Greenhouse nears energy independence

04/05/2013 01:24:00 PM
Coral Beach

Mor Gro Farms biomass gasification systemCourtesy Mor Gro FarmsMor Gro Farms Inc., Leamington, Ontario, has begun trials of its biomass gasification system. Company officials plan to reach energy self-sufficiency by May with the gasification unit and a solar panel array that is nearing completion.A greenhouse grower in Ontario plans to be energy independent by May with hopes of ultimately selling power back to the utility company as it switches to biomass gasification and solar power.

Mor Gro Farms Inc., Leamington, Ontario, started trial burns in mid-March, said Tom Trojniak, director of marketing and quality control.

“We’ve been using waste wood chips so far and will test miscanthus grass (pellets) next,” Trojniak said.

“Everything is working and there are already two other companies that are interested in having similar systems designed.”

The biomass gasification unit at Mor Gro’s 50-acre greenhouse operation was conceived by Green Grorganics Inc., a company founded by Marisa Pereira, wife of Mor Gro’s sales manager Dave Pereira and daughter of Mor Gro owner John Moauro.

Smarty Brand by Mor Gro FarmsMarisa Pereira worked with Bijendra Heavy Electricals Ltd., Meerut, India, to design and build the biomass gasification unit for the greenhouse that is home to the Smarty Brand label.

The unit is unique to Mor Gro’s operation, but Green Grorganics Inc. has distribution rights with Bijendra to market similar systems in North America.

Tom TrojniakTrojniakThe systems use a burning process that reaches almost 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit to turn pellets made of waste materials — including everything from wood chips to used tires — into a combustible gas that is used to heat the greenhouse via boilers.

Trojniak said they plan to add a generator to the system so the gasification unit can be used to create electricity.

He said a byproduct of the gasification process is carbon dioxide, which will be pumped back into the greenhouse to benefit the growing tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers.

The high temperature of the gasification process refines and destroys corrosive ash elements such as chloride and potassium, making it a cleaner option than traditional boiler systems.



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Dave    
toledo  |  April, 12, 2013 at 05:33 PM

Used tires? Why don't the power plants do that? Oh yeah, they're not allowed.

nickdaniels    
April, 16, 2013 at 10:10 AM

gasification is a different process, burning is different. burning gives smoke and pollution in the open. gasification is heating in isolation thus making gas without polution.

Liz Benneian    
Jordan Station  |  April, 16, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Gasification produces as much or more pollution than mass burn incineration. The process to gasify biomass is closed and produces no emissions but when you burn the resulting gas, then you produce emissions. Remember your Grade 5 Science where you learned the first law of physics: "Matter can't be created or destroyed, it can only be turned into something else." In this case the something else is emissions and some kinds of ash or residue.

nickdaniels    
April, 18, 2013 at 02:56 AM

Liz, of course combustion of fuel creates pollution, burn the natural gas and CO2 generates as by-product, same goes here on burning the resultant gas. But gasification produces ash and gas, thats it while giving two and a half times more energy than burning. Looking at the design it seems to be an updraught system, far better than older designs. gonna see this

Indika Gallage    
Windsor  |  July, 04, 2013 at 12:34 PM

This is a very smart option, it is true that burning gives out co2 ( no noxes and soxes like burning fossil fuel), but this is from a renewable source, this co2 is in a cyclic process.the co2 produced is from biomass not like when you get it from fossil fuels. Co2 deposits as carbon in trees - we burn the wood or carbon- release co2 which the tree absorbed, this is totally renewable. As far as gasification is concerned, this gives one of the highest burning efficiencies if your gasifier is operating at the carbon boundry point and correct temperatures are maintained at the reaction zones which cracks all the tar and gets the highest exergy from a gasifier. This is achievable by simple means.You are in the correct path of burning biomass. more over you have turned a low grade fuel to a high grade fuel which has more uses. Congratulations you are in one of the most appropriate paths of converting biomass to energy. Just imagine the magic of running an internal combustion engine by wood, it is like eating biomass and producing energy just like living creatures.

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