St. Louis, MO (PressExposure) March 11, 2011 -- ST. LOUIS, MO--(Marketwire - 03/10/11) - BBI International announced the agenda for the 4th annual International Biomass Conference & Expo, the world's largest and fastest growing biomass conference. The 2011 agenda -- featuring four unique conversion and project development focuses crosscutting six feedstock-oriented tracks -- is tightly focused on leading edge developments in the biomass industry, from cultivation, harvest and storage to conversion technology, project finance and regulatory guidance.
"Once again, this year's agenda showcases advancements in the global biomass industry, from the increased adoption of biomass heat and power to the scale up of next generation biofuels and biobased chemicals," said Tom Bryan, vice president of BBI International. "The innovation taking place in this industry is compounded daily by the entrance of more energy companies and more captive feedstock industries discovering the new value of biomass."
Below are eight significant shifts in the power, thermal energy and refining industries that are directly tied to biomass. These examples illustrate the type of innovation represented in the recently released International Biomass Conference & Expo agenda.
The biomass industry is changing the way our conventional power industry produces -- and thinks about -- coal-derived electricity. More and more coal-fired power plants are conducting tests in preparation to co-fire or repower with biomass. There has been a recent wave of coal plants shifting to forestry and wood processing waste to replace portions of petroleum coke, a waste product of the oil refining industry used as fuel.
There are about 50 biomass power plants in the proposal and construction stage in the U.S. In addition to the power they bring to each area, a new facility will produce 300 to 400 new jobs to an area during construction, as well as 40 full-time positions once operational.
Several university campuses and industries are switching their boilers from fossil fuels to biomass, including the University of Montana. A new biomass combined-heat-and-power (CHP) plant could reduce its carbon footprint by 20 percent, plus achieving a cost benefit.
The EPA has softened its stance on biomass and deferred the Tailoring Rule for three years for plants that use biomass. Over the next three years the Biomass Thermal Energy Council says it will be working with the EPA as it goes through the rule-making process.
Family owned farmers and several companies have started to sell energy crops such as giant miscanthus and switchgrass. This is leading to new revenue opportunities and potentially less expensive fuel sources for small companies watching their bottom line.
Equipment manufacturers are developing forest biomass harvest equipment and energy crop harvest equipment. These new developments are expected to yield higher operating efficiencies, as the chopped material can be handled in a more automated way, streamlining the harvesting process.
A wave of biomass power plant projects in the U.K. has resulted in a potential market for wood chips and biomass pellets. This has caused Northeast U.S. and parts of Canada to take notice of this rapidly growing industry.
Asia Pacific renewable energy markets continue to grow in 2011 with continuous support from governments in the form of incentives. The biomass industry has increasing potential in these countries as government officials start supporting and discovering renewable energy sources. These markets are expected to rapidly grow in the next few years.
Find out how these and other industry developments are showcased in this year's agenda.
Visit our website to see the agenda.