Cofiring Test SuccessNews index...
During the Winter of 2003, project partners executed a one-month test burn of switchgrass with coal at Alliant Energy’s Ottumwa Generating Station (OGS) using a temporary switchgrass processing facility. The objectives of the test were to:
- Operate and optimize the prototype switchgrass processing system at full-scale (12.5 tons of switchgrass per hour),
- Collect detailed air emissions data to assist with air permitting,
- Collect and test ash samples from co-combustion of switchgrass with coal, and
- Evaluate other impacts on operations at the power plant.
All objectives of the test burn were achieved. Based on the test burn results and follow-up efforts, the following milestones have been accomplished:
- Air permits have been obtained to allow construction and operation of a new 25 ton per hour switchgrass processing facility at OGS,
- Construction of a new, permanent switchgrass processing facility at OGS commenced in the Spring of 2005,
- Fly ash from switchgrass and coal co-combustion was shown to be well-suited for use in concrete and official approval has been gratned by the Iowa Department of Transportation , and
- There were no measured negative impacts of the short-term test burn on the OGS power plant.
The project is now in the process of preparing for a 2,000 hour continuous test burn using a new switchgrass processing facility that, if the long-term test results are positive, could be operated on a commercial basis in the near future.