A grant from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) will help a Missouri company investigate the use of renewable fuel.
Enginuity Worldwide makes biocoal out of plant and animal waste, such as eastern red cedar trees, corn and sorghum stover, and manure.
Nancy Heimann, Enginuity president and CEO, says they will work to process that waste into an energy source.
“Our technology uses friction and compression to expose these biomass feedstock and really increase their BTU content, reduce their moisture content, and upgrade them so they burn and look and have the same energy content as fossil fuel coal,” Heimann tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Studies show that if biocoal fuel is used in every U.S. coal-burning power plant at just a 10 percent co-fire rate, carbon emissions would be reduced by 150 million metric tons a year, or 11 percent of the industry’s current total emissions, according to Enginuity.
“What we’re trying to do is to match pound-for-pound and the handling characteristics of coal,” Heimann says, “so that when we use a small percentage of biocoal, we can actually bring carbon benefit to the power that’s being generated.”
Heimann says adding biocoal with fossil fuels will help extend the life of coal-fired power plants in the state.
The NDEQ grant to Enginuity Worldwide is $250,252 and ends June 30, 2017.