The University of North Dakota (UND) Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) has successfully generated electricity from biomass with an exciting, cost- effective gasification technology in a diesel engine. Biomass includes forest residues, wood chips, sawdust, and agricultural by-products.
This fall, the EERC has completed over 100 hours of continuous operation of a biomass gasifier firing wood chips. The process converts wood chips into gas (similar to natural gas) that can be fired in a small gas turbine (microturbine), diesel, or conventional combustion engine. The technology can run automatically, providing a clean, quality gas for power generation. This gas was successfully utilized to operate a 100-horsepower John Deere diesel engine and conduct emission testing.
“We believe this demonstration project utilizing biomass to produce a gas that is burned in a diesel engine is the first of its kind in North America,” said Darren Schmidt, EERC Research Manager in charge of the project.
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