Center for Advanced BioEnergy Research, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Green Flame Energy seeks BCAP project area designation

Biomass Power & Thermal
By Anna Austin June 27, 2011

A central Illinois company proposing to supply miscanthus as a fuel source to a power plant in the state is anxiously waiting to hear whether it has qualified as a Biomass Crop Assistance Program project area.

Eric Rund of Rund Farms, a farmer who grows mostly corn and soybeans, said he’s been thinking about growing miscanthus for the past four years. He is finally doing it after a great deal of research and investigation, including a trip overseas. “About a year and a half ago, my son and I went to Europe to see how they’re growing miscanthus,” he said. “They have been doing it a lot longer than we have.”

What Rund learned during the trip, convinced him that he could do it in Illinois, and more importantly, that he could also get the financials to pencil out. “We wouldn’t bale it; we’d use silage choppers to lower the harvesting cost, and we wouldn’t concentrate on ethanol conversion, but rather burning it directly,” he said. “Those two things changed the economics of growing it here.”

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