Taylor Biomass Energy to install Abengoa's biogasification unit

By Bryan Sims
Abengoa Bioenergy Corp. has named Montgomery, N.Y.-based municipal-solid-waste (MSW) recovery and recycling firm Taylor Biomass Energy LLC as the provider of a biomass biogasification unit that will be used to power Abengoa's future cellulosic ethanol facility in Hugoton, Kan.

According to TBE President Jim Taylor, Taylor Engineering is listed on the now-public Abengoa contract submittal to the U.S. DOE, which it signed in December. Abengoa will start "to negotiate all the subcontractor contracts, which would include Taylor Biomass Energy" sometime in the coming months, he said. TBE will design and build the biogasification unit.

Taylor said TBE's novel proprietary biomass gasification unit is unique because it produces a gas that has a heating value of 450 British thermal units (Btu), approximately half that of natural gas, and it can go directly into a gas turbine as opposed to an air turbine. Thus, unlike the low-heating-value gas produced in air-blown gasifiers, it provides the ability to substitute natural gas, and it can be used as a fuel for combined-cycle power generation equipment or as a synthesis gas (syngas) for the production of chemicals, liquid biofuels and/or hydrogen.

"The emissions from [the gasifier] are less than 100 tons per year of [nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, volatile organic compounds] and other greenhouse gases (GHGs)," Taylor said, citing that the unit's unique gas cleanup process is much more efficient than other conventional air gasifiers. "The hydrogen content of our gas went up to 45 percent from typical biogas at 25 percent, so it's a real good constant fuel for power generation."

The Abengoa project will aid TBE's waste recycling and power generation project in Montgomery, where it will utilize Abengoa's catalytic conversion process to produce syngas for power generation. TBE intends to integrate its unique sorting, separating and recycling process of raw MSW with its biogasification technology, where it would produce 23 megawatts of electricity from 300 dry tons of MSW per year. The project is currently in the permitting and financing stages, and is expected to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2009, Taylor said.