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Outdoor Biomass Gasifier Hydronic Heater (OBGHH)

Award Information
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
Branch: N/A
Contract: EP-D-08-0025
Agency Tracking Number: EP-D-08-0025
Amount: $70,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 2008
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
401 West Martin Drive
Goodfield, IL 61742
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Paul Wever
 (309) 965-2005
Business Contact
 Paul Anderson
Title: Vice President and Secretary
Phone: (309) 452-7072
Research Institution

America needs a clean, affordable, reliable and sustainable product or system to obtain heat for residences in cold climates using renewable, carbon-neutral, plentiful, low-cost biomass fuels of diverse types found close to the location of usage. The available biomass could heat hundreds of thousands of homes, and costly natural gas could be directed to higher-value usage.

Gasifiers are devices that turn solid (chip-sized) biomass into combustible gases. Combustors work most cleanly when the air (with oxygen) is mixed with gases only (i.e., not in the same area where the solid raw fuel is changing into gases). Serious difficulties arise when the gasifier plus combustor is very small (under 300,000 BTW/hr), like the ones needed for residential heating.

Chip Energy has mastered the control of clean micro-gasification at sizes appropriate for heating residences and small buildings. This technology already functions in a manually operated prototype and includes a low-cost updraft gasifier and a flash boiler. Details are confidential; patent protection is being assessed.

The Phase I objectives are to convincingly show the feasibility of the innovation, utilize task-specific consultants, and develop a feasibility-proving prototype that includes the consultant recommendations. In the well-equipped facilities made available by a partner, Chip Energy will conduct R&D trials of enhancements for low emissions, automated fuel and ash handling, sensors, safety devices, and (ultimately) user-control via a thermostat.

Phase I will result in an impressive prototype, favorable measurements of low emissions, identification of various acceptable biomass fuels, and irrefutable reports and endorsements by the independent expert consultants. Phase II moves the entire project to the point of launching a commercial venture.

New technologies require convincing evidence to enter strongly in the marketplace. Phase I is our proving-ground to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Phase II will establish our credentials for delivering an increasingly vital necessity: reliable modern home heating with biomass. Subject to national and international politics, policies, and prices for energy from all sources, the availability of our technology could impact the future of biomass fuels in America. As the number of users grows, supply of biomass fuels will increase for many years to meet the demand. Chip Energy will be a fuels supply company as well as a supplier of gasifier-related technology, hardware, and service. Appropriate environmental protection will be a high priority.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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