Biomass-Waste-Fuel Boiler Allows Green Operation Yet FlexibilityA custom 600 BHP biomass-waste-fuel boiler/gasifier solution from Hurst Boiler Inc., Coolidge, Ga., plays a key role in an award-winning installation at the University of Iowa’s Oakdale Research Park campus in Coralville, Iowa.

The boiler system, a retrofit, replaced a natural gas system. Hurst custom-engineered multiple components for the installation, including the boiler legs, breeching (ductwork), piping and fly-ash collector chute, to work around space constraints and fixed barriers. According to Hurst, the biomass boiler is able to combust many different fuels, allowing the University of Iowa campus to burn local fuels such as wood chips and oat hulls while keeping fossil fuels in place for backup. The system is controlled with the Hurst Biomass-TER, a dashboard-driven control-and-monitoring system for boiler and peripheral equipment.

The complete installation won the grand place award in the energy production category of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Iowa’s 2013 Engineering Excellence Awards competition earlier this year.