Dec, 2009 - Phil Kastelic: Emerging Bioenergy Technologies

Phil Kastelic, CEO of Littleton-based Colorado Forest and Energy (CF&E), an early stage company specializing in the delivery of community based clean-tech energy solutions throughout the Mountain West region, described how modular gasification bioenergy technology (community energy) could contribute to energy self sufficiency while allowing productive use of dead and dying trees in our forests.
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·        Biomax, a modular bioenergy gas production module developed by Community Power Corporation, is capable of transforming biomass feedstock (beetle kill wood chips) into heat, electricity and syndiesel fuel.
·        2.5 tons (2 trees worth) of wood chips can generate 100 kW electric power and 600,000 BTU of heat energy, enough to support an elementary school.
·        0.5 tons capable of producing 25 gallons of syndiesel (JP8 equivalent) fuel.
·        Module typically a 40’ long container directly attached to a structure using the energy
·        Emissions of NO2, CO2 and THC well below CA air quality standards. No smoke, no smell, no waste (pristine carbon ash residue used as soil amendment).
·        Feedstock; 2x3” wood chips @ maximum 18% moisture limit.
·        Downdraft gasification system much less toxic and expensive to manufacture than solar panels.
·        Biomax system is 80% efficient in energy conversion; solar <25%; wind <30%; grid power from coal-fired plants <40%.
·        A solution to the 73,000 tons of wood chips wasted in our landfill?
CF&E is proposing a pilot project for Summit County that would establish renewable energy clusters providing clean feedstock to modular bioenergy systems attached to such structures as schools, public buildings, supermarkets and resort base facilities.
Why does community energy matter? Clean-tech power for communities is a community building opportunity. It empowers communities to decrease energy costs, decrease CO2 emissions and build community action for common goals. Working with schools is an essential component of bringing energy to communities. Deployment of 100kW system in a school is a teachable moment. The opportunity to build learning experiences in sciences, social studies, writing and math is part of every deployment for each school. Experiential learning provides students with the opportunity to help reforest devastated forest acres and operate clean-tech community power systems.