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Case History 12

Case History 20

Biomass to Energy Pilot Plant

Owego, New York

Casing Diameter: 7 inches
Elevation: 60 feet
Rate per hour: 5,200 lbs
Material: Ceramic Beads
Temperature: 1,075°F (580°C)


Lockheed Martin, a company best known as a Defense Contractor, has entered the field of renewable energy by teaming with Concord Blue Energy, a biomass gasification technology company. Lockheed will be the engineering and construction lead while Concord Blue supplies technological expertise.

The Concord Blue process involves heating biomass in an oxygen deficient atmosphere, under pressure, to pyrolize the biomass rather than combusting it. The heat to drive the reaction is delivered via ceramic Heat Carrier Balls (HCB’s). The HCB’s are approximately ½” diameter. The biomass is converted into Hydrogen-rich Synthesis Gas and Char (like charcoal). The hydrogen is separated from other gases and used to power a turbine to generate electricity. The Char is separated from the HCB’s and the HCB’s are returned to an Olds elevator at approximately 1,000°F for the return to the top of the reactor tower.

Because of the unique design of the Olds elevator, with the lift tube attached at the top of the elevator and the static screw attached at the bottom, the elevator is able to thermally expand and contract without mechanical interference. At the operating temperatures at the biomass plant the elevators’ lift tube and screw will grow vertically between 6” and 7”. The elevator design accommodates this growth. The Olds elevator is also sealed to hold pressure (tested at 8 PSI) of 1-2 PSI. The entire rotating lift tube and centering bearing assembly is enclosed in a tubular shroud. All openings in the shroud are gasketed with high-temp gaskets.

The unique design of the Olds elevator allows it to handle high temperature materials without mechanical interference of moving parts due to thermal expansion.

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