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A warm and comfortable fire can generate electricity as a biproduct.

In order to achieve the climate protection goals, the use of biomass is of key importance. In wood-processing companies the demand for heat is particularly high. Heat plays an important role, not only for space heating during the winter, but also for various processes that run all year round, such as the production and disposal of wood residues. In medium-sized companies, the heat demand is already covered by the biomass residues and waste materials produced there. However, more fuel is often available than is needed. This must be transported and disposed of, which is time-consuming and expensive.

With that in mind, the Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences, in collaboration with the company Endress Holzfeuerungsanlagen GmbH, is investigating an efficient and low-carbon conversion of heat into electricity, which the company will then be able to use directly. Thermoelectric generators (TEG) are used for the directly coupled generation of electricity and heat. The generators consist of materials in which electrons flow due to a temperature difference. This produces electricity. Compared to other technologies, TEGs are emission-free and can be combined to form larger modules. In the joint project BIOMASSTEG, TEG will be integrated into a biomass boiler. The technology will be tested by developing a demonstrator. The technology enables a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and nitrogen oxide emissions during the combustion process.

The BIOMASSTEG project is receiving approx. €500,000 in funding from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) within the scope of the Biomass-to-Energy Programme. The project will run for three years, from the beginning of August 2018 to the end of July 2021.