Efficient Dewatering System for Biomass

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-07ER84874
Agency Tracking Number: 82246
Amount: $91,992.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: 09
Solicitation Number: DE-PS02-06ER06-30
Small Business Information
244 Sobrante Way, Sunnyvale, CA, 94086
DUNS: 183365410
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 John Kelly
 (408) 328-8302
Business Contact
 John Kelly
Title: Dr
Phone: (408) 328-8302
Email: john@altextech.com
Research Institution
The high moisture content of biomass degrades its value as a fuel, feedstock, or animal feed. If the moisture content of biomass could be reduced, its Btu content and compatibility with boiler equipment would increase, and its shipping costs and decay would decrease. Unfortunately, current biomass dewatering and drying costs are excessive. This project will develop technology for removing a portion of the moisture as a liquid, followed by the application of a highly efficient thermal dryer to completely dry the biomass. This approach will minimize the cost-per-ton of water removed, relative to conventional dewatering and drying techniques. A small simulator of the dewatering portion of the system will be built and tested in Phase I, in order to demonstrate the feasibility of increasing biomass solids content to over 60%. Using the dewatered test results, the performance of the thermal dryer portion of the concept will then be analytically determined. A detailed cost analysis will be performed to show the economic benefits of the system, compared to conventional dewatering and drying techniques. The concept then will be demonstrated at a field site in Phase II. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The concept should be applicable to the cost-effective drying of agricultural wastes, animal wastes, pulp and paper sludge, and municipal sludges, thereby increasing their energy value and reducing the need for fossil fuels. It is estimated that drying costs can be reduced by 37%. Further, the economical removal of water will promote the use of biomass for power production, thereby leading to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

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

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