The University of Minnesota Morris is getting ready to fire up a new system that will use farm biomass to provide about 80 percent of the heating needs on the western Minnesota campus.
The device is called a "gasifier," and it converts plant material into a gas that can replace natural gas. Once it's up and running, the new system will create a demand for 7,000 to 9,000 tons of corn stover each year, or its equivalent.
The West Central Tribune reports that the gasifier ran into operational problems during its planned startup last year. But James Barbour, director of plant services, tells the newspaper the new startup is now about one or two weeks away.
Barbour says biomass keeps money in the community that otherwise would be spent for fuels imported from elsewhere.
Information from: West Central Tribune
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