20 September 2010 – The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota, US, in partnership with Cummins Power Generation, has begun a project to demonstrate the production of heat and power from high-moisture biomass.
The EERC’s gasification unit can convert a range of fuels, such as forestry, agricultural, and industrial biomass waste; animal waste; waste plastics; and railroad ties or cable poles, as well as a range of coals, into clean syngas.
Cummins has provided the electrical generator for the project, a key component. The generator, which normally runs on natural gas, has been modified to run on synthetic natural gas (syngas) produced by an EERC-developed advanced gasification unit.
‘We are extremely pleased by the level of commitment Cummins Power Generation has made to this project,’ said EERC director Gerald Groenewold.
‘A system such as this will provide a first step toward providing commercial entities the motivation to utilize opportunity fuels for energy generation.’
‘Depending on the circumstances, this combined technology could help industries, farms, and many waste-producing facilities in meeting their own energy needs while utilizing fuels that have disposal costs and liabilities.
‘Users of the technology would also be able to sell green energy back to the power grid, which would provide a financial benefit,’ said EERC project manager Nikhil Patel.
The outcome of the project will lead to the development and demonstration of engine performance on syngas, producing data for environmental permitting and providing strategies for achieving emission levels that meet current and future environmental regulations.
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