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ElectraTherm Partners on Wood Waste Biomass Project

ElectraTherm Inc. has partnered with Air Burners Inc. to develop the first whole-log wood waste burner, with the first commission in Jacksonville, Fla.

The PGFireBox eliminates a large amount of wood waste without any pre-processing, converting wood biomass to electricity while eliminating the production of methane as wood decomposes in a landfill or forest, according to a news release.

Reno, Nev.-based ElectraTherm, which focuses on distributed waste heat to power generation, is using its Organice Rankine Cycle (ORC) power-generating technology.

Palm City, Fla.-based Air Burners, which makes air curtain burning systems, uses patented technology to dispose of vegetative waste without costly pre-processing requirements. The self-contained unit generates electricity from vegetative waste at six to eight tons per hour.

The PGFireBox is portable and can be deployed close to the location where the woody biomass is collected, such as landfills, forest maintenance, fire prevention and natural disaster cleanup.

ElectraTherm’s Power+ Generator feeds off the heat from the burner to generate up to 110 kilowatts of fossil-fuel free electricity. Through the ORC process, hot water heats a working fluid into pressurized vapor. As the vapor expands, it drives ElectraTherm’s patented twin-screw power block, which spins an electric generator and produces power.

Woody biomass and organics in general continue to garner more legislative activity as governments look to increase waste diversion. Congress has introduced a bill to establish a cost-share grant program to improve technologies for woody biomass. U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, introduced a bill that would promote using wood waste such as branches, roots and small-diameter trees as a source of energy for homes and businesses.

California also has proposed recently increasing funds for diverting organic waste from landfills, greater product manufacturing with recycled content and building healthy soils. The state governor’s office proposed the funding increase, aiming ultimately to reduce greenhouse gases, in its May revise budget proposal. Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal calls for an increase to $60 million the funding in California’s Cap and Trade Expenditure Plan for waste diversion.

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