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Sage powered boilers installed in North Carolina

Two new boilers have been installed at an extraction facility in Merry Hill, North Carolina, which can consume 10 tonnes of biomass an hour, producing 30,000lbs of steam.

The installation at Pharmachem’s Avoca, a food and beverage company, is the first of its kind on the east coast of the US.

The company needs steam to process a range of its ingredients and previously used three diesel-powered boilers to generate the steam but has now switched to the biomass boilers.

‘With the biomass to energy system, we’ve reduced our steam costs by 90%,’ says David Peele, president of Avoca. ‘During the 2011 sage harvest, which is 140 days long, we burned about 4,500 gallons of diesel fuel per day. Plus, when we finish extracting sage, we had 99% of what we started with—or about 25,000 tons of biomass.’

Aside from sage, the biomass boilers can also be powered by woodchips and other biomass sources.

‘With the biomass system, we’ve diverted about 110,000 cubic yards of material that would otherwise go into a landfill. Reducing this waste on an annual basis will result in about $1 million in savings,’ adds Peele.

Alternative Energy Solutions International supplied the boilers.