Pellets can be easily integrated into existing electric power generating plants as a fuel.
SAVANNAH, Ga. - Feb. 7, 2013 - Georgia Southern University's Herty Advanced
pellet mill in the United States. The new production line, located in
Savannah, includes a nearly $2 million investment in process equipment. The
facility will provide a much-needed platform for innovation in process
technology and pellet design in the U.S. and will help rising global demand
for biomass pellets in Europe and North America.
With the introduction of the new mill, Herty will work with technology
providers and developers to help validate a number of product development
projects. The team will also support researchers working to enhance pellet
design and will develop methods for lowering operating costs.
Pellets, formed from wood and bioenergy feedstocks such as miscanthus and
switch grass, are highly regarded as an effective, alternative energy
solution because of their relatively high energy density and ease of
handling. Pellets can also be easily integrated into existing electric power
generating plants as a fuel. As a result, the pellet industry has witnessed
tremendous growth as major European countries, which have adopted mandates
for greenhouse gas emissions, are using biomass pellets at unprecedented
rates. Most of the growth in Europe has come from imports.
According to a recent report from the U.S. International Trade Commission,
annual global imports of wood pellets have grown from virtually zero to more
than $1.5 billion during the last decade. However, research into improving
the production of pellets, as well as optimizing pellet operation and
composition has lagged behind industry growth. Developers, manufacturers
and researchers will now be able to benefit by having a flexible, integrated
production facility that can produce pellets with properties that are
consistent with those achieved in large-scale commercial facilities.
"For more than 75 years, Herty has been helping companies in a variety of
industries develop and validate new processes and products," said Alex
Koukoulas, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Georgia
Southern's Herty Advanced Materials Development Center. "This new pilot mill
is a first and will help address a global need. The new mill will serve as
a valuable testbed by helping our clients confirm product performance and
operating efficiencies and before they commit to an investment in full-scale
manufacturing. Ultimately, the Savannah-based facility will help companies
lower technical risk and accelerate delivery."
"To be a part of a larger mandate, assisting in clean energy solutions,
promoting a cleaner environment and impacting Georgia's economic growth
makes our efforts here at Herty all the more meaningful," said Jill Stuckey,
director, biomass development. Herty's pellet mill and production facility
provides access to both advanced technology and to new product development
capabilities and support. Capabilities and services include:
* Biomass preparation and pretreatment
* Biomass testing
* Pellet analysis
About Herty Advanced Materials Development Center Georgia Southern
University's Herty Advanced Materials Development Center is a world-class
research, development and demonstration facility for the non-wovens
industry, as well as the pulp and paper and the emerging bioenergy and
biomaterials industries. Herty is a new product and process accelerator
providing technical, market and development expertise to our clients. The
Center has extensive pilot-scale capabilities for prototyping new products
and de-risking the commercialization process.
About Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded
in 1906, offers more than 120 degree programs serving more than 20,500
students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor's, master's
and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic
achievement. Visit: www.georgiasouthern.edu.