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    Author(s): David Nicholls; John Zerbe
    Date: 2012
    Source: PNW-GTR-867. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 22 p
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.2 MB)


    Cofiring of biomass and coal at electrical generation facilities is gaining in importance as a means of reducing fossil fuel consumption, and more than 40 facilities in the United States have conducted test burns. Given the large size of many coal plants, cofiring at even low rates has the potential to utilize relatively large volumes of biomass. This could have important forest management implications if harvest residues or salvage timber are supplied to coal plants. Other feedstocks suitable for cofiring include wood products manufacturing residues, woody municipal wastes, agricultural residues, short-rotation intensive culture forests, or hazard fuel removals. Cofiring at low rates can often be done with minimal changes to plant handling and processing equipment, requiring little capital investment. Cofiring at higher rates can involve repowering entire burners to burn biomass in place of coal, or in some cases, repowering entire powerplants. Our research evaluates the current status of biomass cofiring in North America, identifying current trends and success stories, types of biomass used, coal plant sizes, and primary cofiring regions. We also identify potential barriers to cofiring. Results are presented for more than a dozen plants that are currently cofiring or have recently announced plans to cofire.

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    Nicholls, David; Zerbe, John. 2012. Cofiring biomass and coal for fossil fuel reduction and other benefits–Status of North American facilities in 2010. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-867. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 22 p.


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    Cofiring, coal, biomass, fossil fuel, harvest residues

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