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New biomass plant aims to reduce 80% of fossil fuel consumption

A new biomass gasification energy plant has been officially opened at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

After a testing program which included a 30-day endurance trial, third party emissions tests and an readiness review, the system was declared open by the DOE and ready for full commercial operation.

The plant features a complete energy-from-renewable-waste system provided by Nexterra and input from technology and industrial business Johnson Controls. The system will convert low-cost waste biomass into around 60,000lbs of clean burning syngas of saturated steam an hour, aiming to reduce fossil fuel consumption by 80%.

The system will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 20,000 tonnes per year, the equivalent of removing 4,000 cars from the road every year.

‘This project demonstrates that public institutions and private companies can partner to supply innovative clean-energy technologies on a large scale,’ says ORNL site office manager Johnny Moore. ‘The biomass plant will also provide an opportunity for researchers to gather important data from a large-scale biomass process.’