The Boson Energy Unit: advanced technology for green energy

The Boson Energy Unit (BSU) is a small-scale plant that uses gasification to convert wood and other cellulose-based biomass into gas and ultimately into green electricity and heat.

The BSU uses a cutting-edge technology called the "High Temperature Agent Gasification" (HTAG), which follows a two-step gasification process. Biomass is preheated before it is fed into a gasifier, resulting in high quality gas with almost no tar content. The BSU is relatively small and suited for a decentralised grid and follows the EU trend for a more evenly distributed power system. Moreover, in comparison with other renewable energies, the use of biomass allows the continous production of energy.
Clients include industries, communities and hospitals. As of October 2011, two patents in relation to the product were filed.

The fundamental research for the HTAG technology took place in the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden in the early 2000s, which was followed by more practical engineering and design in order to produce a commercially viable product.

Boson Energy SA, creators of the BSU, is a member of the Luxembourg EcoInnovation Cluster, and is currently working in setting up a partnership with the Public Research Centre Henri Tudor, with the aim of creating new green business opportunties through collaborative research and innovation.

Barriers
- Economic aspects (i.e. lack of financial incentives, financing)
- Public perception of co-firing of biomass 

Drivers
- Reduces the emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants
- Reduced dependency on fossil fuels
- Government support for the uptake of renewable energies in Luxembourg
- Energy cost savings, providing additonal competitiveness for commercial, institutional, and industrial users

Economic Performance

The HTAG technology is considerably less costly than the conventional method of gas purification. For instance, a normal gasifier without the HTAG technology produces between 7-10 mg of tar per m3 gas, but in order to run an engine effectively, a tar content of about 5 mg is needed.
Used as a renewable incentive scheme, electricity produced generates income to plant operators, while the produced heat can create savings by being fed into the operator's own system. 

Environmental Impact

Biomass wood-based production is a "CO2 neutral" energy source.

Further Information

Image file details. Image taken from the following website: http://www.innovation.public.lu/en/success-stories/2011/boson/index.html

References:
- Tock C. (2011), Telephone interview, Luxembourg Eco-Innovation Cluster Manager, National Agency for Innovation and Research, 25 October 2011

http://www.innovation.public.lu/en/success-stories/2011/boson/index.html

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