OIT Times: (Guest Editorial) $100 Millioin to Help Seize Gasification Opportunity
June 24, 2000
by Valri Robinson,
OIT Forest Products Team Leader
An important window of opportunity will soon open as many aging recovery and power boilers in the forest products industry are rebuilt or replaced. If enough companies select new gasification technologies to replace those boilers, the industry could become a net energy supplier and greatly speed achievement of its long-term goals.
But demonstrations will be needed to help prove out gasification technology. So OIT and the National Energy Technology Lab will solicit proposals for the development and demonstration of black liquor and biomass gasification technologies for combined cycle (or gasification-cogeneration) applications. Cost-shared awards of up to $100 million are possible.
Gasification technologies are central to the forest products industry Agenda 2020 vision and implementation plan. Broad adoption of these technologies will improve capital effectiveness, energy efficiency, competitiveness, and environmental performance. The industry electric power capacity would increase by over 200% while greenhouse gas emissions would decrease by over 30 million metric tons/yr by 2020.
Although combined cycle gasification technologies for black liquor and biomass feedstocks are being developed, commercialization has been slow due to the risk and costs associated with early adoption by individual companies. Gasification systems developed under this program will be installed in existing mills to help demonstrate feasibility. The solicitation closes June 19. Visit www.oit.doe.gov/forest for more details.