Getting a literal jolt of energy from coffee

Sponsored by

Grand Forks, N.D., December 29, 2011 — The Energy & Environmental Research Center at the University of North Dakota will lead a project to develop an efficient renewable electricity technology for coffee-processing plants.

The EERC is working with Wynntryst, LLC, an energy solutions company based in South Burlington, Vermont, to develop a gasification power system to use the waste from a coffee-processing plant to produce energy.

The project specifically focuses on the waste from the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR) plant. GMCR is a Wynntryst client based in Waterbury, Vermont, and is best known for its Keurig brand of individual coffee cups. The waste stream includes coffee residues, plastic packaging, paper, cloth or burlap, and plastic cups.

"This project is an extension of work performed by the EERC for NASA, which explored the conversion of waste from a space station and future Martian and lunar bases into heat and power," said Deputy Associate Director for Research Chris Zygarlicke. "This project will similarly utilize a mostly renewable and bio-based waste and convert it into electricity for the coffee industry."

"The first step of the project is to demonstrate that we can gasify the complex mixture of waste and produce clean synthetic gas, or syngas, by utilizing the EERC's novel advanced fixed-bed gasifier (AFBG) system on the biomass–residue mixture," said Project Manager and Research Scientist, Nikhil Patel.

The syngas will then either be utilized in an internal combustion engine (or a fuel cell) for efficient production of electricity and heat or be converted to high-value biofuels or chemicals. The pilot-scale tests will evaluate the quality of syngas that can be produced from the Green Mountain waste. EERC researchers will fine-tune the technology to meet the highest environmental standards possible.

"Over the years, the EERC has developed and tested numerous small gasifier systems like this on a variety of biomass feedstocks," Zygarlicke said. "The EERC system has already produced power by gasifying forest residues, railroad tie chips, turkey litter, and other biomass feedstocks and burning the produced syngas in an on-site engine generator. The coffee industry residues will be similarly tested."

The EERC will use the outcome of the pilot-scale efforts to propose a full-scale commercial demonstration system for installation at various Green Mountain sites.

Sponsored by

CURRENT ARTICLES

Appalachian Power requests energy efficiency programs for Virginia

10/24/2014

Appalachian expects the six programs to save about 43,000 MWh in energy usage

Electric distribution investment up from past decades

10/24/2014 Electricity distribution systems differ from transmission systems, which have also experienced increased investment over t...

Toledo Edison builds transmission line to serve Home Depot warehouse

10/24/2014

The new 1.65-million square foot facility will be used primarily for online order fulfillment 

Rwanda to switch on peat-fired power plant

10/24/2014

The $36 million project will produce cheaper electricity compared to hydro or thermal power 

Has privatization failed Texas utility customers?

10/24/2014 Relative electricity prices have increased dramatically, and dangerously lower electrical system reliability is the result...

ETT proposes Del Sol to JackieHoward transmission line in South Texas

10/23/2014 Electric Transmission Texas is planning to construct a new $24.5 million, 345-kV transmission line to connect the 200 MW L...

Gamesa delivers 74 MW wind farm to Grupo Mexico

10/23/2014 Gamesa currently has 1 GW of installed wind capacity in Mexico, with another 70 MW in the pipeline at the Dos Arbolitos pr...

ON DEMAND WEBCASTS

Architecting Communication Networks for Smart Grids

This webinar will provide the essentials of communication networking to meet the challenges of th...

The Power of Behavioral Design: Lessons for Energy Efficiency Providers

Behavioral design principles are key differentiators when it comes to influencing consumer behavi...

3D BIM for Substations—Driving Efficiency from Design Through Operation and Maintenance

In this webinar, PESTECH will describe their transition to intelligent substation design and its ...

High Availability Networks. Application of IEC6439-3 Protocols for IEC61850 Process Bus implementation

Networks can now be built for the first time with genuinely uninterrupted data communication betw...

Understanding Moisture Dynamics in Power Transformers

While the need to measure moisture in power transformers has been well documented and is universa...

EL&P BUYER'S GUIDE PRODUCTS

MITEM Corp

Provides CRM solutions for regulated U.S. public utilities. The product, MitemView integrates differently designed systems to share critical data a...

Resources on Demand

Manages resource requests, tracks personnel movements, and supports lodging/logistics during a power restoration event.

Smart Grids

Quanta is contributing to its customers' smart grid initiatives by installing technology on power networks to provide energy management solutions f...

Horizontal Directional Drilling

With 28 small, mid-sized and large drilling rigs, Quanta Pipeline Services is one of the largest horizontal directional contractors in the world fo...

FEATURED ENERGY JOBS

View more Job Listings >>

POWERGRID International

April 2014
Volume 19, Issue 4
1404pg-cover

ELECTRIC LIGHT & POWER

March 2014
Volume 92, Issue 2
cover