Ron Jones

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Ron Jones
Business Development Manager
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P: 314-682-1571
F: 314-682-1600

Biomass/CHP Plant Feasibility Study

Location: Midwest

Client: Confidential industrial client

Completion Date: Fall 2009

Burns & McDonnell completed a biomass-based combined heat and power (biomass/CHP) plant feasibility study for a confidential Midwestern industrial client. The proposed plant consisted of approximately 16 megawatts (MW) of power generation and 250,000 pounds/hour of steam generation.

  • Existing site assessment
  • Technology screening
  • Heat and material balances
  • Process flow diagrams
  • Equipment layouts
  • Capital cost estimates
  • Operations and maintenance cost estimates
  • Financial modeling
  • Risk assessment
  • Permitting assessment

Burns & McDonnell was contracted to perform a technology feasibility study for a biomass/CHP system under consideration for use at an industrial facility. As part of its sustainability initiatives, the client was interested in:

  • Installing a biomass/CHP system to facilitate sustainability goals
  • Validating the system as a reliable source of steam and electricity
  • Allowing flexibility for future energy needs
  • Gaining economical viability

Four potential concepts were generated to meet the client’s sustainability and business objectives. The screening process consisted of three steps.

  1. An on-site evaluation of steam and electricity requirements as well as a thorough look at overall plant operations was conducted. Burns & McDonnell reviewed steam and electrical consumption data, toured the production facility and proposed biomass/CHP site locations. The project team also met with key operations personnel from electrical, maintenance, environmental and engineering departments to gain insight on design priorities.
  2. Risk criteria were identified and prioritized. Categories included economic, operating and environmental factors, sustainability goals, social concerns, business risks, safety, and future initiatives.
  3. The technology assessment was conducted by evaluation of fuel conversion technologies independent of electric generation technologies. Top-ranking fuel conversion and electric generation technologies were combined, screened and ranked. The results of the analysis yielded four potential options.

Burns & McDonnell provided the client with these project deliverables:

  • Refined heat and material balances
  • Process flow diagrams
  • Preliminary capital cost
  • Operation and maintenance cost estimates
  • Hourly production dispatch cost models
  • A detailed economic analysis for the top four options to determine which proved to be the most cost-effective option for generating steam and electricity
  • An evaluation of operating cost under the likely scenario of a carbon cap-and-trade program