Talk:Biomass power generation

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The material below was originally posted to an new article page called "Biomass conversion". I have created a new page "Biomass power generation" as a more appropriate title for the topic. I have relocated the original text below, pending adding some of the material to the new article page shortly.--Bob Burton 04:43, 26 April 2009 (EDT)

Coal fired power plants and boilers all over the world are polluting our planet, causing global warming and serious health problems. If we spend trillions of dollars to develop carbon capture and install pollution control equipment, it will take decades to fix the problems. Truely clean coal power will be very expensive.

Biomass conversions work now and can do the job quickly while saving money and creating thousands of good local jobs. Coal is just biomass that was sequestered in the ground eons ago. The problem is that coal also contains sulphur, mercury and radioactive elements. The cost of capturing these nasty substances and the CO2 that is creating global warming makes coal a very expensive fuel.

Biomass is carbon neutral and free of the pollutants that make coal burning so expensive. A simple electrostatic filter is all it takes to remove smoke from a biomass boiler. A recent government report on 20 existing power plants that have been converted to biomass found that fuel costs and maintenance costs were lower using biofuel.

Georgia Power is planning to convert an existing 96MW coal plant in Albany Georgia to biomass power. The fuel cost compared to coal is expected to be roughly 30 percent less per year and maintenance costs are expected to be about 13 percent less. FirstEnergy is converting a 312 MW plant to biofuel and will thus save the $330 million cost of adding scrubbers to remove mercury. Ontario Power Generation is considering a similar move.

Several new companies are planning to produce direct coal replacements called E-coal or BioCoal, which can be sold and shipped just like coal. By heating biomass without oxygen available, the biomass is torrefied to produce black pellets that burn exactly like coal (but without the pollutants!). Existing coal power plants can just order trainloads of E-Coal and substitute it directly for their normal coal supply without modifications

RE: Boardman Plant and torrefaction, I believe we need a page on torrefaction. I corrected the text to read "While the technology is still precommercial" because the prior wording was inaccurate. Torrefaction is as old as roasted coffee (i.e., ancient) so the technology is not "still in experimental phases."

Also, I have added several additional "biomass conversions" that I am aware of in North Carolina. I look forward to sharing more facts and sources, based on what I've learned studying biomass over the past three years. --JohnBonitz 21:57, 27 April 2010 (UTC)