Prairie Lands Bio-Products Purchases Biomass Project Assets

The Prairie Lands Bio-Products Board of Directors completed their final goal of the Chariton Valley Biomass Project on August 26, 2010, by purchasing the assets of the project from Chariton Valley Resource Conservation and Development and the U.S. Department of Energy. With the purchase of the assets, the Prairie Lands Board will actively pursue biomass research opportunities and continue building business relationships with entities that are interested in developing biomass strategies.

It was a long time deliverable of the project to have a pathway to develop a business venture from the work and innovation the biomass project partners gave over the 10 year life of the project.

Since the end of the U.S. Department of Energy funded project, Prairie Lands has worked with Idaho National Laboratory on biomass harvesting activities, provided biomass material to various research projects, became a charter member of the Council for Sustainable Biomass Production, worked on biomass business and supply strategies, and provided information about switchgrass production to interested producers. Board leadership have made presentations at biomass conferences across the nation, continue to work with Alliant Energy as they develop their biomass energy strategy, and are a member of the FDC Enterprises team which has been awarded a $4.9 million DOE Grant for “Development of Supply Systems to Handle and Deliver High Tonnage Biomass Feedstocks for Cellulosic Biofuels Production.”

Test Firing Success

During the Late Summer / Early Winter of 2005, the CVBP team built a new biomass processing facility at Ottumwa Generating Station. The facility was constructed to enable the completion of the project’s third and final required test burn of the demonstration phase of the project. The Long Term Test Burn was successfully completed between February and May 2006, with the facility operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during that period to demonstrate what commercial operations would be like. A long term test burn was required to investigate the impacts of long term, continuous switchgrass firing at OGS. The project set a world record for power generated from switchgrass during the test burn, and collected valuable performance data and experience for evaluating the commercial viability of the project. More...

About the Project

The Chariton Valley Biomass Project was a cooperative effort between the Chariton Valley Resource Conservation and Development Inc., Alliant Energy, Prairie Lands Biomass LLC, and the U.S. Department of Energy. Based in Southern Iowa, the Project’s partners are seeking to demonstrate the technical and commercial feasibility of producing power from locally-grown and harvested renewable fuel resources: switchgrass and other native southern Iowa grasses. More...