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Heating with Grass Fuel

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Grass pucks in an EvoWorld HC100 Eco boiler
Photo credit: Chris Callahan

Source: Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund

The purpose of the Vermont Bioenergy Initiative (VBI) was to foster the development of a sustainable, distributed, small-scale biomass industry in Vermont to enable the production and use of biofuels for local transportation, agricultural, and thermal applications.

Grass biomass crops trials have demonstrated 3 to 6 tons per acre yields with annual production costs averaged over 10 years—including prorated establishment    costs of $250 to $300 per acre per year—resulting in farm gate biomass costs of $50 to $80 per ton depending on annual biomass yield. 

Grass biomass fuels can be combusted in small commercial boilers intended for wood chips with a 3 to 5 year simple payback period and emissions comparable to wood pellets. Recent advances in boiler design such as improved combustion air controls and automated ash removal have helped address earlier issues with the use of these newer, high-ash fuels.