Nexterra Energy has announced a development programme to commercialize a new application of its biomass gasification technology to generate power and heat from small-scale plants.

The 2-10 MW systems will employ technology that directly-fires biomass derived syngas in high efficiency gas engines.

This initiative follows two years of work by Nexterra to upgrade syngas made by gasifying biomass so that it meets the fuel specification of GE Jenbacher’s internal combustion engines. GE has supported this work through its Jenbacher gas engine division. Once fully developed, Nexterra’s gasification technology is planned to be combined with GE’s Jenbacher gas engines to form modular biomass combined heat and power (CHP) plants.

The scale of individual plants will range from 2-10 MW and will yield net efficiencies of up to 60% in cogeneration mode. The plants will be fully automated and will not require steam generation equipment.
The new biomass CHP system is designed for on-site applications at public institutions such as universities, hospitals and other government facilities, industrial operations such as food and beverage plants, waste management facilities and forest products mills, as well as stand-alone power for independent power producers or electric power utilities.

Over the next 24 months, Nexterra and GE will test and demonstrate the new power application in two phases. The total cost of this program will be approximately US$30 million over two years.

‘We are very encouraged by the results Nexterra has achieved with its syngas conditioning technology and look forward to working with them on the next phase of development,’ said Prady Iyyanki, CEO of GE Energy’s Jenbacher gas engine business.