Biomass facility on Harrisburg Campus first of its kind
Jan. 11, 2011
HARRISBURG -- HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, and Enginuity Energy of Mechanicsburg today unveiled an educational partnership that can provide a solution to the growing cost of natural resources such as oil production and advance sustainable energy practices for agriculture and other industries.
“This educational partnership provides an excellent opportunity for our students and staff to participate in cutting-edge biomass technology in a unique environment right on the Harrisburg Campus,” said HACC Interim President Ron Young.
“This facility will help students get real-life experience with next generation renewable energy technology, and help us train students for the operations and maintenance jobs generated by this new industry,” Young said.
“HACC’s partnership with Enginuity Energy is another step in the college’s major commitment to both renewable energy and to providing training for emerging green jobs,” Young said.
“Enginuity Energy’s new development facility houses our exclusive Ecoremedy™ Gasification Technology, which converts naturally occurring materials known as biomass into clean energy,” said Richard Madeira, vice president of sales and marketing of the Mechanicsburg-based company.
“When we began looking for a site to locate our new development facility, we considered many possibilities but HACC was an easy choice as the premier workforce development provider in the region,” Madeira said. “The Harrisburg Campus location is centrally located within easy reach of the many businesses and industries that can benefit from our Ecoremedy™ technology.”
Madeira continued, “The educational partnership between HACC and Enginuity Energy offers the company the opportunity to further technological advancements of Ecoremedy™ as well as further the ongoing study of other organic materials for their beneficial use as fuel and recoverable nutrient content.”
In addition to college and company representatives, dignitaries who participated in the announcement included Secretary Russell C. Redding of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, and representatives of the American Mushroom Institute, Pennsylvania Mushroom Growers, the Chesapeake Bay Commission and the United States Departments of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency and Energy.
The development facility is located off Alumni Drive at the eastern edge of the Harrisburg Campus between the Pollock Child Care Center and PSECU. The Ecoremedy™ development facility will conduct ongoing gasification testing to identify new sources of organic materials suitable for use as clean energy and sources of recoverable nutrients that can be used for fertilizer, feed supplement and biochar. The technology is scalable and can range in size from a trailer mounted unit that processes hundreds of pounds per hour of material to produce steam in an industrial setting to a large scale utility plant providing enough energy to power 18,000 homes.
Historically, because of technological limitations, biomass gasification has focused on uniform, low ash and low moisture content (MC) material like wood chips. “Ecoremedy™ technology represents a leap in technology as it accepts non-uniform, high MC and high ash materials without the need for pre-processing, drying, chipping or pelletizing,” Madeira explained. “Removing these constraints reduces the cost to produce energy and creates a wide range of fuel opportunities for other biomass materials.”
Mushroom substrate, poultry manure and cow manure are among the biomass materials that will go through the Ecoremedy™ process at the development facility.
“In addition to producing affordable, clean energy, Ecoremedy™ offers the ability to dramatically assist Pennsylvania’s efforts in cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay,” Madeira said. “Agricultural byproducts having high nitrogen and phosphorous content, such as poultry manure, are identified as a leading contributor to polluting the waterways and tributaries of the bay.”
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