Commercial-scale biomass gasifier for cogeneration makes debut

US-based ICM has started production of a commercial-scale biomass gasification system that can be used as a cogeneration unit or to completely eliminate fossil fuel intake at various industrial facilities.

The project began with a demonstration-scale gasifier in Newton, Kansas, US, in 2009 where ICM tested the operation of the unit with more than 12 feedstocks, proving its commercial potential.

ICM says private developers that have expressed interest in the gasification system are primarily working with municipalities or power production facilities, but that ethanol producers could also apply the gasification system to their facilities.

Equipment and installation fees for the system vary from US$3 million to $4 million per megawatt of power produced.

Because of ethanol producers’ uncertainty over whether biogenic emissions will be included in overall emissions calculations in the US, ICM has installed back-end technology, including thermal oxidation and a wet electrostatic precipitator, at its demo plant and is conducting emissions testing to gather data for regulators and producers who will need emissions data in order to apply for air permits.

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