A Biogas-Tolerant Engine-Generator for Advanced Agricultural Waste Management Systems

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Agriculture
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$399,733.00
Award Year:
2010
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
2010-01877
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
8.11
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
MAINSTREAM ENGINEERING CORPORATION
200 YELLOW PL, Rockledge, FL, 32955
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
175302579
Principal Investigator:
Paul Yelvington
null
(321) 631-3550
pyelvington@mainstream-engr.com
Business Contact:
Michael Rizzo
Chief Financial Officer
(321) 631-3550
mar@mainstream-engr.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
Anaerobic digesters are capable of producing methane-rich biogas from animal manure and also offer the advantages of controlling odors, reducing pathogens, and minimizing the environmental impact of the waste. The biogas produced from anaerobic digesters is a renewable, distributed source of energy that can be used to generate electricity to offset power consumption on farms. Unfortunately, biogas is a sour gas that is rich in hydrogen sulfide (H2S), a highly corrosive gas that quickly embrittles the cast iron and steel used for many engine components. As a result, conventional engines fail after several months of exposure to the high levels of H2S in biogas. No small (<100 kWe) generators are currently available that can use this fuel without pretreatment to remove the H2S--a process that adds complexity, cost, consumables, and maintenance. As a result, many smaller biodigester installations simply flare the biogas rather than extracting any useful work from the fuel. The objective of this project is to develop an inexpensive, low-maintenance, high-efficiency, biogas-tolerant engine that does not require preconditioning of the biogas to remove H2S.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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