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Dow Corning moves forward with Michigan CHP project

By Lisa Gibson | March 14, 2011

Pending permit approvals, a biomass combined-heat-and-power (CHP) facility proposed for a Dow Corning Corp. manufacturing site in Midland, Mich., should be under construction in the second quarter of this year.

The Midland Power Station is expected to produce about 40 megawatts of power, along with steam for manufacturing processes at the adjacent Dow Corning facility. If all permits are issued as expected, a groundbreaking ceremony will be held this summer, according to Jarrod Erpelding, spokesman for Dow Corning Corp.

The gasification plant will run on chipped forest residues and wood processing waste, but will also be capable of using municipal solid waste, crop residues and energy crops, Erpelding said. The company has some fuel agreements in place for the woody feedstock, he added.

This would be the first biomass endeavor for Dow Corning and if the plant proves successful, the company might consider expanding its biomass portfolio. Currently, the plant’s electricity and steam requirements are supplied by a coal-powered source, Erpelding said, adding that steam is a major component of the manufacturing facility’s operations.

Dow Corning’s silicone-based products are used in the construction, solar, life sciences and personal products industries. Cirque Energy LLC would build, own and operate the Midland CHP plant for the company and is handling the environmental permitting.

 

 

2 Responses

  1. David G. Maskalick, PhD

    2011-03-22

    1

    Re: Dow Corning moves forward with Michigan CHP project Dow Corning will use waste products to power its silica manufacturing facility. Instead of paying for the disposal of waste Dow Corning is hiring Cirque Energy LLC, another company that will build and operate the 40 megawatt combined heat and power plant replacing a coal powered source of heat and electricity. Evidently the cost of coal generated heat and electricity plus the cost of waste disposal must be greater than the cost of waste generated heat and electricity performed by Cirque Energy LLC. This makes business sense because using waste rather than coal is less expensive. This also makes environmental sense since the carbon dioxide released by burning waste only returns to the atmosphere the carbon dioxide which was removed from the atmosphere by the trees in the bio-cycle of carbon dioxide and oxygen in our world. One must take care that the rate at which carbon dioxide is created by burning does not exceed the rate at which carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere by all of the photosynthetic organisms in our world. Photosynthetic organisms in our world are not only the trees, grasses, and other plant life found on most of one third of our the surface of or world which is land, but, also the algae and other aquatic photosynthetic organisms found across two thirds of the surface of our world which is water. David G. Maskalick, PhD President and CEO BiotecConnect, Inc.

  2. Danny Aerts

    2011-03-22

    2

    This is not the first biomass power plant for Dow Corning. They had a 22 MW (electric) cogeneration biomass power plant in Midland from 1981-1996. It was shut down due to a steep decline in the price of natural gas.

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