Columbia biofuel fuel company, Engenuity Worldwide has received a $500,000 grant from the U.S Department of Agriculture. This grant will be combined with private funds in the amount of $1.5 million and will help the company to acquire equipment needed to manufacture biomass pellets. The compact biomass pellets are made from a combination of switchgrass and corn stover.
Initial tests carried out by Engenuity Worldwide suggest that their biomass pellets works efficiently to age coal-fired power plants. The company is hoping to use the results of this test to capitalize on the federal emissions regulations that force power plant producers to address their plant’s pollution or undertake retrofits which can be quite expensive.
The city of Columbia currently has a contract with Engenuity Worldwide to carry out a test burn but will need to obtain a permit from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to do so. The test burn is expected to be conducted in the summer of 2014 and will supplement the coal that the city burns.