Demonstration of an Integrated Modular Bipower System and Commerical Burner for Drying Biomass and Agricultural Products Using Agricultural Residues

Period of Performance: 01/01/2003 - 12/31/2003


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Community Power Corp.
14800 Grasslands Drive
Englewood, CO 80112
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


72089S03-I Because conventional dryers for biomass are designed primarily to use fossil fuels, including natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), they are highly energy intensive. The use of agricultural residues could displace virtually all fossil fuels used for drying, provide another revenue source for the nation¿s farmers, reduce fertilizer consumption for residue biodegradation, and reduce the farmer¿s cost of drying the grains. However, small modular, commercial biopower systems, in which agricultural residues could be used with existing commercial dryers, are not available in the U.S. This project will develop and demonstrate small, modular biopower technology that can be integrated with commercially available dryers and used with locally available residue fuels to provide economic alternatives to conventional fossil-fired drying. Phase I will demonstrate the feasibility of integrating an existing downdraft small modular biopower system with commercial gas burners. The capability to convert an abundant agricultural residue, corn stover, to thermal energy for drying agricultural products also will be demonstrated. Phase II will develop a modular design for integrating a small modular biopower system with a commercial dryer. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: The energy from harvested corn stover (waste) is exceedingly more than sufficient to dry all of the corn in the U.S. each year. The market for new, and retrofitted, biopower-based drying systems should exceed $500 million, and would save farmers over $500 million/year in fossil fuel costs of grain drying. Using biopowered dryers, a farm cooperative could save up to $90,000 per million bushels of corn dried, and increase profits by up to $8,000 per farmer.