reNEWS says a coal-fired electric power plant in the US state of California has been converted to biomass. DTE Energy Services is using 320,000 tons of woody biomass fuel annually at the Port of Stockton to generate 45 megawatts of electricity.  The power is being sold to state utility company, PG&E Company. The biomass is primarily derived from urban wood waste, tree trimmings and agricultural processes. The plant opened in 1989 as a coal-fired power plant and ceased operation in April 2009.  DTE purchased it in June 2010 with plans to convert the facility to biomass.

The Mississippi Business Journal tells us the Belgium company Solvay has begun production of torrefied biomass on an industrial scale in the US. Torrefied biomass, which handles and burns similarly to coal, is produced through torrefaction, a process that modifies the chemical properties of waste wood and biomass. The torrefied biomass is produced in Quitman, Mississippi on the US Gulf coast  from timber by-products, such as sawmill residues. The product is being shipped to European and Asian energy producers. Plant capacity will be increased to 250,000 tons by the end of 2014 from 80,000 tons currently.

From CASTANET we find that a plant in the Canadian city of Richmond, British Columbia is producing energy from organic waste. The Harvest Energy Garden uses commercial and residential kitchen scraps and yard waste to generate enough electricity to power 900 homes and also provide high-quality compost for local farms and gardens. The facility uses high solids anaerobic digestion technology to process solid waste material first into biogas, and subsequently into electricity generation of up to 20 MWh per day.

An Australian beef plant plans to halve its energy costs by turning cattle waste into biogas. The Courier Mail says the waste-to-energy plant in the state of Queensland will produce renewable biogas from cattle and other animal waste and enable the business to reduce its $1.7 million natural gas costs in half.

The Visayan Daily Star reports that a biomass plant in Kabankalan City in the Philippines will be generating 46 MW of electricity. Construction begins this week and the power plant is expected to be operational by December. Bagasse, a by-product of sugarcane, will be used as a substitute for fossil fuels to generate the power. Food manufacturer Universal Robina Corp., which owns the plant, will need only half the electricity and plans to sell the rest of the power to the National Grid. See also Manila Standard Today, URC starts construction of P2.5-b power plant.

An anaerobic digester will produce electricity in the US city of Lowell, Michigan. Using cow manure and food waste, the new plant (currently under construction) will generate 800 kW of renewable energy for Lowell Light and Power.

… the biodigester will process approximately 90 tons per day of livestock waste from Swisslane Farms and food waste from fats, oils and greases, as well as from Litehouse Foods, Inc….in addition, the facility will provide pretreatment for the liquid effluent from Litehouse Foods. Liquid residuals from the process will be further processed and released to the city’s wastewater plant; solid residual material after digestion, called digestate, will be used to improve the soil at Swisslane Farms.

The Hindu reports a planned solid waste management plant in the southern India city of Bangalore will generate 14.5 MW of electricity by diverting waste from landfills. About 4,000 tonnes of solid waste is being generated in Bangalore daily and is disposed of in landfills. In addition to making energy, biodegradable waste will be converted into compost. Bottom ash will be used for making construction materials like paver blocks and cement bricks.

The Malaysia Sun says the southeast Asian nation plans to increase the amount of palm oil in biofuels. Malaysia says it will increase the use of palm oil in biodiesel to 500,000 tons. Palm oil is mainly used in biofuels and food. Currently the country mandates 5% palm oil and 95% diesel in its biofuel. Together, Indonesia and Malaysia produce 86% of the world’s palm oil.

Central London’s first commercial scale anaerobic digester is now in operation according to reNEWs. The UK plant has the capacity to process up to 50,000 tonnes a year of food and green waste and will generate 1.4 MW of electricity for sale to the National Grid.

A new generation of ethanol plant in the US can produce both ethanol and electricity. Biomass Magazine writes about such a plant in Hugoton, Kansas. In addition to producing cellulosic ethanol, the plant also produces up to 22 MW of biomass power. The biomass source will be primarily corn stover—the same feedstock used for liquid fuel production—wheat straw, prairie grasses, and, potentially, some dedicated energy crops such as switchgrass.

environmental LEADER says the global anaerobic digestion market will reach $7 billion by 2018.  Currently the market is about $4.5 billion. The data comes from a new study by BCC Research, Waste-Derived Biogas: Global Markets for Anaerobic Digestion Equipment. The report includes the market for biogras to energy for four different feed sources: municipal and domestic sewage, industrial wastewater, landfill gas, and agricultural waste a category that includes animal manures and crop residues. The biogas market also is broken down by end use: municipal power generation, on-site heat and power production, and transportation applications.


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