Evaluation of Switchgrass as a co-firing fuel in the Southeast

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The ''Evaluation of Switchgrass as a Co-Firing Fuel in the Southeast'' is a comprehensive project incorporating the highest yielding variety of switchgrass, unique harvesting methods, detailed parametric evaluations in a state-of-the-art combustion research facility, and a full-scale demonstration in a tangentially-fired Alabama Power Company power boiler. These features were incorporated into the project to reduce the technical and economic risk of yielding a practical renewable energy option for the southeastern US. There are particular incentives for proving the feasibility of switchgrass as a biomass fuel in the southeastern US. Even though agriculture is a predominant industry much of the land ... continued below

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Southern Research Institute November 1, 2001.

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Description

The ''Evaluation of Switchgrass as a Co-Firing Fuel in the Southeast'' is a comprehensive project incorporating the highest yielding variety of switchgrass, unique harvesting methods, detailed parametric evaluations in a state-of-the-art combustion research facility, and a full-scale demonstration in a tangentially-fired Alabama Power Company power boiler. These features were incorporated into the project to reduce the technical and economic risk of yielding a practical renewable energy option for the southeastern US. There are particular incentives for proving the feasibility of switchgrass as a biomass fuel in the southeastern US. Even though agriculture is a predominant industry much of the land in this region is under-utilized, marginal farmland. As a result, some of the poorest counties in the nation are located in this region. The yields of switchgrass are substantially higher in the southeastern US than in other regions. Yield, or productivity, is a critical factor in determining the feasibility of biomass fuel. Yields in small research plots in the region averaged 25.8 Mg/ha (11.5 tons/acre) over the period 1990-1994. Achievable commercial yield in the southeastern US will likely be about 15.7 Mg/ha (7 tons/acre) with currently available varieties. Use of switchgrass as a supplemental fuel for coal-fired utility boilers could create an enormous market for growers. The Southern Company has 23,000 MW of coal-fired capacity in the southeast. If only 1% of this capacity was provided by switchgrass instead of coal, 74,500 ha (184,000 acres) of production would be needed. This would generate 1,288,000 tons of switchgrass which, if valued at $35/ton, would amount to over $45 million.

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  • Report No.: DE-FC36-98GO10349
  • Grant Number: DE/36/GO10349
  • DOI: 10.2172/832707 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 832707
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc780224

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  • November 1, 2001

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • Aug. 30, 2016, 7:55 p.m.

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Southern Research Institute. Evaluation of Switchgrass as a co-firing fuel in the Southeast, report, November 1, 2001; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc780224/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.