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Siemens completes successful first firing of PetroAlgae’s biomass fuel in pilot plant-scale pulverized coal burner


Erlangen, Germany, Siemens Energy has successfully completed the first firing of PetroAlgae Inc.’s biocrude fuel, a plant-based, micro-crop biomass material that is processed into a solid residue. The biocrude fuel was combined with pulverized coal in a pilot-scale burner with a thermal capacity of approximately 4 MBtu/hr*. The testing was performed at a test bed installed at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah, and results show that the biocrude/coal fuel mixture burned well, and produced 20 percent lower nitric oxide (NOx) emissions than coal alone.

In the pilot-scale test, which was conducted in a scaled-down version of Siemens’ current pulverized coal burner design, the biocrude was blown into the fuel injector separately from the pulverized coal. Some mixing of the pulverized coal and biocrude took place within the fuel injector prior to combustion of the mixture. Up to 10 percent of the total heating value was provided by the biomass in these tests. The testing showed that the biocrude was easy to handle and inject into the burner, unlike some other biomass fuels. The fuel burned well and emissions testing showed that the biomass/coal fuel mixture produced lower NOx emissions than coal alone. Tests were conducted with and without external air staging. The biomass and coal mixture produced lower emissions with staging than without, as expected. Siemens intends to conduct further tests of the pilot-scale burner with increased quantities of PetroAlgae’s biocrude fuel in the near future.

"This testing has demonstrated that our burners are exceptionally well suited to burn biomass fuel in combination with pulverized coal, providing utility and industrial customers a more sustainable and cleaner alternative to traditional fossil fuels,” said Tony DoVale, president of Siemens Environmental Systems & Services.PetroAlgae’s technology is designed to increase the growth and productivity of micro-crops in large-scale, open-pond bioreactors, thereby creating a biofuel of significant commercial value. The micro-crops absorb approximately twice their weight in CO2, and are harvested every few hours producing two products— a high-quality protein and a carbohydrate-rich biomass material that can be used for both co-firing in coal-fired power plants and as a drop-in replacement for petroleum-based fossil fuels.

“We are very excited to be working with Siemens to validate the commercial viability of our micro-crop biomass as a renewable drop-in offset in coal-fired power plants and boilers,” said Dr. John Scott, Chairman and CEO of PetroAlgae Inc. “These tests show that our biomass has great promise as a clean and environmentally sustainable alternative to fossil fuels such as coal, and our ability to produce this material at commercial scale gives me great confidence in the future.”

Prior to the pilot plant-scale testing with Siemens, PetroAlgae conducted combustion testing at the University of Utah in a bench-scale burner with the biocrude providing up to 100 percent of the heating value. These tests were performed with and without external air staging, and they showed similar positive results in terms of handling, injection and burning. Firing the biomass fuel alone produced lower NOx emissions than the coal alone, and the NOx reduction was more pronounced under staging conditions.

Technologies for ecofriendly electricity generation are part of Siemens’ Environmental Portfolio. In fiscal 2009, revenue from the Portfolio totaled about EUR23 billion, making Siemens the world’s largest supplier of ecofriendly technologies. In the same period, the company’s products and solutions enabled customers to reduce their CO2 emissions by 210 million tons. This amount equals the combined annual CO2 emissions of New York, Tokyo, London and Berlin.

The Siemens Energy Sector is the world’s leading supplier of a complete spectrum of products, services and solutions for the generation, transmission and distribution of power and for the extraction, conversion and transport of oil and gas. In fiscal 2009 (ended September 30), the Energy Sector had revenues of approximately EUR25.8 billion and received new orders totaling approximately EUR30 billion and posted a profit of EUR3.3 billion. On September 30, 2009, the Energy Sector had a work force of more than 85,100. Further information is available

PetroAlgae Inc. (OTCBB: PALG) is a leading alternative energy company that licenses a commercial micro-crop technology system to produce clean fuel and food in an environmentally sustainable manner. Through a modular, flexible design construction, PetroAlgae enables a near-continuous growing and harvesting process of a wide variety of micro-crops suited to local climates, ensuring maximum growth rates. PetroAlgae’s globally scalable system produces high-value protein as well as a cost-effective alternative to fossil fuels, while absorbing carbon dioxide from greenhouse gas emissions. The Florida-based company expects to establish first-mover advantage in the biofuels industry and offers a path to sustainable and clean energy independence while promoting local job growth. For further information on PetroAlgae, please visit

Reference Number: EES201006082e


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