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0 Bioenergy Energy Systems

A truly green car

Crude oil ~$81 on 3/15/2010

In Other News . . .

 The new town of Destiny (south of Yeehaw Junction, FL)

will grow various biocrops to evaluate their profitability
for biofuels
 The Farm to Fuel program is receiving significant
funding from the Florida Dep’t of Agriculture

Overview: Bioenergy

 Bioenergy consists of biomass (biological mass) used in

the production of energy;
 Phototrophs use light to survive and propagate
 Chemotrophs (like us) eat phototrophs (vegetables and
salads)! Salads topped with biodiesel and acetic acid!
 CO2 + H2O >--solar energy and chlorophyll  CH2O + O2,
or carbohydrate and oxygen
 While biomass combustion releases CO2 into the
atmosphere, new plants require CO2 to grow, balancing
the process for no net CO2 over a long time

080228 Cheremisinoff and Regino, 1978

13.0 About This Presentation

 13.1 Bioenergy Locations

 13.2 Sources and Availability
 13.3 Energy Extraction and Preparation
13.3.1 Dry Biomass
13.3.2 Wet Biomass
13.3.3 Gaseous Biomass
13.3.4 Energy Conversion
 13.4 Environmental Aspects
 13.0 Conclusion

13.1 Bioenergy Map (From Biomass)

 Direct firing, cofiring, and

gasification are forms of
 Ethanol can be made from
grain or soybeans, and
methanol can be made from
cellulose (wood)
 Liquid fuels are essential for
transportation vehicles due
to high energy density in the
 May be intentionally grown
(coppicing) such as poplar
trees or might use waste
 Biomass satisfied 4% of
energy demand in 1990
 Biomass can serve as a
bridge from fossil fuels,
although it is an inefficient http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/solar.renewables/page/biomass/biomass.gif

producer of energy (~1%)

13.1 Bioenergy Use Changed with Time

The Midwest is now using less biomass while the West use is rising
13.1 Bioenergy Definitions

 Bagasse: Sugar cane refuse left after pressing the juice

from the cane
 Bioenergy: Energy derived from biomass
 Biomass: Mass of plant material formed from solar
energy, water, and air; any organic material that is
 Cofire: To burn an additional fuel with the primary fuel,
such as bagasse or sawdust with coal
 IWS: Industrial Waste Stream
Waste wood, plastics, fiber; same kind of discard
 MWS: Municipal Waste Stream, or MSW, municipal solid
Trash, plant trimmings, garbage (batteries, heavy
metals, poisons, chemicals?) contaminate the air
13.2 Sources and Availability

 Typical fuels are “sugarcane, sugar beets, sorghums,

corn, wheat, forage, grasses, kenaf, eucalyptus, short
rotation hardwoods, sunflowers, and comfrey.”
[Blackburn, 1993]
 The materials are so cheap that the cost of hauling
them determines the overall economics of using them
Truck haulage should not exceed ~70 miles to avoid
overall loss of energy from truck fuel consumption
 Are the sources sustainable or will there be shortages?
 Biomass acts as seasonal peaking, since the growth
occurs in time for harvesting for winter heating

070315 Comfrey photo from biology.clc.uc.edu

13.2 Florida Biomass Resources

Biomass Resources 1,539 MW

Corn: 65,000 acres planted
2,262,000 bushels produced
Soybeans: 10,000 acres planted
261,000 bushels produced
Wheat: 10,000 acres planted
369,000 bushels produced
CRP: 83,847 acres enrolled
MSW: 24,800,000 tons generated
Forest Land: 16,285,000 acres
Poultry: 126,056,000 head
Livestock: 1,815,000 head

040315 http://www.bioproducts-bioenergy.gov/
13.2.1 Florida Energy Resources
Florida Quick Facts

•Florida’s per capita residential electricity demand is

among the highest in the country, due in part to high
air-conditioning use during hot summer months and
the widespread use of electricity for home heating
during winter months.
•Geologists believe that there may be large oil and
gas deposits off Florida’s western coast in the
Federal Outer Continental Shelf.
•Florida is a leading producer of oranges and
researchers are attempting to derive ethanol from
citrus peel waste.
•More petroleum-fired electricity, in absolute terms, is
generated in Florida than in any other State.
•Hurricanes and severe storms from the Atlantic
Ocean put Florida at risk for massive power outages
during the storm season.

13.2 Biomass Pollutants

From recent Clean Air Act revisions:

Particulate (PM 10)

Annual Arithmetic Mean 50 mg/m3 Primary & Secondary
24-hour Average 150 mg/m3 Primary & Secondary

Particulate (PM 2.5)

Annual Arithmetic Mean 15mg/m3 Primary & Secondary
24-hour Average 65mg/m3 Primary & Secondary

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)

Annual Arithmetic Mean 0.030 ppm (80 mg/m3) Primary
24-hour Average 0.14 ppm (365 mg/m3) Primary
3-hour Average 0.50 ppm (1300 mg/m3) Secondary

Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)

Annual Arithmetic Mean 0.053 ppm 100 mg/m3) Primary & Secondary

050315 http://www.sierraclub.org
13.3 Energy Extraction and Preparation

 Dry biomass may have some residual moisture but only

requires physical preparation like chipping to fire it
 Some research is being done to see if long trees can be
directly fired on a metal conveyor belt
 Wet biomass can absorb more heat energy from a
furnace than it can supply; the biomass must be
externally dried to burn
 Small biomass pellets are made from wood scraps and
There are pellet-burning stoves with a screw
conveyor feed

070315 www.harmanstoves.com/
13.3.1 Dry Biomass

 Dry biomass consists of tree chips, paper, various other

plant matter such as corn, soybean, sorghum, sunflower,
oats, barley, wheat and hay
 When first cut, the sap may absorb energy, and the
mass should dry
 Spread on fields in the sun
 Placed in oven heated by what would otherwise be
waste heat
 Using solar thermal energy air-heaters

13.3.1 Biofarms: Trees, Shrubs, and Grasses

 Energy tree farms are grown to produce a sustainable

crop suitable for chipping and combustion
 Switchgrass, sugar beets, and sugar cane residual waste
are likely possibilities
 Counterculture groups are pushing “biohemp” for
various reasons and agendas – growing hemp is illegal
in the US -- Controlled Substances Act of 1971
 These groups claim trace levels of THC
(tetrahydrocannibinol), active ingredient of
marijuana, shouldn’t make it a controlled substance
Mostly in the tips of leaves
The Drug Enforcement Agency has free food and
housing for you available should you grow it anyway!

13.3.1 Biofarms: Bagasse (processed cane)

 The stalks of the sugar cane are squeezed to get the

juice out to make sugar
 The wet fibrous residue is called bagasse
 A bioenergy version could be developed to make a cane
maximized for energy, yet it would still yield sugar juices
The leaves could be burned as well; now discarded
or burned off in the fields
Jaggery: making from sugar cane juice

www.tide-india.org/ images/big-images/conservi...
13.3.1 Examples of Existing Systems

 Forest waste or mill waste

 Agricultural waste
 A boiler receives the
combustion heat and produces
The boiler supplies steam
to a condensing steam
turbine-generator unit
generating about 25 to 60
 Coal plants can cofire biomass
or convert completely to burn
only biomass
060306 http://www.energysystems.com.au/pages/biomass_cogeneration.htm Example: Forest Waste

 Prairie Woods Cogeneration Plant at Prairie Woods

Oregon burns sawmill waste called “hog fuel”
 Operates under PURPA to produce 450 psi steam
 Fuel units are 200 cubic feet, and 200 units per day is
the typical rate
 Generator is 2-pole, 13,800V GE 7500kW upgraded to
9375kVA, and often runs at 7.5 MW
 High line electrical transmission is at 69kV
 The plant is considered distributed generation
 Plant meets DEQ PM10, NOx, CO, SO2, and VOC and is
less polluting than wildfires
 A Warm Springs tribe forester says, “This material is
going to burn. We get to choose how.”

060316 http://www.solwest.org/news/page1.htm#feature2 Municipal Solid Wastes (MSW)

 Municipal waste streams may have anything in it that

people want to throw away -- it’s a mix
 Air blast and magnetic separation can select different
streams to go in various piles
 Permanent magnets first extract the steel and iron
 Alternating current electromagnets use the eddy
current effect to remove nonferrous metals (Al, Cu)
 Light paper and plastic will stratify in an air column to
remove them from heavier substances (metal and
 Hand sorting can pick out some of what’s left
 Without this process, pollutants aren’t removed

050315 Industrial Waste Streams (IWS)

 Industrial wastes differ from municipal wastes in that

they are often separated or categorized as outputs from
specific processes
It’s relatively easy to have “pure” waste streams all
of one material, like wood strips, pallets, trim scrap
 Paper products are a possibility, but dioxin content can
cause air pollution
 Any wet waste stream will require drying before burning
 Could require more energy to dry than can be
extracted from it

13.3.2 Wet Biomass

 Wet biomass tends to be in water or to stay moist

 Examples are water plants, animal wastes, and biodiesel
 Florida has lots of weeds that came from dumped
aquariums (also fish that shouldn’t be here, like
piranha and snakehead – will they burn?)
 Treated with hydrogasification at high pressure and low
temperatures to produce a gas or biofuel oil

080228 www.bridgewater.edu “Hydrofarms”: Water Hyacinth, etc.

 Impoundments containing water plants can clean

effluent water by extracting nutrients that should be
kept out of lakes and streams
 Harvesting by boats uses wide conveyor belts that lift
the weed onto the boat
 The wet weeds are heavy and hard to pack densely

 This is uneconomic in most areas

 Drying is by dumping in fields for sun drying

060316 www.water-hyacinth.com “Hydrofarms”: Orlando Wetlands Park

040315 http://boonie-maps.home.att.net/Orlando_Wetlands/doq_map.jpg “Hydrofarms”: Orlando Utilities Water Park

 This tertiary cleaning process extracts nutrients and

flows the water through long channel lakes and ponds
030317 Animal Wastes

 Average manure production for fully bred cows and pigs

is 40 kg and 2.3 kg wet weight per day [Sorensen,
(a thing I never wanted to know)

 Manure lagoons at Consolidated Animal Feeding

Operations (CAFO) pose a stored pollution problem
 Lagoon dam breaches have poisoned nearby streams
and killed thousands of fish in NC
 Anaerobic digestion allows methane gas recovery

050317 Municipal Sewer Plants

 The same processes for farm animal wastes can be used

at city sewer plants
 40 billion Btus of methane per 100,000 people per year
 Florida methane could yield 20 trillion Btus per year
 Cost would be $6 to $8 per million Btu
 At present, filtered sewage sludge is often bulk dumped
(sprayed) on agricultural pastures
 The methane gas from a sewage lagoon can be
recovered by a bioenergy process, reducing the sludge
before disposal
 A cruise ship is like a small city -- where does the
sewage go?

060306 Biodiesel Fuel

 Biodiesel is liquid fuel oil that can be burned in diesel

 See http://www.homepower.com/files/HP93_32.pdf for
an excellent discussion on how to make it
 A $20 million biodiesel plant is being built for Utah’s
Smithfield Foods, Inc. to convert swine waste into
 If fryer oil smells like french fries, does this stuff
smell like pork chops?
 A local company, Brevard Biodiesel, is experimenting
with developing a local market for biodiesel
 SynFuel (Grant) is working to make syngas from
glycerol, a biodiesel byproduct
080228 Biodiesel Fuel Process

 Used, strained canola oil

from a supermarket deli
 Methanol and crystal lye
are used in processing
some 48 gallon batches
 5 parts oil to 1 part
methanol plus titration of
the mixture with 0.1% lye
to reach a ~8.5 pH
 Mixture separates after
several hours

050315 http://www.homepower.com/files/HP93_32.pdf Biodiesel Fuel Results

 See Home Power magazine [the

ultimate renewable energy magazine;
ed. comment] #93 for the full story
 The top layer is biodiesel oil
 The middle sometimes appears and is
 The bottom part is glycerin, and can be
used to make soap [do you smell like
French fries after a bath?]


050315 http://www.homepower.com/files/HP93_32.pdf
13.3.3 Gaseous Biomass

 Methane is the primary biogas

 Aside from sewage, there’s termites, livestock
flatulence, swamps, etc.
 Landfill gas is primarily methane but contains CO2 and
other gases from plastics, etc.
 80% of odors humans find offensive are the result of
nitrogen- or sulfur-bearing compounds. The nitrogen and
sulfur atoms are rearranged into smaller molecules that
give off odor when they're volatilized as gases into the
air, as little as one part per billion - needs to be present
for sensitive noses to notice. --- Doug Mason of
Continuum Chemical Corporation in Houston, TX

050315 http://www.forester.net/mw_0303_controlling.html Methane

 Methane, CH4, is a likely future hydrogen gas source

 The four H atoms allow more hydrogen to be produced
per molecule of methane
 Cracking or pyrolysis changes the molecules to yield
hydrogen and CO, which is also combustible
 The combination of methane and COx is known as
biogas and can be made from acetic acid, produced
from glucose by microorganisms
 Methane hydrates exist in cold, deep water in the ocean,
but are difficult to extract without methane release

080228 Landfill Gases

 Landfills, often dubbed “Mount Trashmore”, emit

methane and other gases due to decomposition of
organic materials
 The methane leaks to the atmosphere and is a GHG that
is “twenty times more potent than its combustion
product of CO2 and water”; some say 23 times
 Collecting and burning the methane is clearly better
than letting it escape to the air
 Landfill gas cleanup is necessary because of the many
other VOCs that should be kept out of the air

13.3.4 Energy Conversion

 Conversion from biomass to heat requires some

extraction if the fuel stream is contaminated with
polluting substances
 Typical processes are the following:
 Direct combustion
 Anaerobic Digestion
 Fermentation
 Pyrolysis
 Other less-used techniques

030318 Conversion: Direct Combustion

 Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) can be fired (burned) directly

or in combination with conventional fuels
 Some processing, such as cleaning, chopping, etc. may
be needed for handling or air pollution avoidance
 Fluidized grate furnaces blow air in beneath the grate,
and this keeps the burning mass in seething flotation as
it burns

040315 Conversion: Anaerobic Digestion

 Bacteria produce acetic acid (found in vinegar)

 Methane gas 50% to 80%, $2.50/kft3 (1976)
 Microgy Cogeneration Systems, Inc. is building a 25 MW
digestion plant
 Essex Junction Wastewater Treatment facility in Essex
Junction, Vermont treats 1.7 million gallons of waste
water per day and will produce 400 MW electricity per
year to reduce plant costs
 Price of electricity is estimated at $0.02 per kWh

030317 Conversion: Fermentation

 Enzymes can change cellulose into sugars, which can

then be fermented into alcohol
 Cane sugar, C6H12O6  2C2H5OH + 2CO2
 Fermentation of corn or other biomass will produce
 The use of food stocks in this way might be seen as a
poor use of food
 Brewery spillage or waste and outdated soda can be
filtered, cleaned, and reprocessed to produce fuel
It is denatured with 15% gasoline to discourage
drinking and avoid Federal liquor law taxes
 Fermentation of “stillage” refuse can also produce
070315 Conversion: Pyrolysis

 Fast pyrolysis is heating biomass without oxygen to

decompose it into vapors, aerosols and char
 The liquid has ~one-half the heating value of fuel oil
 The process is tuned to produce liquid rather than
 Low-quality “producer” gas can be cleaned to remove
CO2 and N2, then this “synthesis” gas reacted as
2H2 + CO  CH3OH to yield methanol

030318 Conversion: Other

 Hydrogasification
 Low temperature and high pressure produces ethane
& methane plus CO2
 A catalyst aids the process
 Hydrogenation
 Waste + Steam and CO forms low-sulfur oil having
16000 Btu/pound heating value
 Used to make peanut butter and margarine

13.4 Issues and Trends

 Environmental considerations
Biomass conversion plants are often fought by some
as a source of pollutants
Less polluting than a coal plant
MSW may contain heavy metals and should not be
Paper colored inks often contain heavy metals
 Trash production can be decreased by careful purchases,
conservation, reusing, and recycling
If these waste reduction practices are followed, there
is less available for bioenergy

13.4.1 Some Environmental Biomass Views

 Policies or viewpoints of the Sierra Club (a large

environmental organization) may be found at
or at http://sierraclub.org/policy/conservation/biomass.asp

 The reuse or recycling of wastes is necessary prior to

land filling or biomass combustion to avoid more toxics
introduced into the air and water
In many cases, separation of undesirable materials is
so difficult that combustion should be avoided
 Municipal waste streams have heavy metals,
toxins, pesticides, etc.; whatever someone wanted
to get rid of

13 Conclusion: Biomass

 Renewables are a very small contributor to present

Florida energy sources
 Biomass energy is the predominate renewable energy
source in Florida; little wind or sun, surprisingly
 Unfortunately, most of present production is from
municipal solid waste (MSW) that should be avoided or
phased out due to heavy metal contaminants


Olin Engineering Complex 4.7 kW Solar PV Roof Array

References: Books/Periodicals

 Blackburn, John O. Solar Florida: A Sustainable Energy Future. Winter Park: Florida
Conservation Foundation, 1993. ISBN 0-913297-07-1.
 Cheremisinoff, Paul N., and Thomas C. Regino. Principles and Applications of Solar
Energy. Ann Arbor: Ann Arbor Science, 1978. ISBN 0-250-40247-5.
 Brower, Michael. Cool Energy. Cambridge MA: The MIT Press, 1992. 0-262-02349-0,
TJ807.9.U6B76, 333.79’4’0973.
 Boyle, Godfrey. Renewable Energy, Second Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press,
2004, ISBN 0-19-26178-4. (my preferred text)
 Duffie, John and William A. Beckman. Solar Engineering of Thermal Processes. NY:
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 920 pp., 1991
 Sørensen, Bent. Renewable Energy, Second Edition. San Diego: Academic Press,
2000, 911 pp. ISBN 0-12-656152-4.
 Durkee, Scott. Getting off the Petroleum Grid with Biodiesel. Home Power, No.93, pp.
32-39, 2003.
 Tickell, Joshua. From the Fryer to the Fuel Tank. Ashland OH: BookMasters, 2001?
 http://www.wnbiodiesel.com/ Willie Nelson

References: Websites, etc.

http://mmf.ruc.dk/energy/Amsterdam2002.PDF Sorensen’s paper on Bioenergy

http://boonie-maps.home.att.net/Orlando_Wetlands/doq_map.jpg Florida trail map of Orlando Utilities Wetlands Park
http://www.solwest.org/news/page1.htm#feature2 story by Jennifer Barker on a biomass plant
http://gis.joensuu.fi/termit/termeng/frame.htm Bioenergy glossary
http://www.bioproducts-bioenergy.gov/ US Govt. Bioenergy Office
http://www.bioproducts-bioenergy.gov/about/glossary.asp Bioenergy
definitionshttp://florida.sierraclub.org/issues/energy.html Florida Chapter on Energy
http://florida.sierraclub.org/issues/energylinks.html links to sustainability and renewable
organizationshttp://www.energycentral.com/sections/search/site_search.cfm enter “biomass”
http://www.homepower.com/files/HP93_32.pdf on biodiesel fuel
http://www.biomass.org/ Lobbying group
http://www.forester.net/msw.html More than you ever wanted to know about trash
http://www.forester.net/mw_0303_controlling.html Smelly trash and suppression
http://www.pnl.gov/biobased/bcf.stm Hydrogenation
http://www.coppicing.com/ on cutting plants to the ground and letting them regrow
http://www.veggievan.org Biodiesel production
www.dieoff.org. Site devoted to the decline of energy and effects upon population
www.ferc.gov/ Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Notes bioenergy

 P. 827, 725 in Sorenson

 Biomass fuel costs twice fossil fuel

www.seco.cpa.state.tx.us/.../ re_renew_maps_bio_poten.htm

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