The management and professional team of BioResource Management, Inc. (BRM) has worked on many projects during the past thirty years related to forestry, biomass energy, and organic recycling or residuals management. Listed below are some of the past and ongoing projects.
Forestry, Biomass Supply
- Fuel Supply, biomass combustion equipment consultation, rendering plant, northeast Florida.
- Fuel Supply Development, 7.5 MW biomass power plant, north Florida.
- Analysis of wood waste from logging, sawmill activities- Florida statewide.
- Assistance with wood supply, hardware selection, 2 million gallon per year ethanol plant, central Florida.
- Development, equipment design and construction assistance of 2, 30,000 pph wood-fired steam boilers for state prison. Delivery of 30,000 tons per year of biomass for over five years.
- Design, construction and operation of gasifier that powered a pick-up truck using wood scraps, demonstrated truck as part of statewide wood energy program
- Wood waste study and fuel supply plan, 40 MW biomass plant, Southeast US.
- Consultation, development of wood fuel supply for rendering plant, north Florida.
- Development of urban wood biomass delivery to pulpmills as fuel. Continued delivery for over five years.
- Wood waste study and procurement plan, 74.9 MW power plant utilizing wood waste and agricultural residues. Development of supply and delivery contracts required for project financing. Delivery of over 350,000 tons per year.
- Development and management of fuel supply, 17.8 MW biomass power plant, Massachusetts.
- Development and management of fuel supply, 18 MW biomass plant, New York.
- Initial fuel supply plan, 15 MW closed loop biomass project, United Kingdom.
- Initial fuel supply plan, 40 MW power plant utilizing crop residue and closed loop biomass in Puerto Rico.
- Development of fuel supply, 25 MW waste wood plant in Illinois.
- Biomass Co-firing trials, 450 MW coal power plant in Florida.
- Delivery of 100,000 tons per year of biomass fuel to pulp mills and textile manufacturers in Georgia and Alabama.
- Research on harvesting, processing and delivery systems for woody biomass from urban forested areas.
- Development of Transportation models for transport cost determinations with University of Florida
- Preparation of Biomass Supply Curves for munipal utility in North Florida
- Co-founder of a nongovernmental organization developing sustainable land use practices with resource-limited farmers in Latin America.
- Expert witness testimony to Public Service Commission regarding biomass power projects in Florida
- Manager of total biomass supply for 100 MW biomass power facility owned by an independent power producer in Florida
During the 1980s BRM personnel were involved in managing over 16,000 acres of timberland and also supplying sufficient wood energy to supply a centralized woody biomass steam plant. In producing both conventional products and biomass, systems were set up that experimented with species (including Liquidambar, Poplar, Pinus, and Eucalyptus), planting densities, and thinning regimes. The activities were carried out over a period of five years, and both conventional and biomass products were produced.
In conjunction with development of biomass projects, agroforestry systems for biomass production were studied and implemented. Working with efforts at the Short Rotation Woody Crops Organizational Group based at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory , trials and efforts took place in Minnesota, New York, Florida, Alabama and other locations.
BRM’s early efforts at dedicated non-forestry crops were in Puerto Rico during the 1990s. There the sugar cane industry was winding down and leaving abandoned farmland and facilities. In 1985 a professor at the University of Puerto Rico, Dr. Alex Alexander, published “The Energy Cane Alternative”, an exhaustive review and research of biomass crops derived from Saccharum and other species that could potentially provide both sugar and fiber for energy. In it he outlined 73 clones of a variety of materials that would make substantial amounts of biomass. As part of the development of a 40MW biomass power facility on the island, research plots were visited by BRM personnel and potential applications of the approach studied. Ultimately the reduced price of fossil fuels prevented the plant from being developed.
In 1996 Richard M. Schroeder, the founder of BRM, was a co-author on a study entitled “Economic Development through Biomass Integration”, research sponsored by the US Department of Energy. This project looked at the possibility of using land formerly mined for phosphate in Florida for production of biomass crops. BRM expertise was in harvesting technologies appropriate for the wide varieties of material tested, including grasses, canes and trees.
During the re-emergence of interest in bioenergy, technologies were developed at the University of Florida involving cellulosic ethanol. While wood was studied, it appeared that increased yields and efficiency could be achieved with dedicated perennial crops, due to better chemical composition and fewer ‘inhibitors’; i.e., components that were anti-microbial and anti-fungal agents. In 2006 BRM was hired by the company that licensed the technology from the University of Florida to identify, propagate and produce the optimal crop for liquid biofuels using fermentation technology.
During the next five years, significant efforts were made to qualify genera, species, varieties, agronomic practices, soil productivity and actual production and harvesting practices. On a thorough search across the universities and research facilities in five states the following types of crops were evaluated among others:
- Energy Canes (Saccharum spp.)-at least 15 different varieties
- Napier/Elephant Grass (Pennisetum purporeum), two varieties)
- Miscanthus (Miscanthus giganticus.)
- Arundo donax
- Swithgrass (Panium virgatum) Alamo variety
In the process, the largest plantations of tall tropical grasses for energy were established, grown, and harvested, and yields and cost of production determined. Plantings established totaled over 500 acres in Florida, 350 acres in Louisiana, and 100 acres in Texas. Harvesting was developed using cane and forage harvesting equipment. In one year over 7,000 tons of biomass was harvested and delivered to a demonstration facility from local fields.
- Provided input, testimony to Florida legislature on organic recycling for 1988, 1993 Solid Waste Management legislation.
- Founded first permitted yard waste recycling facility in Florida. Recycled urban plant debris as biomass fuel, topsoil, and compost.
- Principal investigator in yard Florida statewide yard waste compost demonstration project. Developed rules for yard waste composting sites.
- Marketed yard waste recycling and wood fuel services to over 30 municipalities, counties, and state agencies throughout Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina.
- Conducted field operations for biomass technology company developing recycling systems and biochemical conversion for animal manures and vegetative wastes.
- Developed railroad recycling facility, recycled over 100,000 ties for fuel.
- Performed reviews and analysis for national corporations of the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) rules enacted by the US Congress in 2003.
- Five years’ experience developing new technologies for converting nutrients from dairy waste into valuable products.