NileFiber™ vs. Trees as a usable feedstock
Fifty thousand acres of NileFiber produce as much usable biomass as 1,250,000 acres of trees per year. The current and best-performing agricultural source of any biomass produces at less than 40% the rate of NileFiber.
With escalating depletion of world resources, TreeFree Biomass Solutions, Inc. (TreeFree) is continuing to research further uses of NileFiber as a drop-in solution for other industries experiencing raw material shortages and escalating costs.
TreeFree is forging relationships with government, communities, universities and private companies to launch an aggressive effort to further develop the potential of NileFiber. NileFiber can play a critical part of the solution to energy dependency by replacing fossil fuels, protecting, enhancing and sustaining the environment, positively effecting deforestation and providing multiple economic development opportunities in many communities.
Our production systems offer us the opportunity to accommodate feedstock needs for a diverse group of industries such as liquid biofuels, industries that use materials for thermal conversion into electrical energy, paper manufacturing that utilizes low impact and sustainable pulping material, building materials and many other uses depending on where in the world the products are used. Many future uses are being developed which will maintain high demands for this crop. Such future uses include bioplastics, chemical extracts, manufacturing of fertilizers and pharmaceutical products.
Using our patented technology, the per acre biomass yields of NileFiber are more than 15 times that of standard tree biomass yields. This makes it a clear winner in the industry and an obvious choice over standard trees. NileFiber is a perennial crop lasting at least 25 years without crop rotation, allowing the harvesting process to be repeated every 9-12 months, depending on the end use. These results substantially reduce labor costs to the farmer and lower the acreage needed to plant NileFiber. NileFiber can grow up to 30 feet in height in less than one year under optimal conditions (approximately 3" to 6" a day), which makes NileFiber the clear choice as a sustainable green renewable crop and hardwood replacement.
Building sustainable agriculture systems
Using Closed‐Loop Biomass to Displace Coal at Portland General Electric’s Boardman Power Plant: Carbon Implications
Portland General Electric (PGE) will cease burning coal at its Boardman, Oregon power plant at the end of 2020, at least twenty years earlier than previously expected under PGE’s projected resource plans. A variety of biomass options are being researched as possible replacement fuel sources, including the high‐yield biomass crop Arundo donax, which has the potential to serve as a significant source of locally accessible, closed‐loop biomass to power the Boardman facility after 2020. Using torrefied biomass to generate electricity would qualify Boardman for consideration as a renewable energy source under Oregon’s Renewable Portfolio Standard. PGE would have the benefit of a qualified renewable energy source capable of supplying 2.6 million MWh of dispatchable baseload energy annually. In addition, repurposing the facility would allow the rural community where the Boardman facility is located to continue to receive the substantial employment and tax benefits associated with continued operation.
This study focuses on the carbon implications that accompany this fuel transition, examining in detail the impact of using torrefied Arundo for this purpose. It is important to note that, because of concerns surrounding reliability of supply, PGE engineers do not expect to rely on a single source of biomass if a decision is made to proceed with the fuel conversion. Potential energy crops are attractive because they would be dedicated to producing the volume of material needed, but reliance on a single energy crop could actually put reliability at risk in the event that natural occurrences – such as unseasonable weather, storms, or pests – interfered with predictable production. This study, however, focuses primarily on one potential crop. As such, it addresses one component of what would likely be a much broader biomass fuel mix. For research purposes this single component is treated as if it would supply all of the facility’s fuel, understanding that in context this simplifies the task of understanding the impact and potential benefits of using Arundo at Boardman.
Currently, the Boardman facility uses over 2.5 million tons of coal to generate 4.3 million MWh of electricity annually, resulting in a net production of 4.6 million tons of CO2e. In converting to a bio‐mass fuel, particularly torrefied Arundo, a near closed‐loop carbon cycle could be established, whereby the emissions from farming, transport, torrefaction and combustion balance against the above‐ and belowground sequestration associated with growing Arundo, thereby resulting in net positive carbon sequestration.
Under this biomass scenario, it is envisioned that the Boardman facility would be run at an annualized 300 MW (2.6 million MWh per year), generating energy only when it is economically beneficial to PGE ratepayers to do so. Combustion of 100% Arundo to provide 2.6 million MWh of electricity will produce roughly 2.8 million tons of CO2e. We project that torrefaction of Arundo will produce an additional 1.22 million tons of CO2e annually, while farming of Arundo will contribute a small amount, 31 thousand tons. Transportation contributions are even smaller. Combined, the farming, transport, torrefaction and combustion will result in the emission of around 4.05 million tons of CO2e annually. Concurrently, our study suggests the mature farming of Arundo would result in the sequestration of around 4.34 million tons annually, resulting in an annual net sequestration of around 0.29 million tons.