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Electrical generation from perennial grass crops

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The issue is demonstrating that we can take these biomass products and make them work as is,’ without adding additional cost by pelleting, etc.,says Benike, general manager of Northern Excellence Seed L.L.C. in Williams, Minn. The town of about 200 is about 20 miles east of Warroad and about 45 miles east of Roseau, Minn.

Soon, Benike will be part of a demonstration to study the effectiveness of electrical generation from perennial grass crops.

It was announced June 27 that Northern Excellence Seed – a handler of turfgrass seed to the nation and the world – will be one of the first commercialized applications of smaller-scale biomass energy in the U.S.

Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, made the announcement. The $230,000 grant will go to the Giziibii Resource Conservation & Development Council in Bemidji, Minn., which channels the money to Northern Excellence to fund the equipment. It is one of a set of annual Conservation Innovation Grants issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service.

The project will use some of the 2 million pounds of screenings at Northern Excellence, as well as perennial grass seed straw from two specific producers in the Giziibii and Pembina Trail economic development areas. The biomass will be burned in a low-water use gasification system to produce syngas, or synthetic gas, to generate electricity for the plant.

The gasifier for the Northern Excellence Seed plant will produce 100 kilowatt hours – enough to take care of the electricity needs for the plant itself and perhaps a little extra that could be sold on the grid. The electricity would displace the seed company’s electric bill, which typically runs in the $50,000-per- year range. If successful, it would eliminate the $10,000 to $15,000 annual bill for burning the company’s waste screenings

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Written by Casey McConnell

April 6, 2008 at 5:46 pm

Posted in Bioenergy

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