BBI International announces Northeast biomass conference tours

By Rona Johnson | August 09, 2011

BBI International has announced the tour sites for this year’s Northeast Biomass Conference & Trade Show, being held Oct. 11-13 at the Westin Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pa. The tour sites are in Pennsylvania and all are engaged in leveraging various biomass streams for energy production.

The first tour site is Fairview Swiss Cheese, which is the largest producer of Swiss cheese in Pennsylvania, processing more than 30,000 gallons of milk into cheese per day. The plant digests it cheese whey and produces methane gas, thus eliminating permitting and cost issues associated with land application of the waste stream. The gas powers a 300 kilowatt generator that supplies about half the facility’s electricity needs.

The second site is switchgrass seed producer Ernst Conservation Seeds Inc. Ernst also produces, processes and markets more than 400 native and naturalized seed varieties for the entire East Coast (including Canada) and the Midwest for use in land reclamation, wildlife food plots, wetland remediation, biomass production and erosion prevention. Ernst is in the midst of building a commercial densification facility that will produce solid biomass fuel in the form of pellets and briquettes from warm season grasses.  

Crawford Central School District’s biomass combined-heat-and-power (CHP) district heating system will round out the tour. The system will be completed this summer and will use locally sourced wood chips to provide 85 percent of the annual heating and 15 percent of the annual electric demand for a high school building, career and technical center and recreational complex.  

The Northeast Biomass Conference & Trade Show program will feature more than 60 speakers, including technical presentations on topics ranging from anaerobic digestion and gasification to combined heat and power and large-scale biomass combustion, within the structured framework of general session panels and four customized tracks: electricity generation; industrial process heat and power; biorefining; and project development and finance.

The event is designed to help biomass industry stakeholders identify and evaluate solutions that fit their operations. It's time to improve operational efficiencies and tap into the revenue-generating potential of sustainable biomass resources in the Northeastern U.S.

For more information about the conference, visit