Washington DNR seeks mobile pyrolysis demonstration units
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to demonstrate mobile pyrolysis technologies in the state. According to the RFP, funds for the project are through a grant made available by the USDA Forest Service. Proposals are due by Jan. 31.
Within the RFP, the DNR specifies it is looking to facilitate the demonstration of up to four mobile pyrolysis technologies that convert woody biomass into products that are more cost-effective to transport, such as bio-oil and biochar. The initiative is designed to foster development of the wood energy industry in Washington.
According to RFP, the DNR has several specific goals associated with the initiative. First, it would like to invite up to four mobile pyrolysis companies to demonstrate their technologies within the state. Second, the initiative aims to support technologies ready to move from research and development to commercialization. Third, the DNR would like to educate local residents and other interested parties about the potential for wood energy to provide rural jobs and create markets for biomass sourced from overstocked eastern Washington forests. Finally, the DNR also aims to develop baseline air emissions data and characterize bio-oil and biochar produced during the demonstrations.
Selected applications will be awarded up to $30,000 each to cover the estimated costs of participation. Under the program, they will required to transport their mobile pyrolysis technology to Washington and demonstrate its use at SDS Lumber in Bingen, Wash, in May. The DNR will provide feedstock consisting of softwood chips that meet each applicant’s size and moisture specifications.
In addition to demonstrating their technologies, selected applicants will also be required to include outreach and educational components. They must be willing to host tours of the technology during the demonstration for legislators, government officials and other parties. The DNR said it would help coordinate these tours and stressed that applicant proposals for additional outreach efforts, such as websites, videos and press releases, would be a factor considered when evaluating applications.
According to the RFP, the demonstration would be completed over a three-day period. The first day would include setup and test units. During the second and third days, the units would run for eight hours per day while public tours are held.
Products produced during the demonstration will be analyzed and characterized by labs at Washington State University and Oregon State University. One preferred mobile pyrolysis unit will be selected from those participating in the initiative based on several factors, including conversion rates, product quality and energy consumption. The selected unit will be awarded the balance of the available grant funding to demonstrate its technology at a later date. The DNR has indicated the award would be a minimum of $20,000.
A full copy of the RFP can be downloaded from Washington State’s Vender website. In order to view the RFP, interested parties must register and search for “Mobile Pyrolysis Demonstration” or DNR RFP 14-11. Those interested in learning more about the RFP can also contact Chuck Hersey, a forest health specialist with the DNR, at (360) 902-1045 or chuck.hersey(at)dnr.wa.gov.