Getting going with wood gas

Japan's largest wood gas-to-energy plant, powered by Jenbacher gas engines, has begun operations in Yamagata Prefecture.

Generating 2 MW, the plant is fuelled by gasified wood chips from a nearby forest and is seen as an important technology model, the company says.

The Murayama site runs completely on wood gas, without any backup fuel supply such as natural gas, and is located about 400 km north of Tokyo on the island of Honshū - Japan's largest cherry producing region.

The plant features two engines, a JMS 616 GS-S.L unit and a JMS 612 GS-S.L, and most of the plant's energy is sold to a power producer and supplier, with the rest being used to support plant operations. The GE Energy Jenbacher engines have an electrical efficiency of up to 36%.

The plant was installed by Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-based JFE Environmental Solutions Corp., the environmental solutions engineering arm of JFE Group. The plant is owned and operated by Yamagata Green Power, an electricity distribution company and subsidiary of renewable energy development firm Japan Biomass Development Co., Ltd. The plant's wood gasification system is an updraft gasification boiler technology from Babcock & Wilcox Vølund A/S of Denmark.

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