Genera Energy's BIN-SPEC reduces biomass feedstock variability

By Genera Energy Inc. | September 11, 2014

Genera Energy Inc., a recognized leader in biomass feedstock supply innovation and supply chain advancements, recently introduced its newest feedstock management system module, BIN-SPEC. A proprietary preprocessing system, BIN-SPEC delivers a consistent biomass product to a customer’s specifications with the least amount of variability and at a lower cost.

“After producing and harvesting a biomass crop, significant processes and steps must take place to convert a field crop into a uniform format feedstock with the exact size, chemical composition and moisture to meet the needs of each end user,” explained Kelly Tiller, CEO and president of Genera Energy. “We are now able to announce BIN-SPEC as the final link in our proprietary biomass supply chain management system.”

Along with Genera’s other feedstock management systems, Energy Grange and Supply ASSURE, BIN-SPEC was developed through years of R&D and in-the-field testing aimed at consolidating and simplifying the entire biomass feedstock process, offering benefits to landowners, farmers and feedstock end users for the biofuels, biochemical and biopower industries.

While much research has focused on feedstock specific conversion technologies, Genera Energy noticed a gap in the study and field tests of biomass particle size during the preprocessing phase and as a result, developed BIN-SPEC to address this and other problems, offering a repeatable solution that reduces costs, increases efficiencies and provides a consistent product for end users.

Genera’s BIN-SPEC preprocessing management system looks at every step before, during and after preprocessing for each specific end user, assuring a tailored feedstock product specifically for use with BIN-SPEC designated equipment that will produce a biomass product with the least variation. While preprocessing biomass feedstocks is not new, Genera has focused on improving the process by reducing energy consumption, increasing efficiencies, and optimizing the process. This optimization ultimately leads to a lower cost, more consistent feedstock for the end user.

“Variation in a feedstock product can be a costly problem for refineries,” said Keith Brazzell, Chief Operating Officer of Genera Energy. “Depending on the technology, if the product has too large a particle size, it can reduce throughput and add costly time to the conversion process, but if the product is milled into too fine a particle that can create other problems including health issues and reactor process inefficiencies.”

The figure included with this announcement represents two particle size distributions curves.

“In this scenario, the customer wanted 90 percent of their material to be less than 0.80 mm in size,” continued Brazzell. “A standard hammermill run would reduce the majority of the particles to be less than 0.40 mm in size to meet the customer’s specifications. In this particular process, though, the customer had issues with the high amount of fines. Using Genera’s BIN-SPEC system, we were able to design an increase to the average particle size to eliminate fines, while at the same time reduce particle size distribution more closely, meeting the specifications. This adds significant value to the customer’s conversion process.”