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Biomass system’s emissions similar to natural gas

Aug. 26, 2011, Vancouver – Recent third-party testing and analysis of the University of Northern British Columbia’s biomass gasification system has concluded that the plant is one of the cleanest biomass facilities operating in North America.


August 26, 2011
By Nexterra Systems Corp

Aug. 26, 2011, Vancouver – Recent
third-party testing and analysis of the University of Northern British
Columbia’s (UNBC) biomass gasification system has concluded that the plant is
one of the cleanest biomass facilities operating in North America. The biomass
gasification system was supplied and installed by Nexterra Systems Corp.

The Nexterra system, which provides heat to
most buildings on UNBC’s Prince George campus, underwent independent testing to
assess the emissions. Results showed that the system generated emission levels
that are extremely low for biomass energy systems and are equivalent to those
from natural gas. Compared against the average emissions generated by 17
conventional biomass combustion plants of similar scale, particulate matter was
18 times lower, carbon monoxide was 65 times lower, volatile organic compounds
were 37 times lower, and nitrogen oxides were two times lower at UNBC. These
levels were on par with or well below the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency's AP-42 air emissions regulatory factors for natural gas.

“As distributed biomass heat and power
solutions become more integrated into communities, ultra-low emissions,
reliability, fuel versatility, and efficiency as demonstrated by Nexterra will
become increasingly important for widespread adoption in North America,” says
Michael Weedon, executive director of the BC Bioenergy Network.


The UNBC biomass gasification system, which
was first fired up in March 2011, integrates campus operations with research
and teaching relevant to community development. The system enables the
university to generate renewable heat economically thorough locally sourced
wood waste. It was funded by the Governments of British Columbia and Canada.

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“As a university, we are keen to be at the
forefront of renewable energy developments; especially those relevant to
northern, forest-based communities,” says UNBC President George Iwama.

The biomass gasification system is expected
to replace up to 85% of UNBC’s natural gas consumption, reducing greenhouse gas
emissions by up to 3,500 tonnes/year.


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