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Centers of Excellence

Technology Demonstration Facilities

The EERC has over 54,000 square feet of demonstration facilities that accommodate a variety of technologies. The space allows for custom construction of new pilot-scale components to fit client needs. We also provide our technical expertise and field sampling experience to off-site demonstrations.

Much of the mechanical design and modeling of equipment and machinery for our demonstration facilities is done on-site in our machine shop. This allows the EERC to demonstrate technologies in a more rapid, cost-effective way.

Demonstration Facility I

Demonstration Facility I is a 6000-square-foot structure containing seven pilot-scale units to demonstrate the combustion of solid and liquid fuels such as coal, biomass (rice hulls, switchgrass, sunflower hulls), sewage sludge, and oil slurries. The units focus on operational issues and environmental emission controls. These units serve as a cost-effective way of testing fuels and system components prior to full-scale testing.

Lorne "Mack" McEwen Demonstration Facility II

The Lorne "Mack" McEwen Demonstration Facility II is a 4000-square-foot high-bay area that contains systems including the slagging furnace system/high-temperature air furnace (HITAF), the continuous emission process simulator, and state-of-the art SO3 removal systems. The small-scale systems allow the EERC to study the fundamentals of combustion, while the larger systems focus on scale-up and practical issues. The HITAF has been used extensively in the demonstration of a variety of emission control systems for a variety of clients.

Process Tower

The process tower is a four-story complex housing two advanced power systems. The transport reactor development unit (TRDU) is an advanced power system that meets the needs of the U.S. Department of Energy's FutureGen Program, which promotes energy technologies of the future. The transport reactor has been shown to produce high levels of hydrogen, and testing has been conducted on new hydrogen separation membranes. The EERC conducts studies in support of the Wilsonville scale-up facility as well as for other industrial clients. The atmospheric circulating fluid-bed reactor has also been used extensively for economical testing of fuels and operational issues.

Process Development Facility (high-pressure fuel processing)

A process called hot-water drying removes the moisture inside of solid fuels, seals their pores, and slurries the fuel for ease of use. This process has shown great promise for use with low-rank coals, biomass, and sewage sludge.

Fuel Preparation and Testing

The EERC has extensive capabilities to grind, pulverize, shred, size-classify, and store a variety of solid fuels. The Fuel Preparation and Testing Facility can accept up to a semiload of fuel at a time and can handle fuels such as coal, biomass, and virtually any material that can be handled like coal. In addition to supporting internal EERC activities, this equipment is occasionally utilized to produce fuels for outside clients conducting limited pilot-scale tests.

Fuels of the Future

Fuels of the Future Building at the EERC
The EERC has an additional 10,100 square feet of demonstration space in the Fuels of the Future facility, which was completed in 2008. The facility provides space for corporate partners to install more demonstration systems and gives the EERC the opportunity to expand programs and new technologies. The 70-foot-high building was constructed to focus on the development and demonstration of technologies for the production of non-petroleum-derived liquid fuels (renewable jet, diesel, and gasoline) and hydrogen, utilizing valuable domestic energy resources. Fuels of the Future includes a high-bay area with multiple levels, control rooms, and additional space for handling equipment and materials.