Clenergen Corporation has taken a unique approach to the problem of using biomass as fuel for power production facilities. The company has approached the issue from an agronomy and plantation management perspective rather than solely from an engineering perspective. Clenergen has achieved the ability to deliver a standard, uniform virgin biomass on a commercial scale at regular intervals over a long period of time.
The company has contractually secured access to the feedstock required for cultivation. One feedstock is a species of grass named ‘Beema Bamboo’ which has been developed and test planted for Clenergen by its partner Growmore Biotech Limited from India. The plant is a perennial with a life span of 50 years and the harvestable biomass yield ranges from 20 million tons per acre in the second year to 60 million tons after four years of cultivation.
A second feedstock is a species of trees native to China and parts of Asia called ‘Paulownia’. Validated records indicate that this tree can potentially yield a biomass equivalent of over 50 million tons and no re-plantation of the tree is required for nine years.
In addition to the yield of biomass from traditional cultivation, Clenergen is using plant science to increase the rate of growth of the trees and therefore increase its biomass yield. The process that the company is using is called polyploidisation. Plant stock is genetically pre-screened for specific polyploidy chromosomes. Once identified, the selected trees are entered into an active breeding program. No genetic engineering is utilized, as polyploidy is a naturally occurring evolutionary event. This process, although new to the forestry industry, has been used since the 1970s in the agri-food business as a way to encourage faster rates of growth in crops such as corn and wheat.
The company and Growmore Biotech have entered into a binding agreement under which Gromore will apply the polyoloidisation process on the mother stock of Paulownia supplied from plantations in both India and Guyana which are owned by Clenergen. Gromore will also provide micro propagated saplings of its elite strain of Beema bamboo for mass cultivation.
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