PGE tests biofuel options for Boardman coal plant

PGE tests biofuel options for Boardman coal plant

Portland General Electric is testing giant cane, among other biomass sources, to replace coal at the Boardman Power Plant.

Wayne Lei, a research and development director for the utility, said 18 different products have been charred and tested at Washington State University in a scaled-down apparatus. Six of the substances have warranted a longer look, including corn stover, wheat straw, poplar chips, special biomass sorghum and a methane digester fiber -- made from cow manure left over from the digesting process.

Researchers are testing whether the biomass has to be chipped, the percentage of liquid, solid and gas produced from the process as well as how much time is required and how much material can be charred at one time.


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