University considers biomass to replace coal-fired boiler
September 6, 2012, Athens, GA – The University of Georgia is getting closer to developing a plan to shut down and replace an aging and controversial coal-fired boiler in the heart of the Athens campus.
But it will likely be years more before UGA can replace the boiler with something that emits less pollution, according to Ralph Johnson, head of UGA’s Physical Plant.
According to OnlineAthens.com, UGA officials recently received a study from the U.S. Department of Energy with recommendations on replacing the coal boiler, Johnson told members of the UGA University Council’s facilities committee last week.
DOE analysts say the university should build a new boiler that produces electricity, with heat and steam as a byproduct.
Now UGA must conduct detailed economic and engineering studies of potential replacements for the coal boiler, Johnson said.
So far, three types of boilers are under consideration — one that burns so-called biomass, which would be mainly wood scraps; one that burns biomass converted into gas; and one that burns natural gas, similar to the three UGA already uses.
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