2011-04-29

Power on Wheels

Utilizing a design pioneered by downdraft gasification system developer Community Power Corp., Montana researcher Brian Kerns has developed a mobile biomass gasifier, after collaborating with the company to integrate their design with his own ideas.

So far, his work has resulted in a 25-kilowatt per hour system that can easily be transported to areas where there is a need to manage woody biomass waste, such as pine beetle-killed wood. “Instead of gathering the biomass materials and bringing them to a centralized plant, which is the norm, we wanted to do the opposite,” Kerns says.

That strategy provides several benefits, including avoiding feedstock transportation and storage costs. The system, which is enclosed on a semi-trailer platform, can be set up and running within an hour.