Washington DNR to hold mobile pyrolysis demo

By Anna Simet | April 15, 2014

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources is sponsoring a mobile pyrolysis technology demonstration on May 8.

Being held at the SDS Lumber Facility in Bingen, Wash., the demonstration will include conversion of wood chips into bio-oil, bio-char and syngas.

Chuck Hersey of the DNR said vendors participating in the demonstration include Salt Lake City-based Amaron Energy, San Francisco-based Prairie Fire and Lindon, Utah-based Western Renewable Technologies.

The three finalists, each of which were awarded up to $30,000 to cover the estimated costs of participation,  were chosen after a request for proposals was issued by the DNR in early January. Several specific goals are associated with the project, including an aim to support technologies that are ready to move from research and development to commercialization, and to educate local residents and other interested parties about the potential for wood energy to provide rural jobs and create markets for biomass sourced from overstocked eastern Washington forests.

The DNR will develop baseline air emissions data and characterize bio-oil and biochar produced during the demonstrations, and products produced will be analyzed and characterized by labs at Washington State University and Oregon State University. One preferred mobile pyrolysis unit will be selected from the three participating vendors, and it will be awarded the balance of the available grant funding—a minimum of $20,000—to demonstrate its technology at a later date.

The demonstration is being funded by the USDA Forest Service in partnership with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Washington State Department of Commerce, Washington State University Energy Program, Oregon Department of Forestry and the Oregon Department of Energy.

The event is open to the public and free, but advanced registration is required to attend. To register, email [email protected]