Gasification and pyrolysis as power-producing technologies set to gain ground in North America as governments offer funding, support for renewable energy to assuage escalating environmental concerns: Frost & Sullivan

Audrey Dixon

Audrey Dixon

May 30, 2012 – PRNewswire

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California , May 30, 2012 (press release) – Volatility in fuel prices makes a strong case for alternate fuel sources

The nascent application of gasification and pyrolysis as power-producing technologies is soon expected to give way to a lively adoption rate of these technologies in North America. The governments are offering funding and support for renewable energy to assuage escalating environmental concerns.

Analysis from Frost & Sullivan's ( North American Biomass Gasification and Pyrolysis Market finds that the market earned revenues of $4.17 billion in 2010 and estimates this to reach $7.34 billion in 2017.

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Already in the U.S., several states have implemented Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), which mandates that a certain percent of electricity be generated from renewable energy sources to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. On the back of these and other varied government incentives, the first commercial-scale biomass gasification project will begin operating in the next two years.

Alternate fuels' rising profile mirrors the growth in demand for electricity, which is expected to increase by 30.0 percent in the next 20 years. Another argument in favor of alternate fuel sources, such as biomass gasification and pyrolysis, is the unpredictability of fuel prices, which affects the world's leading economies.

The United States is highly dependent on foreign oil. The country produces only 6.0 percent of the world's annual petroleum supply, but consumes about 25.0 percent. This has created an urgent need to ensure national energy security and greater self sufficiency.

"Syngas or pyrolysis oil for power generation costs more than conventional fuels," said a Frost & Sullivan research analyst. "However, as natural gas prices are volatile and biomass feedstock is inexpensive, syngas and pyrolysis oil are promising alternatives."

Price volatility can be a double-edged sword, as biomass producers have discovered. Fluctuations in transportation costs of raw materials have made proximity to feedstock an important consideration when choosing a power plant's location. Decentralizing biomass power plants is an economical method to provide power to remote locations, where access to transmission lines is usually expensive. Pyrolysis' main advantage is that it produces transportable fuel, which can be consumed irrespective of where it is produced. However, due to the high transportation costs, it will be more profitable to create a market wherein the biomass feedstock is in the vicinity of customers.

"Technological advances, such as mobile pyrolysis units, are expected to reduce biomass' transportation costs after 2015," said the research analyst. "These units focus on processing feedstock that is more than 62 miles (100 kilometers) away from major cities."

Following these developments, biomass companies are expected to gain validation and recognition, setting the stage for impressive market growth over the next five years.

North American Biomass Gasification and Pyrolysis Market is part of the Energy & Power Systems Growth Partnership Services program, which also includes research in the following markets: Global Wind Power Markets, North American Non Residential Solar Power Market, North American Residential Solar Power Market, and Global Solar Power Markets. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

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