Wayne County farm gets $250,000 clean coal grant

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Air Quality Development Authority has approved a $250,000 grant to co-fund the design of a 10 million BTU hybrid fluidized bed gasifier for use in heating greenhouses at Cedar Lane Farms in Wooster, Ohio.

The Ohio Coal Development Office grant is the second one to be awarded to Cedar Lane. An earlier grant assisted in the construction of an atmospheric fluidized bed combustor to heat other greenhouses at the same farm. The previous unit has operated successfully for the last five years.

Mark Shanahan, Ohio Air Quality Development Authority executive director and governor’s energy advisor, said the proposed hybrid gasifier consists of one fluidized bed serving as a combustor, and a second serving as the gasifier. Sand is heated in the combustor by coal, char or biomass and then transported to the gasifier, generating sufficient heat to partially gasify coal.

The resulting syngas (a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen) is used to help ignite gas-fired boilers.

Based upon the findings in the design work for the relatively small 10 million BTU unit, additional design costing and market analysis will be prepared for hybrid gasification systems as large as 20 megawatts.

Other project participants include Touchstone Research Laboratory and the U. S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory. The total project cost is $539,938.

The project represents the second cooperative agreement the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority has entered into with the U. S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory focused on the design of industrial-scale coal gasifier technology. The first project, which was formalized in October 2008, involves a gasifier with the maximum capacity of 100 megawatts.

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