H3.1 The Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials (NHSM) Regulations – What is your “Comfort” Status?
Thomas Pritcher, Senior Engineer II, Environmental Consulting & Technology
It has been a couple years since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the latest
Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials (NHSM) regulations, which neither specified these secondary
materials as waste or non-waste. Instead, EPA specified the criteria to be used to determine if these
secondary materials are or are not solid wastes. Since the first version of the NHSM Rule was issued in
March 2011, EPA has issued guidance in response to requests for interpretation. EPA refers to these types
of letters as ‘’comfort letters.’’ So, what have we learn from the “comfort letters?” Does your proposed
alternate fuel meet the non-waste designation? How robust is your NHSM non-waste determination?
The prospect of being characterized, and subsequently regulated, as an incinerator of wastes is the
outcome for sources that burn a NHSM without a valid non-waste determination. The author will dive
into these questions and summarize the path of the NHSM regulations and “comfort letters” over the
past few years.
H3.2 Rapid, Continuous Production of Solid Biofuel Using Reactive Twin-Screw Extrusion
Amber Broch, Associate Research Engineer, Desert Research Institute; S. Kent Hokeman – DRI; Larry Felix & Bill Farthing, Gas Technology Institute
Hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) of biomass effectively produces a densified, carbon-rich solid
biofuel (hydrochar), as well as aqueous phase chemical byproducts (sugars, organic acids, and
furfurals). Typically, HTC involves combining biomass feedstock with water in sealed batch pressure
reactors. Reaction times of 0.1–1.0 hour are maintained at temps of 200-300 °C. Hydrochars have
higher energy density and better grindability than their raw feedstocks. Also, hydrochars have good
binding properties, enabling ready formation of robust, water-resistant pellets/briquettes. Blending
small amounts of hydrochar (2-20%) is an effective way to improve the pelleting/briquetting of other
solid fuels–including coal, raw biomass, and torrefied wood. Techno-economic studies suggest that
scale-up of batch-based processes for producing hydrochar may not be commercially economical.
H3.3 Shredded Waste Downdraft Gasifier for Overseas Contingency Operations Waste to Energy Conversion
Matt Reed, Research Materials Engineer, Infoscitex Corporation; Mike Cushman, Jim Belcher & Simeon Schlis, Infoscitex Corporation; Harris Gold, Consultant
Mobile, small-scale gasifiers are finding applications in industries that require economical on-site
generation of electricity and waste heat from solid biomass waste. Most waste-to-energy gasifier
systems pelletize the solid fuel waste prior to processing in the gasifier to minimize problems associated
with materials handling. Pelletizers are expensive, require pretreatment, and have a large footprint. The
objective of this study was to develop a shredded waste downdraft moving bed gasifier that converts
high volatility municipal solid waste to a low tar producer gas to minimize pretreatment problems and
achieve high reactions kinetics and efficiencies. The high wall friction and surface area to volume
ratio of shredded waste results in non-uniform and low permeability flow, making it more difficult to
inject secondary air into the gasifier to combust pyrolysis vapors for optimum conversion. A prototype
downdraft packed-bed gasifier with diverging walls was developed to process municipal solid waste
and other biomass and tested in the laboratory. The system was instrumented with thermocouples,
pressure gauges, and flow meters to monitor conditions throughout the process. Tests were completed
to investigate the relationship between overall producer gas flow rates, solid waste feed rates, and
gasification performance. Key metrics that were investigated included temperatures at various
locations throughout the system and the syngas quality.
H3.4 Why Popularizing Household Biogas Digesters in Rural China Failed?
Wei Lin, Research Fellow / PhD Candidate / Policy Consultant, Tsinghua-Rio Tinto Research Center for Resources, Energy and Sustainable Development; Liwei Hong, Global Environmental Institute
Why Popularizing Household Biogas Digesters in Rural China Failed? Economic Analysis of Rural Energy
Policy. Both Chinese government and Renewable Energy Law of China have taken great efforts to
popularize rural household biogas digesters. Central state and local government, as well as rural
residents have invested billions of dollars to build enormous digesters. However, on the basis of survey
and multiple reports, most of these digesters were obsoleted after 1-3 years. In Suzhou District, Jiuquan,
rural residents are unwilling to pay or maintain the biogas digesters function. Average rate of normal
usage of digeters is only 30-40% in this area. The reasons why farmers choose to obsolete them includes
two aspects: reversible and irreversible. Reversible factors are 1) traditional conceptions feared for
uncertainty & anxious to get instant benefits; 2) lack of comprehensive utilization of biogas residue.
While the irreversible factors includes 1) diseconomy: high opportunity cost/labor cost and sufficient
substitute energy; 2) urbanization: young labors are rapidly urbanized whose houses in village obsolete;
3) modern agriculture transformation: scatter-feed to large-scale farms and residence-farming
separation. Furthermore, researchers find that both 1)top-down mobilization path-dependence of
communist China, and 2) the project-based fiscal expenditure system, result in the lack of correcting
mechanism, and finally lead to the failure of rural energy policy.
H3.5 Fuel Displacement in California: a 2025 view
Alejandro Zamorano, Head of Advanced Transport Research, Bloomberg New Energy Finance
A combination of economic and regulatory drivers will reshape California’s vehicle fleet and transport
fuel matrix between 2014 and 2025. Our analysis considers the impact of these drivers that will affect
demand for four types of liquid fuels – gasoline, diesel, ethanol, biomass-based diesel – and on the
expected make-up of the vehicle fleet. These drivers will collectively reduce total gasoline demand by
at least 9% and keep diesel demand flat by 2025, relative to 2014. Select results: Impact on gasoline and
ethanol demand. The CAFE standards will be the most important drivers behind contracting demand
for gasoline; these standards will displace 1.9bn gallons of blended gasoline demand per year by 2020,
relative to the demand that would have occurred had the standards not become more stringent
after 2013. The California ZEV programme will be another important driver, displacing 0.6bn gallons of
blended gasoline per year by 2020. (This assumes requirements are exactly met; actual EV adoption
could be higher, leading to even more displacement.) The RFS2 and the California LCFS will likewise
put downward pressure on gasoline demand. Ethanol demand will trend slightly down on an absolute
basis, and remain at 10% of total gasoline demand. ‘E85’ ethanol blends (ie, blends that contain 85%
ethanol and 15% gasoline) will have little impact on gasoline or ethanol demand.
H3.6 Biodiesel & Bioheat Fuel
Jessica Robinson, Director of Communications, National Biodiesel Board
Should you need support for transportation topics, biodiesel speakers, moderators we have an array of
experts. They have given presentations on: Biodiesel state policy updates; RINS markets; Sustainability;
Biodiesel Lifecycle; Green Marketing; Alternative Transportation outlook; and many many others. We
can tailor something to fill in holes as you build your content. Just let us know.
H4.1 12 MW Biomass Power Plant and Dedicated Energy Crop Plantation in Nicaragua
Carl Kukkonen, CEO, VIASPACE Inc.
The 12 MW biomass power plant and co-located Giant KingTM Grass dedicated energy crop
plantation under development in Nicaragua will be used as a concrete example for potential clean
renewable electricity projects in subtropical and tropical regions. “Growing your own electricity”
with a dedicated energy crop guarantees biomass fuel availability which is a requirement to get
the project financed. The presentation will cover important factors such as electricity production
efficiency, boiler limitations, biomass fuel specifications, plantation sizing, energy crop options,
climate and rainfall requirements, logistics, capital cost, fuel cost, financing and profitability.
Giant King Grass is an extremely high yield, perennial and versatile energy crop that can be used
for many bioenergy applications including: direct combustion in power plants, energy pellets, biogas
production through anaerobic digestion, cellulosic biofuels and other energy conversion techniques
such as torrefaction and pyrolysis. Giant King Grass grows in tropical and subtropical regions including
California and the southern US. It is not perennial in freezing areas.
H4.2 Advanced Biomass Pellets – A Renewable, Low Emissions Alternative for Coal Fired Generating Facilities
Dammon Frecker, Project Manager, Thermogen Industries, LLC
Conventional or “white” wood pellets along with other forms of biomass are increasing in demand as
one solution to increased environmental regulations on coal fired electric generating facilities both
in the US and abroad. Technologies such as torrefaction and steam explosion have been under
development for several years to improve white pellet handling and performance characteristics. This
presentation will provide information on a form of advanced biomass pellet that has been proven at
commercial scale both in production and end use. These advanced biomass pellets have increased
energy content, higher bulk density, and superior characteristics as compared to conventional white
pellets. In addition, the pellets have been demonstrated to be compatible with existing coal fired
boiler handling, milling and combustion systems with little or no retrofit. Thermogen Industries and their
technology partner are working to develop multiple production plants with supply chain capability in
excess of one million tons per years in the next few years. The presentation will provide a discussion of
the technology, the characteristics of the pellets, the results of test burns in multiple utility-scale boilers
including combustion performance and impact on emissions, the regulatory and financial drivers for
their use, and an overview of the production plants under development.
H4.3 Concept for Sustainable Energy, Forests, Soils, Water & Communities
Timothy McDonald, Retired Engineer,
Environmental regulations are forcing utilities to take a closer look at co-firing biomass materials in
coal fired boilers. Key issues blocking extensive implemention of biomass co-firing has been a lack
of sufficient quantities of material, at a reasonable cost, and with a degree of reliable delivery
expectations over the full term of a biomass fuel supply agreement. The presentation will outline a
concept for generating sufficient revenue from multiple biomass derived co-products to cover the
costs of forest biomass thinning operations and material conversion into high-value products and selling
the lower-value biomass residues to utilities for fuel. This can only be accomplished by establishing a
collaborative vertically integrated forest industry consisting of multiple government entities, businesses
and communities working together to establish what is estimated to be a multi-billion dollar industry.
Products to be derived from forest thinning treatments include: torrefied forest biomass pellets to be
co-fired in regional coal plants; activated carbon for the capture and disposal of mercury emissions;
biochar granules for long-term carbon sequestration of the fixed carbon content in farm and forest
soils; dried lumber derived from small-diameter logs; clean water from biomass drying processes;
nanocrystalline cellulose material; lignin-based thermoplastics; and distilled bio-oils to be further
processed into additional bio-refinery co-products.
H4.4 Wood Bioenergy & Land Use: A Challenge to the Searchinger Hypothesis
Roger Sedjo, Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future; Brent Sohngen, Ohio State University; Anne Riddle, Resources for the Future
A concern of many environmentalists is that the use of biomass energy will decimate the forests.
Searchinger et al. examined this issue related to corn ethanol & suggested that substituting corn ethanol
for petroleum would increase carbon emissions associated with the land conversion abroad necessary
to offset the decline in corn availability. This issue is broader than simply corn. If agricultural crop lands
are drawn into the production of biofuel feedstocks, commodity prices are expected to rise triggering
land conversions overseas, releasing carbon emissions. offsetting the carbon reductions expected
from bioenergy. Using a general stylized forest sector management model our study examines the
economic potential of traditional industrial forests & supplemental dedicated fuelwood plantations to
produce biomass on submarginal lands. It finds that these sources can economically produce large
levels of biomass without compromising crop production thereby mitigating the land conversion &
carbon emissions effects posited by the Searchinger hypothesis.
H4.5 Real-time Corrosion Monitoring during Co-firing of Accordant Energy’s ReEngineered Feedstock
Jacob Beutler, Senior Engineer, Reaction Engineering International; Kevin Davis, Reaction Engineering International; William Cox, Corrosion Management Ltd.; Dingrong Bai & Rouzbeh Jafari, Accordant Energy LLC
Corrosion monitoring was performed during a co-firing demonstration of Accordant Energy’s
ReEngineered Feedstock™ (ReEF) with coal at a T-fired utility boiler. Corrosion rates were measured
using Reaction Engineering International’s (REI) real-time corrosion monitoring technology. Corrosion
activity was monitored in the near-burner waterwall, high temperature superheat region, economizer,
and low-temperature post-air heater region. Corrosion rates during steady state co-firing periods
were compared to baseline (100% coal fired) periods of similar loads and operation. The results of
this investigation indicated that rates of corrosion while co-firing were equal to or less than baseline
corrosion rates obtained while firing high-quality coal. The following findings, specific to key areas of
the boiler and air heater, were observed for co-firing of ReEF formulation #1 in a tangentially-fired boiler
at approximately 72 MWe: Waterwall – Corrosion rates were significantly reduced (>50%) when cofiring
ReEF fuel. Superheater – Co-firing of ReEF#1 resulted in a decrease (21%) in the corrosion rate just
above and behind the boiler nose. Economizer – Negligible rates with and without co-firing. Air heater
– Corrosion rates just downstream of the air heater, were low with and without co-firing. However,
at temperatures below design values there appeared to be a qualitatively noticeable increase in
corrosion when co-firing ReEF#1.
H6.1 Consideration of Alternative Energy Sources in Licensing of Nuclear Reactors
Andrew Kugler, Senior Project Manager, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
When it considers licensing a new reactor, the NRC must address the environmental impacts of the
project in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). As part of its evaluation under
NEPA, the NRC must consider alternatives to the proposed action, including energy alternatives. The
energy alternatives considered by the NRC range from conservation & imported power to renewable
energy sources, such as wind. This presentation will discuss how the NRC performs the evaluation
of energy alternatives, & identifies issues that applicants should consider in relation to this portion of
the evaluation. Reasonable energy alternatives must be able to meet the purpose & need for the
project & be commercially exploitable in the region of interest. The NRC will compare the reasonable
alternatives to determine if any alternative is environmentally preferable to the proposed action. In
other words, would any of the alternatives cause less environmental impacts while generating the
same amount of electricity? If any alternative is environmentally preferable, the NRC will consider
whether the cost of the alternative is such that the proposed action might still be preferred.
H6.4 The Algae Alternative – Carbon Capture & Reuse
Tim Zenk, Executive VP – Business Development, Algenol Biofuels; Paul Woods
In the U.S., 3,600 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) are emitted from stationary sources
alone, never mind the additional CO2 from vehicles. A key aspect of algae biofuel production provides
a viable solution to this crisis. To create algae-based fuels, the CO2 produced by industrial processes
is captured & used as feedstock, along with sunlight & saltwater, for algae located in vertical outdoor
photobioreactors. The end result? Clean fuel at a price of $1.27 per gallon ? an economically viable
solution that has the power to make a lasting environmental change. As solutions to reducing & handling
greenhouse gas emissions are developed & discussions of carbon capture & sequestration increase,
algae?s unique ability to capture & reuse carbon provides an even more sustainable alternative. By
recycling one tonne of CO2, 144 gallons of advanced fuels ? 125 gallons of ethanol, eight gallons of
diesel, six gallons of jet fuel & five gallons of gasoline ? are produced. Through this process, traditional
fossil fuels are displaced & CO2 emissions can ultimately be reduced on a national scale. Overall, the
process achieves an energy balance of more than three to one & a lifecycle carbon footprint that is
a 60-80 percent reduction compared to petroleum based fuels. Electrical utilities will be particularly
interested in the enhanced flexibility of such a process, allowing them to reduce their emissions through
an economically attractive approach.
H6.3 Algae – Waste Remediation and Energy Production
Samuel Shepherd, Chief Technical Officer, Missing Link Technology, LLC; Samuel Shepherd
In nature, algae is the “waste remediator”. It consumes carbon dioxide, nitrogen, phosphates and was
the major feed stock for our current sources of crude oil. Missing Link Technology, LLC (MLT) has been
involved in the production, harvesting and biomass production for the animal feed market since 2004.
MLT has constructed several algae facilities throughout the US incorporating it’s patented technology.
The waste remediation technology and the algae to crude oil technology will be presented with full
production data generated at the Berkeley County, SC Waste Water Treatment Facility. Algal based
systems for nitrate reductions are proving to be quite successful on commercial levels. It is now possible
to produce potable water directly from waste water. Why are we allowing fresh water to be returned
to the ocean where it is contaminated with salt; relying on possibility of rain to replenish our freshwater
supply? We need to incorporate this technology to resolve the potable water supply problems.
Additionally, in spite of current crude prices, MLT has been awarded an “Algae to Biocrude” patent.
This technology will be presented.
J2.3 Land Use Change, Carbon, & Bioenergy Reconsidered
Roger Sedjo, Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future; Brent Sohngen, Ohio State University; Anne Riddle, RFF
Many environmentalists are concerned that reneweable bioenergy, such as corn or wood ethanol will
not reduce carbon emissions but will deplete forests. Using a general stylized forest sector management
model, our study examines the economic potential of traditional industrial forests and supplemental
dedicated fuelwood plantations to produce biomass on submarginal lands not suitable for most crop
agriculture. The study finds that forests can economically produce large levels of biofuel without
compromising crop production, thereby avoiding price pressures that lead to cropland conversion
and carbon emissions.
D9.1 Westinghouse Plasma – Commercialized; Industrial scale plasma gasification technology
Allison Yeckel, Sales Manager, Westinghouse Plasma Corp. ; Bruce Leonard, Richard Fish & Walter Howard
Westinghouse Plasma Corp (WPC), which owns the world’s premier plasma gasification technology,
enables its customers to convert waste into clean energy. Our plasma gasification technology is proven
in commercial applications and can convert a wide variety of feedstocks, including difficult feedstocks
like MSW, hazardous waste and medical waste, into a wide variety of energy outputs including liquid
fuels such as ethanol and diesel, electrical power, and syngas. Westinghouse Plasma provided the
world’s largest plasma gasifier for a 1,000 tpd EFW facility in the UK. The first facility is nearly completed
construction and will begin commissioning in 2014. The second facility is in progress, will mirror the first
and is scheduled to be on stream in early 2016. In total, both the facilities will process up to 2,000 tpd
of waste and produce 100 MW of electricity, capable of providing renewable energy for up to 100,000
homes safely and reliably. A third project is actively being developed in the UK as well. In March 2014,
a WPC customer signed an agreement with the Barbados Government to build and operate a Waste
to Energy plant. The plant will transform up to 650 tpd of solid waste into clean renewable energy and
provide up to 25% of Barbados’s total energy needs, provide a new domestic source of power by
reducing the island’s reliance on costly imported fossil fuel. In February 2014, a WPC customer signed
an agreement to purchase a Westinghouse Plasma Gasification Solution.”
D9.2 Opportunities & Challenges of Industry-wide Adoption of Cogeneration in New & Operating Oil Sands Facilities
Experience Nduagu, Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Calgary; Dr. Ian D. Gates
Oil sands operations in Alberta have become a significant source of economic growth and as well as
a notable source of CO2 emissions. Current oil sands operations use the predominantly coal-based
Alberta Electric System or on-site cogeneration to meet their steam and electricity requirements.
There are currently enormous pressures on the oil sands industry to reduce their carbon emissions
to retain social license to operate. If the projected production growth of oil sands from 1.8 million
barrels a day in 2013 to 5 million barrels a day by 2035 is to be realized, the industry must seek steps to
significantly reduce its CO2 emissions in both the short and long term time frames. Among options for
CO2 reduction, cogenerations appears to be a viable short term option that could enable the industry
to meet provincial emissions targets. However, some challenges such as generation of excessive
amounts of electricity on-site, lack of transmission infrastructure, and energy losses associated with
long distance transmission arise. On a system basis, this study evaluates and quantifies the opportunities
and challenges of industry-wide adoption of cogeneration in new and existing oil sands operations in
the near term (2015) and in the long term (2035). The analysis considers all categories of projects which
include announced, applied for, approved, in construction, on hold, and operating projects.”
D9.3 Twenty-five years of Fuel Impact Analyses – What Have We Learned, & Where Are We Going?
Una Nowling, Technology Lead – Fuels, Black & Veatch
From the time of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 to present, fuel quality impacts have taken on
increasing importance as the need to perform fuel switches or capital upgrades warrants evaluating
new and off-specification fuels. While most power stations have been successful in their goal to work
with the changes mandated by legislation and the mOh okarkets, some have not been successful.
There is still much work to be done to fully leverage fuel flexibility for power station life extension in our
increasingly competitive generating environment. What lessons have been learned over the era of
the past 25 years, and where do we as an industry need to improve our processes in order to face the
next 25 years?
D9.4 Trends in Energy & Carbon Management at Sea Ports
Matthew Wartian, Regional Global Practice Manager, Burns & McDonnell; Eric Putnam Lit Chan (ENVIRON)
Energy management at ports has become an increasingly important focus as electrical power
demands are projected to grow substantially due to increases in throughput and expanded use of
shore-to-ship power, electric equipment, and terminal automation. Additionally, national and humaninduced
disasters that have affected local and regional power supplies have focused attention on the
need to develop energy solutions that enhance energy resiliency, security, quality, and sustainability.
Effective energy management can result in actions that efficiently and effectively improve the overall
power profile of a port, including its tenants, in a manner that is protective of the natural environment
while helping to secure the continued economic viability and competitiveness of the port. Important
considerations include approaches to ensure availability of power for critical resources, improve
power reliability and quality, enhance regional resilience in the event of outages and natural and
anthropogenic disasters, improve energy efficiency, and increase the sustainability of the power
supply. This presentation will highlight approaches to improving energy management at, including
incorporation of on-site generation, microgrid development, enhancements to the local power
generation and delivery systems, incorporation of cyber security, and implementation of port and
tenant energy conservation measures.