Prototype Biomass Gasifier To Convert California Yardwaste To Power 30,000 Homes

Commercial-scale biomass gasification demonstration plant based on the SilvaGas process began at the McNeil Power Station in Burlington, Vermont.. Image credit:UCS.

According to Electric Energy Online: "The Rialto Renewable Energy Center (Rialto Project) is designed to produce approximately 600 barrels per day of pure renewable synthetic fuels and export approximately 35 megawatts of renewable electric power that is expected to qualify under California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) program,..."

I'm uncertain how this Rialto gasifier is superior to far simpler alternatives. Like continuing to put lawn clippings and wood chips in the landfill, collecting the landfill generated methane, and using it to run a turbine that generates electricity for the grid. Or, just have everyone buy mulching mowers, compress any wood chips into fire logs and send them off to the existing power plant to admix with coal.Here's the money quote:

...feedstock costs are low or negative, resulting in significant potential returns on investment.
So, in other words, the project is contingent on free feedstock and government incentives.

Who pays to collect the yard waste and ship it to a central location? Consumers do of course - via what they pay the tree service to chip up stumps, plus their monthly solid waste collection fee. That means the project's success is contingent on home owners happily paying to ship "free" feedstock and then later pay for the electricity made from it.

The electricity better be discounted for consumers who provided the free feedstock - or someday the piper is going to be made to pay; and it won't be pleasant.

Mores posts on solid waste gasification. Shall we call it waste-ification?
PlascoEnergy to Build North America's First Waste Gasification ...
Learn to Build a Do It Yourself Biomass Gasifier
GE Energy, Nexterra Developing Small-Scale Biomass Gasification ...

Tags: Biomass

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