Extracting Gas from Wood
The process of gas extraction from wood, had already been developed in the 18th century. Therefore, we have enough experience today to say: it really works.
We consciously decided for the use of wood gas technology and against the construction of conventional biogas plants. Both methods can be used for locally producing power and heat (also known as CHP or combined heat and power).
One of our main reason for deciding for wood gas, is our reluctance to waste food products for energy production ourselves or to actively support this practice. Then again, we need local energy around the clock and our power storage technologies aren’t able to provide us with enough power for medium or long periods of time, yet. Wood is a resource that regrows and is available to us in large quantities, but it is always a goal for us to produce our energy in a way that is good for humans and the environment.
Going a step further, meaning the question of which type of wood to use, we asked ourselves:
"How can we avoid the extensive processing and wasting of high-quality lumber?"
Our partner in technology has developed a process to make production of wood gas out of freshly cut wood chips (e.g. wood broken off in a storm) and chopped up industrial timber (e.g. residual wood from production) possible. Untreated waste wood can also be used, although it is not seen as biomass pursuant to §3 of the biomass regulations.
This way there is no more need for the use of expensive wood pellets, which use up a high amount of energy in production. The following chart will show the direct comparison of prices for wood pellets and wood chips and underline the risks of cost coming with the use of pellets.
From Wood Gas to Electricity
The purified wood gas is used as the fuel for the plants motor, which powers the generators producing electricity. The heat resulting from the processes can now be used for drying the wood supply and be feed into the local heat-network or used to heat up the warm water reserves for heating or warm water.
Generally, the ratio of heat to power created is about 2:1. Excess heat is used in the wood drying process, while excess power can be sold to the power grid, at the EEG rate.
Again the same thing applies:
Ecologically and economically it makes more sense to use direct marketing and sell excess heat and power to neighbouring consumers!
Learn more about the wood gas technology