A new lab at
Harrisburg Area Community College
will turn agricultural byproducts into energy and give students a chance to learn how biomass technology works.
Last week Enginuity Energy
, based in Mechanicsburg, hosted a grand opening for its biomass gasification facility at the college's Harrisburg campus. Put simply, the company's technology – named Ecoremedy – takes organic material, such as animal manure or the soil-like material left over from mushroom growing, and converts it into steam, fertilizer or animal feed supplements.
The Ecoremedy system can use any type of organic material as long as it's less than 65 percent water. The material is placed on a conveyor belt and heated. The gases that come off during that heating process are combined with hot air to make a fireball that heats water in a boiler, creating steam that can be used to generate energy. The remaining organic material is then converted into additives for fertilizer or feed for farm animals.
Richard Madeira, Enginuity's VP of sales and marketing, says the company has received calls from all over the country. It plans to use the lab in Harrisburg to test the energy-generating potential of byproducts from sources like breweries, paper mills and ethanol production facilities. "We're focusing on materials that are naturally existing," he says.
Finding new uses for agricultural byproducts reduces the amount of waste that ends up in the Chesapeake Bay, Madeira says. Enginuity is also working with HACC to integrate the lab into classes.Source: Richard Madeira, Enginuity Energy
Writer: Rebecca VanderMeulen