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Project Files: Biomass 101

Hurst biomass boilerCompany: Hurst Boiler & Welding Co. Inc., working with Global Energy Solutions Inc., and the University of Iowa under the leadership of architectural and engineering firm Shive-Hattery.

Customer: University of Iowa’s (UI) Oakdale Research Park, Coralville, Iowa.

Installation: 600 BoHP 20,700-psig biomass-waste fuel boiler/gasifier; integral burner unit for biomass gas; two four-section walking floor units with vertical spike rollers and horizontal screw conveyor; and the Hurst Biomass-Ter dashboard-driven intuitive control and monitoring system.

Objective: Install a boiler to complement UI’s Green Energy Initiative, which seeks to have 40 percent of its energy needs met with renewable resources by the end of 2020.

Work Completed: The Hurst biomass boiler replaced the campus’s natural-gas boiler, but because the project was a retrofit, Hurst had to custom design the biomass boiler solution. The biomass boiler is able to combust hundreds of different fuels, allowing the UI campus to burn local fuels, such as wood chips and oat hulls, while keeping fossil fuels in place for backup. The project was recognized by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) as the 2013 winner of the Grand Place award in the energy production category.

“The UI project required some creative solutions, including modification to work around space constraints and fixed barriers. Components such as boiler legs, breeching (ductwork), and fly-ash collector chute, were like puzzle pieces that needed to be modified to fit.”
- Bruce Coffee, chief engineer, Hurst Boiler & Welding Co. Inc.

Publication date: 4/1/2013

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