by Nicholas Sikes
Though natural gas prices have been lower recently, the multi-year trend and market dynamics promise a return to the high prices seen in 2008.
Though natural gas prices have been lower recently, the multi-year trend and market dynamics promise a return to the high prices seen in 2008. High-energy prices and increasing price volatility add financial stress on energy intensive industries like power generation, pulp and paper, food processing, mining, manufacturing, and chemical and fuel production. Of even more concern is the pending impact that carbon fuel standards and carbon legislation will have on these industries.
Frontline BioEnergy has developed biomass gasification technology that offers these industries an option for integrating renewable biomass resources into their existing thermal equipment, such as boilers, dryers and kilns. Frontline’s first commercial installation was commissioned in mid-2008 at Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company (CVEC). As the first of three phases, this system converts 75 tons/day of wood chips into combustible “producer gas” that is piped to the ethanol plant and burned in an existing boiler to make steam. When complete, the system will displace 90 percent of the natural gas used by CVEC by converting over 300 tons/day of biomass to fuel two boilers and two distillers’ grain dryers.