Corn Cob Power Plans
If the toolkit shows that biofuels are feasible, local farmers can see a boost in profits because they will supply the biomass. But there are risks to the new processes.
"The investment costs are high, it takes new technology, there's a risk inoloved for the power generating companies, they have to count on the suppliers of the biomass for being there when we need them," Johnson said.
The idea of burning biomass is still new, but some power plants are experimenting. For example, MU's power plant uses the waste from a common Missouri crop to produce energy.
"We've been experimenting off and on for the last six months. We did a lot of development and research into different types of fuel and we felt the first steps we wanted to try was with corn cobs," said Gregg Coffin, MU Power Plant superintendent.
Right now they're only experimenting with corn cobs, but in the future they want to use the entire stock to allow entire cornfields to be reusable energy. And over time, such biomasses contribute nothing to greenhouse gasses.
Reported by Brian Mattson