVOF, detonation and cold gas spraying. “Common to all thermally sprayed coatings is a lamellar structure, although there are vast differences, such as in the nature of lamellae boundaries, porosity and residual stress state,” Oksa says. “Highvelocity techniques (HVOF, HVAF (high velocity air fuel) generally produce a dense and well-adhered coating. Within these techniques, the spray gun and used fuels (liquid, gaseous) have strong effect, on particle temperature and velocity, particle melting and state of oxidizing, which in turn influence the formed coating.” Oksa notes that every plant is different in terms of design, fuel and operation parameters, and all can have an effect on corrosion conditions in different areas of the facility. The main factors that influence se-
lection of coating material composition and structure are temperature and corrosive elements that deposit on the boiler components. “Typically, the steam temperature of wasteto-energy plants has been restricted to 400 to 500 degrees Celsius, due to corrosion issues,” Oksa says. “According to my research, nickelchromium and even iron-chromium-based HVOF thermal spray coatings can offer protection up to 550 C and even up to 750 C in
aggressive conditions containing alkali chlorides.” On the study’s ultimate conclusion, Oksa says HVOF thermal spray coatings are recommended for corrosion protection, increasing the lifetime of carbon steel or lowalloy steel substrates in plants, where chlorine and low-melting compounds can cause severe corrosion.
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Atex Approved NFPA 69 Compliant MAY 2015 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 15
The EU-funded project, NextGenPower, is continuing, she says, and last analyses and reporting, including writing scientific papers on the final results, are ongoing, with plans to cooperate with future commercial projects in the energy sector. Outside of research, companies like Integrated Global Services are expanding their market reach to WTE plants, and already offer high-velocity thermal spray, though IGS offers a different application method than implemented in Oksaâ€™s research.
On The Market
â€œWTE plans are burning low-Btu fuels that usually are high in sulfur and chlorides, and they experience different dynamics in their boiler than a traditional pulverized coal boiler or solid fuel would,â€? says IGS sales engineer David Kahan. â€œSo some of their corrosion issues are much more extreme.â€? IGS offers weld overlay, but thereâ€™s a key difference between its capabilities and thermal
READYING THE SURFACE: Boiler roof tubes are prepared for Integrated Global Services, MetalSpray technique, a high-velocity arc spray. PHOTO: INTEGRATED GLOBAL SERVICES
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droplets,” Kahan says. “This creates a much smaller particle that is deposited on the surface, which results in a very dense, low-porosity coating. These coatings respond and act just as the raw alloy would.” Thermal spray coatings can be repaired and built back up over time as needed, but how long it ultimately lasts depends on the fuel the customer is burning. IGS can supply a coating monitoring system that reads the %LRPDVV0DJD]LQH thickness of the coating on initial application 0HVVDJH´'HVLJQLQJ,QQRYDWLRQµ and during subsequent outage inspections to determine the performance of that coating. While IGS’s spray coating thickness is somewhat proprietary, Kahan says, typically it is 16 to 20 millimeters (mm). On weld overlay costs versus thermal spray, Kahan says though the initial cost is slightly more expensive for HVAS, it is significantly less expensive for thermal spray BEFORE AND AFTER: The lefthand portion of the tubes are prior to being treated with MetalSpray, the righthand portion has been treated. PHOTO: INTEGRATED GLOBAL SERVICES
spray, Kahan says. “Weld overlay—a process that builds metal on top of the existing surface—is a metallurgical bond, so it has diffusion into the base metal and will act as the new surface. But you are limited what you can get in a wire and actually weld. Some alloys don’t respond well to welding.” Thermal spray, which is very similar to cladding, Kahan notes, is metal sprayed onto existing substrates, but rather than a metallurgical bond, it is a mechanical bond that has a very high bond strength. “This acts independent of how the weld overlay would, so you have a thin layer of high-grade alloy on top of your base metal,” he explains. “You can actually spray other high-grade alloys that couldn’t be welded, because it is a different process.” IGS has trademarked MetalSpray and even created its own high-velocity arc spray (HVAS) gun; traditional equipment on the market is low-velocity. “It’s a method of using two wires to create the cladding, but we use high-velocity air to propel the liquid
application than the weld overlay, based on production rates. “It’s kind of like putting 87 octane compared to 93 in your gas tank. So there’s a performance-based upgrade from one to the other, with a very small price increase.” And in terms of quantifying results, if a plant typically experiences seven to 10 mm of wastage per year off base metal, HFAS is likely to reduce it to very little or none. “Therefore, the end-user would not need to replace components [as quickly]. It gives longer life to existing equipment.” Author: Anna Simet Managing Editor, Biomass Magazine 701-738-4961 firstname.lastname@example.org
Cellulosic Ethanol • Pellet Production • Combined Heating and Power • Co-Firing Utilities A worldwide leader in size reduction technology for bioenergy, Vecoplan works with individual customers to design, engineer, manufacture and implement technologically advanced, material specific, and application specific shredding, ferrous and non-ferrous removal, size and density separation, screening and classification technologies and extremely efficient conveyor and bulk material handling, metering, storage and unloading technologies.
Contact Vecoplan today to learn more about our existing systems or to arrange a visit to one, or several, of our installations.
YHFRSODQOOFFRP MAY 2015 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 17
PelletNews Centennial pellet plant underway in Idaho POTENTIAL DEVELOPMENT: This map shows the transit lines connected to the abandoned Red Rock mill site in Ontario, where a pellet mill may be constructed. The ports are indicated in red, with their surrounding fiber basket in green. PHOTO: RIVERSEDGE DEVELOPMENTS INC.
Pellet project considered at former paper mill A project in Canada could result in a torrefied wood plant and commercial deepwater port for pellet exports at the site of the former Norampac paper mill in Red Rock, Ontario, on Lake Superiorâ€™s north shore. Port of Algoma of Essar Ports Global Holdings and North Port Canada of Riversedge Developments Inc. signed a 15-year memorandum of understanding March 18 to design, build and operate a port facility at the site. Riversedge Developments, a land use development company from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, purchased the abandoned mill site
in March 2014. Justus Veldman, CEO of Riversedge Developments, said due-diligence is ongoing to look at a pellet mill for the North Port Canada project, and other industrial uses on the site. Riversedge Developments would not own or operate the facility. Rather, the company would partner with a group to do so. According to Veldman, the company is actively pursuing relationships with entities that could supply torrefaction technology to the North Port project.
Centennial Renewable Energy has announced plans to build a 160,000-metric-ton wood pellet plant in northern Idaho. The company recently signed agreements to purchase land for the project. U.K.-based CHP Ventures, named CREâ€™s funding advisor, has completed extensive due-diligence and secured development funds to take the project to financial close. Dome Technology has been selected as lead designbuild contractor. The companyâ€™s portfolio of projects includes the construction of domes at large pellet operations in North America and Europe, including Envivaâ€™s deep-water port facility in Chesapeake, Virginia, Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire, England, and the Port of Quebec. Pellets produced at the plant will meet the ENPlus A2 standard. The facility will primarily process sustainably sourced sawdust and wood shavings generated as part of the lumber production and mill residues. A large percentage of the production will be exported to Asia for use in power production, with the balance being made available for the home markets.
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Living In The Limelight BY BILL BELL
“I read the news today, oh boy…” (“A Day in the Life,” The Beatles, 1967) In the ongoing media coverage of Maine’s severe winter, it was perhaps inevitable that pellet heating issues would make the front page. The first story surfaced in Maine’s northernmost Aroostook County, where, during February’s subzero temperatures, the local CBS affiliate reported, “County Retailers and Bulk Distributors Struggling with High Demand for Wood Pellets.” A follow-up piece featured the owner of Northeast Pellets as a manufacturer working hard to keep up with demand and wishing that retailers would place their orders earlier. It included great footage of his plant and bagged product. So far, so good. Shortly thereafter, on Valentine’s Day, the Bangor newspaper headlined “Stores Running Out of Wood Pellets,” while also enabling our association to outline the need for earlier ordering by retailers. However, a few days later, a southern Maine TV news station headlined “Stores Running Out of Wood Pellets—Suppliers Focus on Getting Shipments to Larger Stores.” The interview featured a decidedly grouchy hardware store owner. A few days later, Maine’s most-viewed TV news went with “Wood Pellet Distributors Deny Shortage in Maine.” During the midst of these stories, U.S. Sen. Angus King was back in Maine, using a pellet-heated ski lodge to announce his reintroduction of the BTU Act. This proposal, which our industry is working hard to see enacted, will provide biomass heating with the same federal tax advantages accorded to other renewable energies. King, a former TV host himself, suggested to some of our members that we simply assign the temporary pellet scarcity to the winter weather. In light of how quickly the “shortage” stories disappeared after a few days above freezing, this answer might have sufficed. Subsequently, a more political story has put pellets and other forms of heating back in the headlines. It seems that the legislation that made possible Maine’s $5,000-perboiler incentive program, also in its final passage, accidentally deleted the word “and” from a key sentence. In a 2-1 decision, our state’s Public Utilities Commission has determined that Efficiency Maine’s funding stream must therefore be severely curtailed come July 1, 2016.
Maine’s Democratic party, still stung by abject failure in the 2014 elections, quickly made Efficiency Maine their poster child and generated a party fundraising appeal. Our state’s largest environmental organization mounted a contact-your-legislator campaign. Republican legislators have agreed to consider a legislative “fix,” but only if some of their other concerns with the law, which was originally passed over our governor’s veto, are addressed as well. The media loves the drama engendered by a redrafting error. For our industry, the public attention to home heating issues is welcome, provided cooler heads prevail and resolve the funding language issue between now and next year. The third issue placing home heating in the media spotlight involves an initiative that began two years ago. Significant parcels of our state’s forests are located on public lands, going back to the colonial charter, which set aside special lots for public purposes such as building towns and schools. For the past several years, the Maine Forest Service has been increasing the allowable harvest on these lands, to the dismay of some conservationists who believe these lots should be managed to preserve old growth. Two years ago, our association proposed a revenue bond whereby proceeds from the increased harvest would go to incentivize pellet boiler sales. Maine’s largest environmental group went ballistic. Efficiency Maine initiated a pellet boiler incentive program. We dropped the issue. Our governor, reelected by the largest number of votes in Maine history, has brought it back. The governor now proposes that the timber harvest funds go “to heat Maine homes” without reference to any particular technology. Environmental groups are just as opposed now as they were two years ago. In response, the governor is holding hostage bond funds for land conservation. These funds were approved by Maine voters. Many of these voters are the same folks who see wood pellets as a great alternative to fossil fuel. This time around, we are simply interested observers. Author: Bill Bell Executive Director, Maine Pellet Fuels Association 207-752-1392 email@example.com
MAY 2015 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 19
PATHOGEN ELIMINATOR: A key part of WastAwayâ€™s technology is the continuous-flow hydrolyzer, but those is similar to autoclaves used in Europe, which tend to be batch units. The hydrolyzer heats the material to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit at pressures of 125 psi to sterilize the product. PHOTO: WASTAWAY
20 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | MAY 2015
A Solid Approach
to MSW Fuel P
eople who burn their trash do so for various reasons, the most common of which are convenience in avoiding a haul to a local disposal site, and bypassing the cost of a regular waste collection service. Backyard burning is discouraged by the U.S. EPA, however, because of harmful dioxins that are released into the air. This raises questions as to how a solid, MSW-based fuel created from that very trash could result in a positive environmental impact when combusted, but there’s a difference between the two methods, and it all comes down to how the waste is treated and where it is burned. A number of steps are involved in densifying MSW to produce fuel pellets or briquettes, also referred to as refusederived fuel (RDF) or solid-recovered fuel (SRF). The process essentially changes the physical form of the waste, enriching its organic content by removing the moisture and inorganics. End markets for the fuel include coal and biomass plants, cement kilns and industrial thermal boilers. Besides incineration, raw MSW can be used for conversion technologies like pyrolysis and gasification. RDF debuted when the oil shortage of the 1970s sparked interest in processes that could take advantage of the energy content in MSW. EPA demonstration grants helped fund a number of waste-processing projects that included RDF. As a result, facilities were built during the last few decades of the 1900s, but few have continued to operate through this century. Still, there are producers in the U.S. and new projects on the horizon. RDF and SRF are more widely recognized in the United Kingdom. In Europe, there is the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and technical committee (TC), which established all necessary standards for SRF under CEN/TC 343. The standards were created to promote free trade of these fuels in the internal market, as well as help equipment providers and permitting authorities build acceptance and trust amongst the public. The EPA has published definitions, assessments and tests regarding RDF and its cofiring attributes in thermal units, and there are independent North American laboratories testing the
The concept of solidifying preprocessed municipal solid waste into fuel pellets or briquettes is not new, but the market has been slow to mature. BY KATIE FLETCHER
fuels. Some companies have tested their fuel product against the European standard as well, but without specific quality thresholds in the U.S., questions remain about the product’s quality, emissions and consistency. Despite that, producers in the space seem confident in the fuels’ present and future market potential. A few U.S. enterprises creating solid fuel from MSW include Tennessee-based WastAway, America First Inc.’s project in Maryland, and New Bedford Waste LLC in Massachusetts.
WastAway began processing MSW in 2003, at its commercial facility in Warren County, Tennessee, using a patented process to create a product called Fluff. According to Terry Moore, chief business development officer with WastAway, the material that comes out of the process is basically free of metals and most of the inert materials, including ash from glass, rocks and dirt. Trash is first shredded, then the metals and inert material extracted, leaving the organic portion of the MSW. “Those things are shredded again, and they go through the hydrolyzer, which is a continuous-flow autoclave that runs at a higher temperature and pressure than an autoclave for sterilizing surgical instruments,” Moore says. “The reason we do that is to kill anything that is in the waste, any kind of pathogen.” Around 2009, the company fired up its commercial facility in Morrison to pelletize its Fluff product, after the idea was suggested by WastAway shareholder Battelle Institute, an applied science and technology development company. Densifying aided with gasification, but the genesis of the move was for easier and cheaper shipping and handling. “It has the same Btu value whether it is pelletized or not, it is just a matter of whether the plant is close enough,” Moore says. “If you have to ship it a long distance, Fluff is maybe 15 pounds per cubic foot, and pellets are 35 or 40 pounds per cubic foot, so you get more pellets on a truck, and you still pay the same amount for freight.” Since then, the company has tested the product with engineering companies and labs. According to Moore, the product is “amazingly consistent,” usually about 8,700 Btu per pound,
MAY 2015 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 21
FLUFF TO FUEL: After municipal solid waste is shredded to an inch or less, it is exposed to heat under pressure, further reducing it into an intermediate material called Fluff. The Fluff is then pelletized to create hygroscopic pellets with moisture content between 5 to 10 percent; the Fluff itself is 4 to 5 percent. PHOTO: WASTAWAY
varying between 8,500 and 8,900 Btu per pound. The material has been tested to the European CEN/TS standard. According to Moore, the scaling system is rated one to five in three different categoriesâ€”Btu value, chlorine content and heavy metals. The poorest score being all fives, Moore says WastAwayâ€™s fuel generally qualifies as two-two-one. Last year, WastAway completed testing in Canada, the purpose of which was for Canadian power companies to determine whether the fuel behaved similarly to coal. â€œThey found that it does, that the ash
thatâ€™s generated from combusting this material is a little bit improved from the ash that you would get from coal,â€? Moore says. â€œThey were also shown that it completely combusts in the firing zoneâ€”there are not any residual, noncombusted partsâ€”and that it pulverizes just like coal will pulverize for a pulverized coal boiler.â€? The testing results sparked interest in some Canadian provinces where CO2 emissions are very stringent, Moore adds. â€œIf they burn 5 to 10 percent blend of our material with coal, they could get enough
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carbon credits to lower below the emission levels so they can continue to operate these large, electrical facilities,” he says. Depending upon the location of a community or company, WastAway pellets may qualify for carbon credits, greenhouse gas (GHG) credits, renewable energy credits, recycling credits, landfill diversion credits and renewable portfolio standards certificates. Other sources of revenue can include tipping fees, ferrous and nonferrous metal sales, glass and inert sales and Fluff or WastAway pellet sales. “We look at all of the garbage that comes out of the back of the garbage truck as having value—we want to get all but the oink out of the pig—so we are looking at recovering everything there is,” Moore says. Besides cement kilns and pulverized coal boilers, gasification is another outlet the company is marketing to, for creation of power, biofuel or chemicals. Moore says companies that operate on coal usually value WastAway pellets on a relative Btu basis with coal. “If you had 11,000 Btu of coal selling at $60 a ton, you would probably see our pellets selling at $40 or $45 a ton,” Moore says. “It just depends on the value of the coal and the price they’re paying for that coal, as to what the customer will be willing to pay for the pellet.” Although WastAway has been actively marketing the process to sell the equipment and license the technology, the company has just two commercial operations—the one in Warren County and one on the island of Aruba. “We don’t have any other plants at this time, but I can tell you if we talk this time next year, there will probably be five to 10 sales that we have completed,” Moore says. “We’re always looking for places that can support the process, both from a raw material standpoint and as a user for the output.” One example is a project at Drayton Valley’s municipal landfill in Alberta, Canada, where testing will resume. According to Moore, the project was held up when a power company suspended testing the pellets in a pulverized coal boiler due to economic issues, particularly what the carbon credits would be valued at.
Model Landfill Project
Over the past few years, the 40-West Landfill in Washington County, Maryland, has experienced several hardships that have caused long-term financial strain on the operational tipping fee revenue. Some of these strains include an increase in recycling rates leading to decreased tipping revenue, the economic downturn resulting in less materials needing disposal, and the county landfill’s position surrounded by competitive, privately owned landfills. All these factors compounded, reducing the waste coming to the landfill to under 300 tons per day. The county decided the solution was a public-private partnership and after assessing a number of companies, it selected Green Kinetics Gateway or America First Inc. The project was first announced in August 2013, but an extension was needed. Changes in the permitting approach by Maryland Department of the Environment required both phases of the project to be permitted for the federal and state air permits at one time in the third quarter of 2014. “The developer had to modify the schedule and incorporate the design and equipment selection into the phaseMAY 2015 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 23
one permitting process,â€? says Julie Pippel, Washington County director of environmental management. According to Pippel, the county now anticipates permit acquirement late this year. Construction, which will last six to eight months, will begin soon after. The project will cost nothing to the county, and AFI will be the sole signer of the loan, so the county bears no upfront financial risk for construction or operational expenses associated with the project. Phase one of the project will include AFIâ€™s construction of a waste-to-energy (WTE) facility on 15 acres of the 40-West Landfill site. This facility will handle up to 500 tons of MSW landfill deliveries per day to create pelletized RDF, with the possibility of future expansion. â€œConverting MSW into RDF will not only reduce the volume of solid waste placed in the landfill by 95 percent, it will generate revenue while eventually lowering expenses such as leachate management,â€? Pippel says. The second phase of the project includes the construction of a Fischer-Tropsch synthetic fuel plant to transform RDF pellets into high-energy gas, which will then be converted into transportation fuels. This phase will begin construction 18 months after phase one, and is estimated to take 12 to 18 months to complete, with production expected within 90 days of commissioning. The county says it anticipates approximately 10 percent of the pellets produced at the facility will feed the gasification plant, and the remaining pellets will continue
to be sold into the market. At full production, the planned capacity is approximately 700 barrels of FT fuels per day. As part of this phase, the existing 40-West Landfill will be mined to recover buried MSW. The county will receive a portion of the revenue from both project phases. Using todayâ€™s market value for RDF pellets, Washington Countyâ€™s estimated share of net profits would be in excess of $50,000 per month from phase one, and in excess of $200,000 per month for phase two. This will be AFIâ€™s first use of the technology on a commercial scale to date. â€œThis innovative approach in processing MSW will position Washington County ahead of the curve to comply with upcoming federal and state regulations; furthermore, the county will serve as an international benchmark in environmentally responsible waste management,â€? Pippel says. â€œThe goal is not only to make this project noteworthy in Maryland, but also nationwide.â€?
New Bedfordâ€™s Briquettes
While the WTE facility in Maryland is slated for construction later this year, a project in Massachusetts anticipates construction completion in October or November. New Bedford Waste Services, a sister company of ABC Disposal Service Inc., is building an MSW-recycling and RDF briquette-manufacturing facility in New Bedford. This facility will be known as Zero Waste Solutions LLC. NBWS currently has a construction and demolition (C&D) recycling plant and transfer sta-
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tion in Rochester known as the Rochester Environmental Park. This plant is permitted to accept 1,500 tons of MSW and C&D debris per day. The planned 103,000-square-foot ZWS operation is being built at the location as the end-disposal outlet for the C&D transfer station’s MSW and residuals. The ZWS facility will initially take in about 850 tons per day of waste and produce about 300 tons per day of briquettes valued at about $60 per ton. The facility is estimated to achieve 90 percent or more recycling rates, which, according to Michael Camara, president of NBWS, will be the highest in the surrounding area. The RDF briquettes are called EcoTac fuel briquettes, created using WERC-2 Inc.’s patent-pending process. The EcoTac fuel is said to guarantee over 10,500 Btu per pound with limited moisture content and predictable outputs for cofiring with coal or woody biomass. According to WERC-2 Inc., the fuel briquettes contain virtually no mercury, and when compared to coal average over 90 percent in sulfur reductions, 78 percent in ash reduction and cut CO2 emissions by 17 to 22 percent. All of the fuel’s testing data was provided to the EPA, and, according to Camara, the fuel briquette was approved by the EPA as a nonhazardous and nonsolid waste fuel. The fuel will be sold to biomass and coal-burning plants and cement kilns. All in all, emerging projects demonstrate RDF potential, and those involved believe it can compete with other fuels in the market.
C O N V E Y
NBWS and WastAway claim their products have a better shelf life than wood pellets. “The pellets that we make, because there is no active microorganisms in them, have a shelf life that is infinite,” Moore says. These companies also say their products are odor free, and are on par with the consistency of coal or wood pellets. For now, however, the market is much narrower for RDF. Players in the space agree RDF use will expand, but only commercially—not on the residential side. “Inherent in garbage are some things that you would need a more sophisticated emission control system for than what you would find in a household stove,” Moore says. “When you burn wood you just get CO2 and water for the most part, maybe some VOCs, but with burning garbage you get lots of stuff.” Moore adds, “I think it will be a game changer, but the first rule of a manager is to maximize shareholder wealth, so the idea here is we want to make some money so our investors are repaid for their patience and the risk they’ve taken.” Author: Katie Fletcher Staff Writer, Biomass Magazine 701-738-4920 email@example.com
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PLANNING EXPANSION: Groupe Savoie’s pellet plant is supplied with the byproduct of its own sawmill operations, including sawdust and the biomass resulting from forestry operations. PHOTO: GROUP SAVOIE INC.
Canadian pellet company upping volumes to help meet heat demand New Brunswick, Canada-based Groupe Savoie Inc. recently announced that it plans to double the volume dedicated to the domestic side of its pellet production at its Saint-Quentin pellet plant in the coming year. This company decided to increase pellet volume locally to address the shortage of pellets experienced over the winter, due to the compounded problem of unseasonably cold temperatures and seasonal customer buying patterns. Last year, Jonathan Levesque, vice president of marketing and develop-
ment with Groupe Savoie, estimates the company produced 70,000 tons, 65 percent of which was exported to European customers. The company plans to continue to export approximately 45,000 to 50,000 tons, but will add another 20,000 to 25,000 tons of pellets on the domestic side. A $1 million-plus investment in the pellet plant will be made to maximize its output. The investment will include changing out a burner to increase the drying capacity, and some other equipment.
Executive order supports biomass thermal In March, President Obama signed an executive order focused on planning for federal sustainability in the next decade. Renewable energy targets and compliance with the USDA’s BioPreferred program are among the issues the order addresses. The sustainability plan directs federal agencies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40 percent by 2025. As part of the effort, specific clean energy goals for electric and thermal energy are set, with building electric and thermal energy goals increasing from 10 percent in fiscal years 2016 and 2017 to 25 percent by fiscal years 2025 and thereafter. The Biomass Thermal Energy Council and the Pellet Fuels Institute have 28 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | MAY 2015
spoken out to commend Obama’s commitment to expanding the use of renewable thermal energy with the issuance of the executive order. “The president’s executive order demonstrates strong and resourceful leadership in transforming federal operations through energy management,” said Joseph Seymour, executive director of the BTEC. “In particular, we applaud the president for creating new pathways for deploying safe, cost-effective and innovative technologies, including biomass thermal energy, for heating and electricity, while reinforcing energy efficiency.”
Solar Generation May Sideline Biomass Heating BY JOHN ACKERLY
Most of us have looked at the explosive growth of solar photovoltaic systems as just a parallel and complementary renewable energy technology. Solar panels make kilowatts while wood and pellet stoves make Btus, right? Wrong. To stay relevant, the biomass heating industry needs to keep abreast of rapid advances in the solar industry. We also need to think of ways to integrate our technology with other renewables, and we need to explore how that integration can happen right away, because renewable energy policy decisions being made now will impact our industry in coming decades. The solar industry has a vision, ambition and plan for rapid expansion that is largely absent in the wood and pellet stove community. Pathways for rapid expansion of pellet technologies are being developed in Europe, but not in the U.S. While solar advocates are focused on a wide range of financing options, regulatory frameworks, R&D, utility partnerships, the wood and pellet stove industry seems to put more effort into trying to maintain the status quo and fight against regulations. Many pellet stoves and boilers are now clean and efficient enough to be part of the mainstream renewable energy revolution. But they remain an afterthought in most state and federal programs. Part of the problem is that we are not integrated into the solar community, which is making more and more breakthroughs in many circles. Perhaps the most important breakthroughs are in the imaginations of the general public. A recent study by the Rocky Mountain Institute, a think tank for energy policy, found that solar will become economic for nearly all customers very soon, and that solar-plus-battery systems will follow suit within the next 10 to 15 years. Itâ€™s battery technology that may ultimately pose the greatest disruptive threat for utilities, signaling what may be a complete breakdown of the traditional centralized power and grid model. A first step for the industry is to start integrating batteries that would enable pellet stoves to run for at least 12 to 24 hours during a power outage. Integrating a battery pack seamlessly into a pellet stove, without significantly raising the purchase price, would give that manufacturer a big edge on the market. It would also help the solar industry realize pellet stoves requiring low amounts of electricity have the potential to operate well even in offgrid homes.
Wood and pellet stoves and boilers can also easily generate small amounts of electricity, enough to recharge phones and computers and run a few lights. This technology has been out there for years, but no stove or boiler company has taken advantage of it. Again, the benefit is not just to provide the consumer with a groundbreaking application for stoves, but to spark the imagination of the general public that biomass heaters are an exciting part of the renewable energy movement. Ironically, the wood and pellet stove industry has deployment numbers that the solar industry could only envy for many years. Ten million homes in America have wood and pellet stoves, whereas solar PV may just be crossing the 1 million mark soon. As their star becomes brighter, ours is in danger of becoming dimmer. Public opinion is shifting, and policies and incentives are shifting along with it. As solar systems become more efficient and more robust, they can also start taking on some of the heat load of homes, especially as cold climate heat pumps become more efficient and affordable. Incentive programs in the Northeast are already starting to push heat pumps much more than pellet stoves. At the same time, we are seeing more and more urban areas restrict the use of wood stoves due to air quality concerns. If the environmental community finds itself fighting against the wood stove industry more than they are partnering with it, we may lose momentum. The wood and pellet stove industry should make sure that its lawsuit against the EPAâ€™s new regulations is not seen as a fight for the status quo. Maintaining the status quo for wood and pellet heaters is ultimately the worst thing that could happen, because we need to keep apace of the rapid changes in the residential distributed renewable energy sector. That means being part of discussions on creative financing mechanisms, integration with solar and geothermal systems and within the green building and home performance communities. Mounting a major lawsuit against the EPA may just draw precious resources away from the real opportunities before us. Author: John Ackerly President, Alliance for Green Heat firstname.lastname@example.org www.forgreenheat.org
MAY 2015 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 29
OUT WITH THE OLD: At the site of Procter & Gamble's plant in Albany, Georgia, an existing biomass boiler has provided a portion of facility's steam needs for the past 30 years.
30 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | MAY 2015
Procter & Gamble and Constellation Energy are building a $200 million cogeneration plant at P&G’s Albany, Georgia, manufacturing plant. BY KEITH LORIA
ike many large manufacturing companies, in response to today’s societal push to reduce waste, recycle and become more environmentally friendly, Procter & Gamble Co. has a company-wide, long-term environmental sustainability vision. Maker of consumer products including Charmin, Bounty and Tide, P&G embarked on its long-term environmental sustainability vision in 2010. “That vision is that we ultimately want to be the company that uses 100 percent renewable materials for all product and packaging, with plants running on renewable energy and zero consumer waste going to the landfill,” says Len Sauers, P&G’s vice president of global sustainability. “One of goals is to achieve 30 percent renewable energy by 2020, and this project is an incremental step toward this longterm vision.” In recent years, the company has transitioned to hydro power in Poland, solar power in California and wind power in China. Turning its attention to its Albany, Georgia, plant, P&G found the biomass solution to make the most sense for renewable power being economically viable. And although P&G already has a biomass boiler at the location—for the past 30 years, it has provided 30 percent of the facility’s steam power from wood chips—the company saw this as an opportunity to broaden its use and go larger. Partnered with Constellation Energy for a new $200 million cogeneration plant, the project will expand the facility’s use of renewable energy, increasing its efficiency and decreasing its environmental footprint.
Partners In Power
Under terms of the partnership, Constellation will build, own and operate the plant, which will supply steam to P&G’s paper manufacturing facility via a 20-year steam supply agreement, and generate up to 385,000 megawatt-hours of electricity annually that it will sell to the local utility, Georgia Power. According to Ron Melchior, executive director of distributed energy at Constellation, the plant will provide P&G up to 425,000 pounds per hour of renewable process steam. “The plant’s fuel supply will come from local sources of biomass that would otherwise have been left to decay, burned, or potentially sent to landfill, including crop residuals (pecan shells, peanut hulls), discarded tree tops, limbs or branches, and mill waste.” Melchior says. “Scrap wood will be collected from the
MAY 2015 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 31
surrounding area, turned into wood chips and brought to the site.” Sauers says the company collaborated with the World Wildlife Fund to develop sustainable fuel procurement standards, and great emphasis was placed on making sure the incoming scrap wood used at the plant met its broader forestry and sustainable sourcing guidelines. “The incoming biomass will provide 100 percent of the steam and up to 60 to 70 percent of the total energy used to manufacture Bounty paper towels and Charmin toilet tissue,” Sauers says. In fact, a third-party Forest Resource Assessment conducted by Black & Veatch revealed that the region surrounding the plant was home to an abundant supply of waste wood to support the plant operations, and, since the supply is renewable, it enables the plant not to consume material at a faster rate than it is replenished. As Melchior explains the process, chips will be placed inside the plant’s new boiler and burned, allowing the heat to convert piped-in water into high-pressure steam. That steam pressure will drive a turbine connected to an
electric generator. A large percentage of the steam energy will be used by P&G in manufacturing, while the rest will create electricity that will be fed into the power grid through an existing overhead transmission line for Georgia Power. “What makes cogeneration so interesting is its efficiency relative to other forms of generating power, because most forms of generating power that involve any type of fossil fuel produce heat and that heat is not optimally used,” he says. “A cogeneration plant takes that heat, in the form of steam, and optimizes the energy being produced by the plant between electricity and heat, and that makes the plant very efficient. The use of waste fuel in the form of biomass makes it ultraeffective both socially and economically.” The new Albany Green Energy plant is a 50-MW capacity cogeneration plant, which, when coupled with the additional steam load from P&G, would be equivalent in size to many of the largest biomass-fueled facilities in the U.S. “To make the economics work, we had to move from this relatively small boiler to what was a utility-scale type of operation,” Sauers
says. “It started getting outside the expertise of P&G, so we sought out a partner and Constellation was the best fit.” Currently, P&G uses about 8 percent renewable energy and the change at the plant will result in another 5 to 7 percent, which will put the company halfway toward its goal of achieving 30 percent by 2020. And one day, the company hopes, 100 percent. “This will account for 60 to 70 percent of our total energy use,” Sauers says. “We still will have 30 percent coming from natural gas, because certain properties with Charmin and Bounty require very high temperatures that we can’t do with steam.” The old boiler will be decommissioned once the new plant is operational. In mid-March, ground was broken and Constellation was hard at work to get the new plant up and operational by June 2017. “We’ve started construction on the ground and we’re starting to order major pieces of equipment,” Melchior says. “There’s construction on the roads, we’re moving the parking lot and creating room and access for fuel delivery trucks. We’re also doing all the storm water manage-
ment and normal up-front work that’s required for a project of this size.” Gary Fromer, senior vice president of distributed energy at Constellation, says the existing boilers provide steam for the paper mill, and will remain in place and work concurrently until everything is up and running. Only then will they be taken out, although two additional gas boilers are staying. When complete, Fromer says there’s a chance that the Albany Green Energy plant might also one day provide energy to the adjacent U.S. Marine Corps, providing even greater benefits. Other companies with a role in bringing this all together include Exelon Power, Constellation’s affiliate, which will collaborate on the design, construction, operations and maintenance of the plant; DCO Energy LLC, which will hold a minority stake in the project and provide engineering, procurement and construction services; the Albany Development Authority, which offered a Payment In Lieu of Tax, which helped reduce the nonlabor-related operating costs of the facility and promoted the creation of new construc-
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tion jobs; and Sterling Energy Assets, which worked with both P&G and Constellation on the development of the Albany Green Energy plant.
Fromer says Constellation is committed to the environment and the company has a sustainability program with very specific goals, which line up well with the standards of P&G. “We worked with them to set up procurement standards and fuel standards as to what qualifies as renewable fuel, which was also done in parallel with requirements we have for fuel supply with our agreement with Georgia Power,” he says. “Our purchase agreement has very specific terms approved that require fuel to meet the biomass standards in Georgia. We want to ensure that the forest floor is appropriately cleaned and replanted so it can remain a sustainable forestry industry.” Since P&G has been purchasing biomass in the area for more than 30 years, it has established relationships with proven sustainable suppliers who will continue to source the plant. “The material will be coming from a number
Author: Keith Loria Freelance writer, Biomass Magazine email@example.com
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of external partners in our area,” Sauers says. “This program works because it’s a heavily forested area, so there is plenty of biomass available to us. We will get reports annually from those procuring so we know the source of the wood, and we know if they are meeting the requirements we have in place for this. We will make sure the wood isn’t coming from sources we deem unacceptable.” It all goes back to that robust plan the company has instituted. “The use of renewable energy is important to P&G, and we created goals and have a vision and effort to continue to work it,” Sauers says. “It’s important for our brand to have a communication with consumers so they can see we are responsible and also understand we are being very responsible for sourcing.”
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MAY 2015 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 33
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Detroit Stoker Company DH Industries USA Inc. DSE Test Solutions A/S Dustex Corporation Dustmaster Enviro Systems EAD Corporate EBM Manufacturing, Inc. Ecoverse Elliott Group Evergreen Engineering, Inc. Fagen, Inc. Ferrite Microwave Technologies Fike Corporation Firefly AB Flamex, Inc. Forest Concepts, LLC Frontline Warning Systems Fuchs Lubricants Fusion Tanks & Silos GelTech Solutions Genesis III Global Refractory Installers and Supplies Gray Construction GreCon, Inc. Green Globe Services LLC Greystone Construction Griffin Filters LLC Guard-Safe Guarding Hallco Industries, Inc. Hatton-Brown Publishers Inc. Hermann Sewerin Heyl & Patterson, Inc. Hoerbiger Compression Technology of America Holding, Inc. Hurst Boiler & Welding Co., Inc. IAP Inc. Idaho National Laboratory IEP Technologies Imerys Inland Power Group International Feed Intertek Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) IS SaveEnergy AG Jackson Lumber Harvester Co. Jacobs Corporation Javo International Keith Mfg. Co. Komptech Americas LLC Konecranes America, Inc. Laidig Systems, Inc. Layne Heavy Civil Lyncole XIT Grounding
Marion Process Solutions M-E-C Company Messersmith Manufacturing, Inc. Methuen Construction Mid-South Engineering Company Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development Minnesota Valley Testing Laboratories Miron Construction Co., Inc. Mitre Power Technology, LLC MN DNR - Forestry MoistTech Corp. Monitortech Corporation Morbark, Inc. MP Combustion Process Ltd MRU Instruments, Inc. National Filter Media NDC Technologies New Holland Agriculture North American Clean Energy NUCOR Building Systems Outotec Parker Hannifin Corporation Pellet Fuels Institute Pellet Technology USA PHG Energy Plibrico Company, LLC Powerhouse Technology PPS Group, LLC Precision Rotary Equipment Probe America Process and Storage Solutions ProcessBarron PRODESA Rapat Corporation Rawlings Waste Wood Recovery Systems Redecam USA, LLC REHAU Incorporated Richardson Electronics Rotex Global Rotochopper, Inc. Rovanco Piping Systems RUD Chain, Inc. RUF BRIQUETTING SYSTEMS Schaeffer Specialized Lubricants Schutte-Buffalo Hammer Mill Scott Equipment Company Screw Conveyor Corporation Sensortech Systems, Inc. Shangqiu HaiQI Machinery Equipment Co., Ltd Shell Lubricants SHW Storage & Handling Solutions GmbH Smith & Loveless, Inc.
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Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) Southern Environmental, Inc. Stinger Inc. Sunomi, LLC TerraSource Global (Jeffrey Rader) The Cellulose Pilot and Processing Lab (CPPL) The Swedish Energy Agency The Swedish Trade & Invest Council Thomas and Muller Systems Ltd Timber Products Inspection/Biomass Energy Laboratories TRAMCO (AGI) TSI, Inc. Turbo Parts, LLC Turboden S.r.l. Twin City Clarage LLC Twin Ports Testing, Inc. UK Center for Applied Energy Research University of MN Duluth-Natural Resources Research Insititute Uponor North America USA Tank Storage Systems Uzelac Industries, Inc. Valmet, Inc. Valvexport, Inc. Vecoplan, LLC Verder Scientific Inc Vermeer Corporation Viessmann Manufacturing Company (U.S.), Inc. Viking Automatic Sprinkler/ VFP Fire Systems Walinga USA Inc Warren & Baerg Manufacturing, Inc. Wechsler Engineering & Consulting, Inc. Wellons Canada West Salem Machinery Co. Western Ag Enterprises, Inc. Western Pneumatics, Inc. Williams Patent Crusher & Pulverizer Co., Inc. Wolf Material Handling Systems WoodMaster WSP Group Yale Mechanical Yargus Manufacturing, Inc
BiogasNews No. of projects
Current U.S. landfill gas-to-energy projects
Candidate landfills for energy projects
SOURCE: U.S. EPA LANDFILL METHANE OUTREACH PROGRAM
Florida landfill gas project begins operations Aria Energy has begun commercial operations and renewable energy production at Sarasota County’s Central County Solid Waste Disposal Complex in Nokomis, Florida. The 4.8-MW landfill gas-to-energy project produces enough electricity to power 2,800 homes. Aria Energy designed, built, owns and operates the facility, and sells the electricity to JEA, an electric utility located in Jacksonville, Florida, under a power purchase agreement (PPA).
The Sarasota County Project is the second landfill gas-to-energy project owned and operated by Aria Energy that sells its output to JEA under a PPA. In 2008, Aria Energy developed a landfill gas-to-energy facility at Jacksonville’s Trail Ridge Landfill. That facility, owned by Aria Energy, also supplies power to JEA. Aria Energy is the largest provider of landfill gas-to-energy in Florida, with a total of 32 MW of installed capacity.
Progressive Waste Solutions project converts landfill gas to natural gas Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd. recently celebrated the opening of its renewable natural gas facility in Terrebonne, Quebec. The project is converting landfill gas to natural gas, which is then delivered to the TransCanada pipeline network via an injection point adjacent to the landfill site. The facility is designed to process approximately 10,000 cubic feet per minute of incoming landfill gas. The gas generated at the site is the equivalent of fueling 1,500 trucks for 20 years. Progressive Waste Solutions estimates the project will results in the avoidance of approximately 1.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide over a 10-year period.
36 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | MAY 2015
“We are extremely proud to open this renewable natural gas facility and convert naturally occurring landfill gas into a renewable energy source that is an alternative to fossil fuels,” said Dan Pio, executive vice president of strategy and business development at Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd. “Our investment in this facility, along with the investment we are making to convert certain portions of our collection fleet to compressed natural gas from diesel fuel, demonstrates our commitment to environmentally sustainable practices as well as reducing our carbon footprint.”
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DOUBLING CAPACITY: This spring, the Energen Biogas facility in Cumbernauld, Scotland, is finishing an expansion project that will double its capacity, a decision fueled by Scotland’s Zero Waste Plan and supporting governmental regulations. PHOTO: ENERGEN BIOGAS
38 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | MAY 2015
Making Haste To Zero Waste
New regulations in Scotland foster a circular economy and biogas development. BY RON KOTRBA
cotland is in the midst of implementing a very ambitious, noble goal: becoming a zero-waste society. According to the government, in 2009, Scotland produced 17.1 million metric tons of so-called waste, another term for resources that have largely been untapped or that have had monetary and environmental costs as landfilled materials. Estimates show that the value of household waste alone in Scotland surpasses £100 million ($148.1 million). In 2010, the Scottish government launched its Zero Waste Plan, which exceeds its requirements as a member of the EU under the European Commission’s revised Waste Framework Directive (rWFD). Scotland’s Zero Waste Plan is not just about managing waste; it’s about doing so in a way that is resourceconscious and economically stimulating to foster a circular economy. “The Zero Waste Plan is well aligned to the aims of the rWFD, and the regulations are intended to bring about the changes required under the rWFD in a way that will maximize the economic opportunities afforded by a resource-centered approach to managing Scotland’s waste,” the government states. The end goal of the Zero Waste Plan is to achieve a 70 percent recycling rate for all waste streams by 2025. To realize this, The Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 were enacted. According to Eleanor Strain with the National Operations Waste Unit at Scotland’s Environmental Protection Agency, the regulations introduce a series of measures to maximize the quantity and quality of materials available for recycling, promote closed-loop recycling over other forms of recycling, move residual waste up the waste hierarchy, drive cultural shifts in how waste is managed, and help create the market certainty needed to support infrastructure investment. Some provisions of the regulations began Jan. 1, 2014, including the requirement that all businesses and organizations must present key recyclables for collection, and businesses that produce more than 50 kilograms (110.2 pounds) of food waste per week, such as restaurants and cafés, must present that organic waste for separate collection. Also by Jan. 1, 2014, local authorities were required to provide basic recycling services to all households. The provisions also include a ban on incinerating or landfilling any materials that were collected for recycling. Beginning Jan. 1, 2016, businesses that generate more
than 5 kg of food waste per week are required to present the material for separate collection, the same date that a ban goes into effect on the use of macerators or garbage disposals to grind food waste and discharge into the public sewer system. At the same time, local authorities are required to offer a food-waste recycling service in nonrural areas. Finally, by Jan. 1, 2021, a ban is to be implemented on biodegradable wastes being landfilled. The regulations enacted in 2012 are an important part of implementing the Zero Waste Plan, but they are just one aspect of a suite of actions under the program. Other important actions, according to the government, include the development of a waste prevention strategy, new producer responsibility commitments and actions to promote changes in attitudes to waste and behavior. Strain tells Biomass Magazine that the most challenging aspects of implementation thus far have been “raising awareness of the new duties to all the micro and small businesses across Scotland and ensuring that service provision is adequate in remote areas.” While the new set of regulations may seem onerous to implement nationwide, Strain says that, for the most part, businesses have responded positively to the new regulations. “As long as recycling services are delivered by their waste contractor, most businesses have adapted to the change,” she says. A report issued by Zero Waste Scotland, an organization funded by the Scottish government to enact its Zero Waste Plan, shows that the amount of food waste handled by the organics reprocessing industry in Scotland increased significantly well before the introduction of waste regulations on Jan. 1, 2014, signifying that businesses and citizens are taking this initiative seriously. Released in December 2014, the 2013 survey of the organics reprocessing industry in Scotland revealed that the overall estimated increase for inputs has been 11,000 tons, or 9 percent, from 121,000 tons in 2012 to 132,000 tons in 2013. A large increase was seen in material received from food manufacturers and processors, from 2,000 tons in 2012 to 38,000 tons in 2013. “This report shows a significant increase in the amount of food waste being processed by the organics industry in Scotland in 2013 and it augurs well for the impact of the waste regulations on the Scottish organics sector,” says Iain Gulland, the CEO of Zero Waste Scotland. MAY 2015 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 39
POWER-UP: The expansion at Energen Biogas in Cumbernauld, Scotland, included additional depackaging equipment, prestorage capacity for depackaged food waste, another digester, more gas-handling equipment and additional electricity-generating capacity to produce up to 4.8 MW of power. PHOTO: ENERGEN BIOGAS
“The figures for 2013 show increases in key areas relating to the amount of waste being input, especially from local authorities, and increased employment and economic activity in the sector. One of the biggest increases was in food waste coming from local authorities. Thanks to Zero Waste Scotland’s support, more Scottish households than ever before—1.3 million— now have access to a food waste collection, and we would expect this, together with the impact of the waste regulations, to have a significant impact on the industry going forward.” The report also indicates promising growth in the anaerobic digestion sector in advance of the regulations. The amount of input to anaerobic digestion plants in Scotland from local authorities increased by 12,000 tons between 2012 and 2013, and the Scottish anaerobic digestion sector saw a 13 percent increase in employment in the same period. Another, broader report issued by Waste & Resources Action Programme indicates that, for 2013, the anaerobic digestion sector across the entire U.K. was up by 55 percent, from 2.07 million tons to 3.2 million tons.
Scotland’s Largest AD Facility
This spring, Scotland’s largest anaerobic digestion facility will come online. The Energen Biogas facility began operating in 2011, but
40 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | MAY 2015
in January, the joint venture between Shanks Group plc and Paragon Efficiencies began a £5 million expansion project to double capacity at its Cumbernauld plant. The newly expanded biogas plant is capable of processing more than 100,000 tons of food waste per year. Robert Etherson, operations director at Energen Biogas, tells Biomass Magazine that Scotland’s Zero Waste Plan was fundamental to making the decision to invest in the expansion project in Cumbernauld. “The facility was operating at capacity,” he says, “and waste volumes were increasing as businesses prepare to meet the Zero Waste Scotland legislation.” Peter Eglinton, managing director of Shanks’ U.K. Municipal Division, says, “Organic waste is one of the most environmentally damaging forms of waste to be sent to landfill, so I am delighted that our Cumbernauld AD facility is continuing to reduce this burden on the environment by doubling the amount of this waste it is able to process.” The expansion includes installation of additional depackaging equipment. “All packaged food waste is processed in the same manner, which is to remove the packaging and the liquid fraction is stored for processing to feed the digesters,” Etherson says. The facility employs a combined-heat-and-power unit that generates 1.2 MW of heat used to pasteurize the
BIOGASÂŚ incoming waste. Energenâ€™s prestorage capacity for depackaged food waste has also doubled in the expansion project, and another digester is being added. Furthermore, additional gashandling equipment and electricity-generating capacity is being installed. Originally designed to produce 2.4 MW of power, the expanded Energen Biogas facility now has 3.6 MW of installed capacity, â€œwith a further 1.2 MW to be installed when incoming waste volumes increase further,â€? Etherson says. Energen Biogas charges a gate fee for organics from multiple sources and sectors, including retail, local authorities, commercial businesses, and food and drink manufacturers, but Etherson would not disclose how much the fee is or provide details on Energenâ€™s feedstock sources. Approximately 95 percent of the liquid fraction is used to feed the digesters, with approximately 15 percent being converted to biogas and the remaining 85 percent producing an organic fertilizer, which is applied to farmland, Etherson says. A major announcement on the use of digestate was made in November by Quality Meat Scotland: The organization declared it was safe for farmers to use on their crops, an important move to develop markets for the biofertilizer. â€œHistorical concerns over the safety of applying compost and digestate to land have now been addressed to an extent which has allowed us to achieve significant progress and substantial revision of the previous restriction on their use by members of the assurance scheme,â€? said Suzanne Woodman, QMS brands integrity manager, last November. QMS stated that concerns had previously been raised that anaerobic digestion could actively cultivate the Clostridium botulinum organism, but published information relating to this was very limited, the organization states. Three research projects have been completed, the most recent in July, which confirm no significant growth of the organism in anaerobic digestion. As a result, the Bulk Organic Fertilizers section of QMSâ€™ Quality Assurance Standards now allows composts and digestates to be applied to land, provided they are PAS 100 and PAS 110 certified, meet additional physical contaminants restrictions and are applied in accordance with guidance provided. According to WRAP, PAS 110 certification puts controls on input materials and the management system for the process of anaerobic digestion and associated technologies and specifies a minimum quality of whole digestate, separated fiber and separated liquor, among other parameters.
â€œThis decision by Quality Meat Scotland to permit the use of compost and fertilizer products derived from food waste is a breakthrough for a circular economy in Scotland,â€? Gulland says. â€œFood and other organic wastes contain nutrients which are important to plant growth, so itâ€™s appropriate they are returned to the soil when itâ€™s safe and right to do so. Zero Waste Scotland has worked extensively with the organics recycling sector over several years to develop a robust body of evidence on outputs from compost or anaerobic digestion facilities. Itâ€™s now clear that these products, when made to a quality specification, do not pose a risk to human or animal health. This will help us advance toward our goal of diverting food waste from landfill, on which a great deal of progress has already been made, and will help farmers reduce their reliance on oil-based fertilizers. This decision opens up a potential new market for these products, but it is vital that the whole food waste supply chain responds by enabling the organics recycling industry to deliver consistent, high-quality materials to farmers who want to use them. If they do, this is a clear win-win, for farming and for zero waste.â€? Zero Waste Scotland is providing direct support to the industry through various initiatives. De minimus matching grant funding up to ÂŁ170,000 is available to cover start-up costs for commercial food waste services or additional infrastructure at existing treatment facilities. Zero Waste Scotland is also providing free, two- and three-day consultancy support for PAS 100 and PAS 110 certification, respectively. Ultimately, establishing a circular economy conscious of the finiteness of precious resources, the empowerment of economic stimulus and the fragility of the environment takes tremendous work, but the rewards are high. â€œThe circular economy presents a huge opportunity for Scotland, with projected benefits for business and our economy,â€? says Louise McGregor, head of circular economy for Zero Waste Scotland. â€œWe are gearing up support for businesses, building on our strong evidence to understand the opportunities better and working with businesses directly to help them develop more circular practices. Establishing a circular economy will take change at all stages in our traditional make-use-dispose system, and by focusing on all the aspectsâ€” from design to business supportâ€”we hope to stimulate change, which will help Scotland achieve a more sustainable economy.â€? Author: Ron Kotrba Senior Editor, Biomass Magazine 218-745-8347 firstname.lastname@example.org
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42 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | MAY 2015
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AdvancedBiofuelNews 2014 job announcements No. of jobs No. of job announcements 23,625
Renewable energy jobs
Biomass (generation) Total clean energy jobs
SOURCE: ENVIRONMENTAL ENTREPRENEURS
Report tallies 2014 biofuel job announcements Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) recently released its fourth quarter and yearend 2014 jobs report, which shows continued growth of clean energy and clean transportation jobs in the U.S. For the full year 2014, E2 reported 46,783 clean energy and clean transportation jobs were announced at 177 projects. According to E2, 23,625 renewable energy jobs at 112 projects were announced last year, including 813 biofuel jobs at eight projects, 125 biogas jobs at four projects, and 399 biomass power jobs at seven projects. The balance
of renewable energy jobs was announced for geothermal, solar and wind projects. The 46,783 jobs announced last year also included 16,015 manufacturing jobs, 2,266 jobs classified as â€œother,â€? 2,000 public transportation jobs, 1,932 recycling jobs and 925 building efficiency jobs. Nevada was the top ranking state for 2014 clean energy and clean transportation job announcements, followed by California, New York, Michigan, Arizona, Texas, Colorado, North Carolina, Utah and New Mexico.
Oregon Clean Fuels sunset date removed In March, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed S.B. 324 into law. The bill removes the Dec. 31, sunset date from the stateâ€™s Clean Fuels Program. By signing S.B. 324, Brown has allowed the program to be implemented past the end of this year. The program, which is similar to Californiaâ€™s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, requires a 10 percent reduction of greenhouse gases from transportation fuels over a 10-year period. â€œI strongly support SB 324â€™s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is difficult to deny that we are seeing the effects of a warming planet,â€? Brown said. â€œThis year, 85 percent of our state is experiencing drought, with 33 percent experiencing extreme drought. This directly impacts 1.5 million Oregonians, hitting our rural communities the hardest. With California, Washington, and British Columbia moving forward with their own clean fuels programs, which will shape the West Coast market, it is imperative not only that Oregon does its part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also that we build a program that meets the needs of Oregonians.â€?
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+<81'$,027256,1672&. *HQHUDO3XUSRVH0RWRUV ([SORVLRQ3URRI0RWRUV ,(((0RWRUV 0HGLXP9ROWDJH0RWRUV 44 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | MAY 2015
ADVANCED BIOFUELS AND CHEMICALS¦
Strengthening The RFS For Next-Gen Biofuels BY MICHAEL MCADAMS
There has been a great deal of conversation around the speech I recently gave at the Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. I would like to further explain some of the key areas of my remarks in today’s column. As I stated, members of the Advanced Biofuels Association are facing incredible challenges, including diminishing capital markets, an uncertain tax code, and a patch quilt of state laws and federal regulations. Unfortunately, the renewable fuel standard (RFS)—the very tool that was created to foster our industry—has become one of the greatest obstacles to continued development of the advanced and cellulosic biofuel industry due to inconsistent and poor implementation. This is clearly evident as we are now well into 2015 and still waiting for the administration to publish the renewable volume obligations for 2014. Yes, you have it right, they were due Nov. 30, 2013. For those of you who invested your hard earned money to build an advanced plant, you believed you had a reliable and stable contract with the federal government. A contract that would help develop the next generation of biofuels, diversify our energy markets, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. However, this contract is broken, and the federal government is not holding up its end of the deal. This failure has put your business and the investments you have made in harm’s way. Sadly, eight years after its passage, it is easy to see that the RFS is only minimally helpful to advance the promise and potential of next-generation renewable fuels. We have already waited two years for the administration to move forward, only to continue to be left in suspended animation over the political difficulty of deciding on how to move forward. Repeatedly missing deadlines to set annual RFS requirements, and reducing those requirements below statutory levels, has created significant uncertainty. That ambiguity causes financing for advanced and cellulosic companies to evaporate. This delay puts those of you seeking financing to build a new plant in a real bind. Even if your company has a business plan that works when a barrel of oil costs $50, at today’s RIN (renewable identification
number) prices, capital markets now question whether the support provided by the RFS will exist after 2022. Investors in the second-generation space need answers and decisions, not more rulemakings and comment periods. We must have a clear and defined long-range policy in place, well beyond 2022, in order to be able to finance the building of this new industry. In addition, we must be able to count on the RIN values for advanced and cellulosic pools. When it comes to these issues, I’ve been working with EPA since 2009 to attempt to get pathways approved, feedstocks approved, and annual volume requirements released on time. Despite their hard work and commitment to advanced biofuels, I’ve frequently been told by those in the agency that they do not have sufficient legal authority to address these important changes. As such, it became clear to members of ABFA that statutory changes need to be made to the RFS and that we need to call upon Congress to pass the legislative fixes needed to strengthen the RFS. We recognize that the political climate in Washington is difficult at best, but members of Congress voted, overwhelmingly, in 2007, with former Pesident George Bush’s support, to build an advanced and cellulosic sector. Walking the halls of Congress today still finds overwhelming support for this sector, and we believe that if Congress enacts the changes that ABFA calls for, then the investment community will have the certainty necessary to finance continued development of the advanced and cellulosic industry. If you are committed to fulfilling this mission, and if you believe like I do that advanced and cellulosic biofuels are still poised to flourish in the right environment, then I ask you to join us and work with the Advanced Biofuels Association to reform and strengthen the RFS so it can deliver the promise of next-generation renewable fuels. Author: Michael McAdams President, Advanced Biofuels Association www.advancedbiofuelsassociation.com (202) 289-2001
MAY 2015 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 45
¦ADVANCED BIOFUELS AND CHEMICALS
STARTING SMALL: Knott Landfill is a 135-acre zoned landfill site, with 75 to 80 acres filled with waste. Waste to Energy Group has a proposed project that will begin by using 5 to 8 acres of a lined section of the landfill, with the hope of expanding to treat the entire landfill’s waste after proving its technology. PHOTO: DESCHUTES COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF SOLID WASTE
46 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | MAY 2015
ADVANCED BIOFUELS AND CHEMICALS¦
Profit in Plug and Play A cutting-edge waste-to-energy venture at an Oregon landfill will channel flared gas into ethanol production, and potentially other renewable fuels if future markets are favorable. BY KATIE FLETCHER
lternative fuel markets are volatile, as has been realized by the host of waste-to-energy (WTE) projects that have come to fruition and experienced varying feats and failures. For Californiabased Waste to Energy Group, which stepped into the renewable energy arena around five years ago, deploying a technology that ebbs and flows with market volatility is protection against that unpredictability. At Knott Landfill in Bend, Oregon, Waste to Energy Group is hoping to soon finalize a WTE project that will be capable of producing a number of renewable fuels. “As the market conditions may change, our technology can plug and play to meet the market conditions,” says company CEO Randy Lutz. In fact, the company has changed courses a few times since negotiations began in 2011. “It moved from pipeline-quality gas to methanol, and then to ethanol,” Lutz says. “During project development, the market for pipeline gas went through dramatic changes. During the same period of time, our company forged technology alliances, which allowed us to bolt on a number of alternative fuel solutions.” Should market conditions change in the future, the company can switch to methanol, diesel or back to pipeline gas. “We’re directly adjacent to central Oregon’s natural gas pipeline, and this allows us to supplement, if needed, to guarantee 100 percent production with any of our fuel products,” Lutz added. Knott Landfill collects about 130,000 tons of waste per year. According to Timm Schimke, director of solid waste for Deschutes County, a landfill gas-to-energy (LFGTE) project was on the county’s radar, but ended up not being economically feasible due to the
small amount of landfill gas produced. Traditional development companies gave little interest, but Waste to Energy came in with a unique proposal to try to increase the landfill’s gas production without financial assistance from the county. Schimke says Waste to Energy Group’s proposal, “moved us from a marginal at best prospect, to potentially pretty lucrative prospect for a gas-to-energy project.” Projects take time, and this one is no exception, especially since the design is unlike most LFGTE projects. “We went out and retained a third-party engineering firm to review the proposal and the contract terms to give us an opinion on what they felt the project looked like,” Schimke says. “It’s out of the box—it takes a little bit of time for the local government to embrace that and decide whether they want to give that a shot.” Further extending the project’s timeline was the challenge of acquiring funding, which has now been secured through a European investor. “We went through several false starts until we found the means to accomplish our purposes,” Lutz says. Heat, moisture and oxygen are needed to convert organics into methane. Waste to Energy Group provides a patented process, during which steam is injected into the landfill’s interior, speeding up waste decomposition and producing methane gas. The gas is then washed or scrubbed to remove all the trace toxins, producing a contaminant-free, commercial-grade methane to make liquid fuel—in this case, ethanol after it is cleaned. Since the project uses steam, only one-sixteen hundredth of the amount of water is needed when compared to other projects that inject water to increase methane production. “When you apply steam
MAY 2015 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 47
ÂŚADVANCED BIOFUELS AND CHEMICALS
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BURNING TO BANKROLLING: Deschutes Countyâ€™s Knott Landfill has been flaring off excess gas, not uncommon for small landfills, but now the previously flared methane gas has the potential to serve as a source of revenue for the county. PHOTO: DESCHUTES COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF SOLID WASTE
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XXXBOESJU[DPN 48 BIOMASS MAGAZINE | MAY 2015
to the landfill mass, the organics just take off,â€? Lutz says. â€œThey have the heat, moisture and oxygen they want, and convert very rapidly in a controlled environment.â€? A landfill profile using a Piezo-Penetrometer Test finds the opportune places to drill wells for steam injection. The PPT analysis includes a 3D computer rendering of what is in the landfill and where the gas, water and vacuum pockets are. The system also monitors how the process is working once operational. Although this will be Waste to Energyâ€™s first project using this process at a landfill, a pilot study was conducted at Miramar in Southern California. The company now has four other landfills scheduled to implement this same technology. Last January, county commissioners approved the project by putting together an 18-month contract to have the project completed and operational within that timeframe. Since then, the company has been given the right to proceed. This gives the project the goahead to begin with the initial engineering and PPT analysis in April, which will take three months to complete. While this is occurring, there are two other permits that must be acquired. A site plan review will occur through the Community Development Department for a land use permit. Once complete, a land use compatibility statement will be needed for the Department of Environmental Quality application to acquire a research, develop-
ment and demonstration permit. Schimke estimates that each permit will take a minimum of 60 to 90 days to obtain, one needed before the other permitting process can begin. Once all the permitting is in place, Lutz estimates theyâ€™ll need about nine months for construction. Waste to Energy Groupâ€™s engineering, procurement and construction contractor will be Swinerton Engineering and Construction. The project has a $20 million capex. Some funds will go toward purchasing equipment, such as a fuel collection system, scrubbers, ethanol technology, piping and a steam boilerâ€”a portion of which will be fueled with landfill gas. Waste to Energy Group does not own any of the technology. Rather, it partners with providers. The patent holder for the steam injection technology is STI Engineering in Southern California, and the ethanol technology is proprietary, licensed specifically to Waste to Energy. When all is said and done, the estimated production capacity of ethanol totals around 11 MMgy, which will be sold as an additive to other fuel products. â€œThe operational costs make it very competitive when compared to the traditional corn ethanol-type facilities,â€? Lutz says. The county signed a 15-year lease with the company, and is set to receive a percentage of the gross revenue from the project. Besides revenue from fuel sales, the project will recover landfill space, extending the life of the landfill. Schimke hopes another future benefit
the project could yield is allowing the landfill site to treat portions of the waste stream before its dumped into the landfill. He foresees the possibility of waste, such as green material from the surrounding Oregon forests, treated through anaerobic digestion or gasification before it hits the landfill to achieve some level of volume reduction. â€œThe residuals may end up in the landfill, but itâ€™d be a much smaller volume than if we just put it in there raw,â€? Schimke says. The county does have a few opponents to the project, as there is development near the landfill, including a middle school across the road. Community members question the need to artificially increase the amount of gas being produced, but Schimke says it will only be a matter of time before the landfill will be producing those volumes anyway. â€œIt seems to make sense to me to take advantage of the value of the gas, and move away from that old 1950s technologyâ€”simple flaringâ€”which most people agree is not the best way to go, and incorporate a modern, aggressive, much better gas management program,â€? Schimke says. Current progressing development is considered phase one, with the possibility of two additional phases in the future. â€œThere are other projects in the county that we are looking forward to participating with,â€? Lutz says. One area to address is Deschutes Countyâ€™s nonmunicipal demolition landfill, which is an unlined facility with instability issues. Steam injection could potentially be used to stabilize or remediate the land for the opportunity to use the site in another way. If the waste could be treated in an unlined area, Schimke believes that would be beneficial. Waste to Energy will try to prove it can treat an unlined area to Oregonâ€™s DEQ. â€œThe steam stays in a vapor state and doesnâ€™t condense and travel back to the bottom of the landfill,â€? Lutz says. â€œThis allows us to do any landfill, whether it is sealed or not, and that is very different than any other landfill or process going on in the U.S. right now.â€? Subsequent phases depend on the success of phase one and Oregonâ€™s DEQ feeling comfortable enough to proceed. â€œI see this as a stepping stone to other things in the future that will change the way we manage waste,â€? Schimke says.
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MAY 2015 | BIOMASS MAGAZINE 49
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Waste-To-Energy: Projects, Resources and Technologies Issue