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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Eucalyptus as a biomass feedstock

Unlike some species, even after harvest, a Eucalyptus tree can regenerate from its own stumps.

Ecogen’s plan is to acquire as much as 10,000 acres per power plant in which to grow sustainable Eucalyptus while at the same time financing the four plants’ construction.

While waiting for the company’s new Eucalyptus plantations to fully mature, Ecogen will use what it terms “bridge fuel” feedstock; that is, biomass from existing tree resources for conversion into electrical power. The first Eucalyptus will be ready for harvest two years after planting. But for sustainability, harvests will subsequently be rotated on a four year basis.

When Ecogen does fully switch to Eucalyptus, Quinn says, it will be chipped and combusted in what Ecogen terms a closed-loop system. That means the company will use biomass grown and harvested in close proximity to the plant as fuel to generate some 565,000 pounds of steam per hour.


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