WOOSTER, Ohio Ã¢â¬â Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland said the partnership between the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) and quasar energy group to produce renewable energy from biomass is a great example of how Ohio is vying to become a leader in the emerging green economy.
Strickland visited OARDCÃ¢â¬â¢s Wooster campus on Monday (3/29) to see first-hand the anaerobic digester Cleveland-based quasar is building here, and which turns agricultural and other wastestreams into methane that can then be used to generate electricity, thermal heat, natural gas or vehicle fuel.
The facility Ã¢â¬â a 550,000-gallon digester that will be able to process 30,000 wet tons of biomass annually with more than 750 kW of electrical generation capacity, or about one-third of the OARDC campusÃ¢â¬â¢s energy needs Ã¢â¬â is scheduled for completion in mid-April. Last December, OARDC, quasar and several partners received a $2 million grant from the state of OhioÃ¢â¬â¢s Third Frontier Advanced Energy Program to incorporate OARDC-developed technology that will help boost biogas production at the plant (details at http://www.ag.ohio-state.edu/~news/story.php?id=5526).
Ã¢â¬ÅThis is one of the first times I have seen an activity where there are no downsides,Ã¢â¬Â Strickland said of anaerobic digestion. Ã¢â¬ÅThis technology takes materials that would otherwise go into a landfill and turns them into clean energy.Ã¢â¬Â
OARDC and quasar began working together in 2008, when the company (formerly Schmack BioEnergy) established its engineering office and a lab on the Wooster campus to take advantage of Ohio State University expertise in the biological processes involved in anaerobic digestion. Such collaborations led to the construction of quasarÃ¢â¬â¢s flagship biogas facility on the site of OARDCÃ¢â¬â¢s planned BioHio Research Park Ã¢â¬â a unique technology center aimed at commercializing ideas and products in the agricultural biosciences to create business and jobs in northeast Ohio.
Ã¢â¬ÅWe were very pleased with Gov. StricklandÃ¢â¬â¢s visit and his strong interest in alternative energy opportunities for Ohio,Ã¢â¬Â OARDC Director Steve Slack said. Ã¢â¬ÅHe is keenly interested in public-private partnerships such as that of quasar and OARDC, which have been promoted through the Third Frontier initiative and will be key to positioning Ohio favorably in the future.Ã¢â¬Â
The research arm of Ohio StateÃ¢â¬â¢s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, OARDC (http://oardc.osu.edu) has worked closely with over 100 companies on sponsored research projects during the past five years.