Four states award biomass energy grants

By Ryan C. Christiansen
Iowa, Colorado, Nebraska and Wisconsin recently awarded grants for projects related to producing energy from biomass.

The following projects were funded by the Iowa Power Fund:

►Renew Energy Systems in Osage, Iowa, received $250,000 to build a mobile biomass briquetter for densifying biomass on-site for industrial and commercial heat and power generation.

►Amana Farms Inc. in Amana, Iowa, received $1.08 million for an anaerobic digester to generate electricity from biogas using cattle manure and organic industrial waste as feedstocks.

►Iowa State University received $2.37 million to replace the natural gas used by ethanol plants with synthesis gas produced through biomass gasification, and to examine converting syngas to ethanol.

The following projects were funded by the Advancing Colorado's Renewable Energy program:

►Colorado State University's Golden Plains Area Extension Service received $50,000 to evaluate how energy crops should be rotated on northeastern Colorado dryland farms.

►The Flux Farm Foundation in Carbondale, Colo., received $50,000 to study the effects of applying biochar, a byproduct of pyrolysis, to western Colorado pastureland.

►The International Center for Appropriate and Sustainable Technology in Lakewood, Colo., received $50,000 to work with students at the Colorado School of Mines to design a machine that would produce briquettes from a mixture of cattle manure and woody biomass.

►San Juan Bioenergy LLC in Durango, Colo., received $50,000 to study the chemical composition of syngas produced from gasifying sunflower hulls at the company's oilseed crushing plant in Dove Creek, Colo.

►Stewart Environmental Consultants Inc. in Fort Collins, Colo., received $50,000 to catalog and quantify the
feedstocks that might be available in northeastern Colorado for anaerobic digestion and biogas production.

The following projects were funded by the Nebraska Value-Added Agriculture program:

►Nebraska Renewable Energy Systems in Oakland, Neb., in partnership with Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb., received $8,000 to purchase technical reference materials and to market the Renewable Energy Training & Workshop Program, which gives college students hands-on training with renewable energy production systems.

►Tighe Biodiesel in Springfield, Neb., received $75,000 to build a farm-scale ethanol and biodiesel biorefinery that will also produce biogas through the anaerobic digestion of wastewater.

The Wisconsin Focus on Energy program funded one project. Action Floor Systems LLC in Mercer, Wis., received $200,000 to replace the company's natural-gas-fired boiler and 50-year-old wood-fired boiler with a woody biomass boiler.