Biomass Energy

Every day millions of tons of organic waste wind up in local landfills. The increased cost of waste disposal imposes a drag on the financial performance of your facility. In many ways you are held captive to the tipping fees charged by the local landfill and trucking charges of the disposal companies. Depending on where you live and the nature of your waste (for liquid organic wastes, biogas may be desired), the issue of waste disposal is moving from a financial thorn in your side to long-term sustainability issue.

A biomass conversion project can be an effective way to ease your long-term waste disposal fears. Many biomass projects don’t succeed where they might have and this has put a damper on their consideration. The most common biomass mistakes are:

  1. Combining too many different wastes as fuel;
  2. Exotic forms of combustion;
  3. Too small for the infrastructure required resulting in hardware and labor costs which don’t effectively scale over the size; and
  4. Preoccupation with electrical generation to capture production tax credits.

Biomass projects can still be done effectively, if properly developed.

Application Fit

If you think a biomass gas project may be a fit for your application, you should consider:

  • What is your fuel source(s)? If more than one, are its size and handling characteristics consistent with one set of fuel processing and delivery systems?
  • Should you consider “in-sourcing” fuel from others?
  • What are the products of combustion from the fuel analysis?
  • Is there an alternative fuel source to address variability in fuel supply such as might occur on a seasonal basis?
  • Are boiler overlays required to protect against corrosion and slagging?
  • How big of a project can the fuel supply support?
  • What are the challenges associated with obtaining an environmental permit given your existing emissions profile?
  • What kind of emission control equipment will be required?
  • Do you have enough space to site the equipment?
  • What is the impact to your facility, if the steam produced by the project is
  • Do you have the expertise to operate and maintain the equipment (i.e., is it part of your core business)?
  • What green energy tax credits are available from the state and federal governments?
  • What investment tax credits are available from the state and federal governments?
  • Are there utility incentives for green energy?

Project Feasibility

If a biomass project looks like a fit for your project, contact IEA and one of our experts can guide you through the project screening and development processes.

Financing / Ownership / Outsourcing

IEA can own, operate and maintain your biomass project or provide a turnkey solution with asset management services to support ongoing operations and maintenance for projects owned directly by customers.

Section 2-8-4 Biomass Figure

Before considering a significant investment in a biomass project, the fuel source and products of combustion must be sampled and analyzed to determine their heating value (BTU content), moisture level and level of contaminates to ascertain the extent to which corrosive or slagging elements are present.