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

Nebraska nuclear power plant taken temporarily offline

12/18/2014

The Fort Calhoun nuclear plant in Nebraska has been taken temporarily offline due to a lockout of its main generator

North Carolina group wants Duke Energy to build fewer power plants

12/18/2014 Duke Energy responded in a statement that NC WARN is complaining after the company built natural gas and solar power units...

Revenue from zero energy buildings to total nearly $4.6 trillion through 2035

12/18/2014 Worldwide revenue from zero energy buildings is expected to total nearly $4.6 trillion from 2014 through 2035, according t...

SDG&E Sunrise Powerline transmission line delivers 1 GW of renewable energy

12/18/2014 San Diego Gas & Electric said more than 1,000 MW of renewable power is being delivered to the San Diego region made po...

Westinghouse, EDF sign nuclear fuel supply contract

12/18/2014 Westinghouse Electric Co. announced that it has been awarded a long-term contract to provide several thousand tons of fuel...

ITC energizes Kansas transmission line, substations

12/18/2014

The 122-mile double-circuit, 345 kV transmission line runs east of Medicine Lodge, Kan., to Spearville, Kan. 

Gunfire damages BPA transmission insulators

12/18/2014

Damaged insulators can put people nearby at risk of electric shock, serious injury or death

INDUSTRY STOCKS

ON DEMAND WEBCASTS

Benefits of a Managed Service System

Attend this webinar, sponsored by Itron, to understand how utilizing managed services can optimiz...

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...

EL&P BUYER'S GUIDE PRODUCTS

Resources on Demand

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

MITEM Corp

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

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...

POWERGRID PRODUCT LISTINGS

EtherMate® Industrial Ethernet - IO Modules

LioN-M ProfiNet device with 16 digital I/O channels, channels can be used universally as inputs or outputs, M12 socket, ro...

OFL280 FlexTester - Handheld OTDR

AFL's OFL280 FlexTester offers an unmatched combination of fiber test functions, ease-of-use, portability, and value.

TRM® 2.0 - Test Results Manager PC Analysis and Reporting

Test Results Manager 2.0 (TRM® 2.0) is an all-in-one analysis, viewer and reporting tool designed for use with NOYES fiber...

Low-Smoke Zero Halogen Premise Distribution Cable

AFL’s Low-Smoke Zero Halogen (LSZH) distribution cable offers all of the benefits of a traditional 900 µm based optical ca...

FEATURED ENERGY JOBS

View more Job Listings >>

POWERGRID International

October 2014
Volume 19, Issue 10
1410pg_C1digital

ELECTRIC LIGHT & POWER

October 2014
Volume 92, Issue 5
1409ELP-cover_digital