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Biomass Energy

Interforest, with the leadership of Calvin Mukumoto, provides plans for raw material location, inventory and transport for biomass energy systems, and works with companies, communities and agencies to develop and manage biomass energy systems.

Interforest, under the leadership of Dr. Kristiina Vogt, is developing the capacity to implement mobile methanol production from low quality wood and other waste carbon sources.

The objectives of this effort are to develop, integrate, test and manufacture a mobile system for the production of methanol and other products from currently unused or underused biomass. These sources of raw material will include agricultural residue, waste paper and other carbon-based wastes that now go into landfills, and small diameter or poor quality trees that are harvested to promote forest health and prevent catastrophic fires. The system will include 1) design and construction of a compact biomass gasifier that will produce "syngas"; 2) a syngas cleaner that makes it suitable as feedstock for a shift reactor; 3) construction of a shift reactor to produce balanced syngas; and 4) a methanol synthesizer. Of these components, the first two are under development and the third and fourth are known technology. Thus, the task of the company is to complete the development of the first two and integrate all four into a mobile system that can be manufactured in a cost effective way.

The whole system will be designed to fit on a flatbed or enclosed truck trailer. Because all biomass but ash will be converted to product, only methanol need be transported from the site where the mobile system is located, and the only by product, the ash, can be returned to the site from which the biomass came.

There are large existing markets for methanol and looming markets for combustion engine and fuel cell fuel resulting from high oil prices. The competitive edge of the system derives from 1) its mobility, so that bulky biomass is transported a minimum distance and 2) its effectiveness in waste reduction, so that waste management costs are vastly reduced or turned to profit.

Featured in BASF Timberlines "Money Tree"

Biomass Opinion Pieces

Biomass Fuels Fact Sheets
Courtesy of University of Washington:

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