The 30-30 Rule: Lessons from the Field in Wood Power

By Charles Loos, P.E., Lee Enterprises Consulting From an operations standpoint, a wood-fired power plant can be described as a fuel handling system first, and a power plant second. The biggest challenges stem from the fuel itself – procurement, supply, handling, and combustion. By contrast, the steam turbine and power cycle seem relatively trouble-free. Fuel-related problems…

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Agitation Expert

What do agitation experts do within the bioeconomy? Very simply, the agitation expert consults with clients on the design and application of agitation systems. This may include calculating power, shaft speed, and impeller systems for any given application. Agitation consulting may also include the designing of experiments to ascertain the exact agitation required, and assistance…

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CleanTech Experts

CleanTech experts, also known as “clean technology” or “Greentech” experts, include specialists in the processes that reduce adverse environmental impacts, minimize greenhouse gas generation and/or avoid air, water, and land contamination. “Clean technology” relates a broad range of technologies, such as renewable or clean energy production, recycling, transportation, materials processing, “green” chemical production, efficient lighting,…

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Recycling Waste Plastics

Plastic recycling is the process of recovering waste plastics or scraps of plastic and reprocessing them into useful products. Most plastic is not biodegradable, meaning that left untreated, it will be here for millions of years.   As of 2018, about 380 million tons of plastic are produced worldwide each year. From the 1950s up to…

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Future of Plastic Recycling

What is the future of plastic recycling?  According to recent reports, the U.S. generates about 40 million tons of plastic waste yearly.  About 85% goes to landfills and about 10% is incinerated.  Only the remaining 5% is recycled.  A few years ago, recycling in the U.S. was almost double that amount.  Plastic recycling is declining…

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Microbial Fermentation

Microbial fermentation is the growth of a microorganism, usually a bacterium, yeast, or filamentous fungus in a liquid medium to transform one material into another using the microbe’s metabolism as the manufacturing process to result in a commercial product.  That product can be microbial cell mass, a product contained within the microbe, or a product…

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Railroad Tie Pyrolysis

Railroad tie pyrolysis presents some interesting opportunities.  In the U.S. alone, over 20 million new wood railroad ties are installed every year. While wood is currently the best option for railroad ties (and utility poles) the ability to re-use or dispose of treated wood coming is clearly a critical consideration.  The regulatory, environmental, and financial…

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Biotechnology – What is It?

In the emerging bioeconomy, the term “biotechnology” most often refers to the use of a biological process for an industrial purpose like the production of biofuels and biochemicals.  There are many types of biotechnologies, including medical (such as vaccines and antibiotics), and agricultural (such as pest-resistant crops and plant and animal breeding).  One of the…

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