In order for wood to be considered a feasible energy source for power generation, it must prove to be economical, meet society's pollution criteria, and provide sufficient energy to meet its regional demand applications or requirements. This report looks at wood's availability, its potential as a fuel source, the different methods of energy conversion, and lastly, submits conclusions and recommendations concerning wood-fueled power generation.

The information and background was supplied and supported by actual application, government publications and documentations, and other sources. The availability report includes living biomass, wood residues, and potential biomass expansion. Once availability was determined, the portion of wood and wood waste that could serve as a fuel supply was calculated. Then actual power generation techniques were studied to see how gasification and direct combustion could be applicative. This led to a comparative economic analysis of the systems and methods leading to conclusions and recommendations.

In the six-county study region, yearly unused residues total 145 million pounds of wood which could support a 10 MW power generation unit. It was noted that wood chips have the lowest average cost per million Btu's when compared to other common fuels. The study also broke the two major wood conversion processes--combustion and gasification--into four wood systems, a spreader-stoker system combined lowest capital cost with the lowest operating cost, while retaining environmental advantages, to be chosen as the best alternative. All of the mentioned wood systems are superior to coal units when renewability, environmental considerations, and the ease of meeting small municipal or rural demand are considered.

Wood in the south central Missouri region surrounding the city of Lebanon is available and appears to be a feasible energy source for power generation.

Meeting Name

7th Annual UMR-MEC Conference on Energy (1980: Oct. 14-16, Rolla, MO)


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings



Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 1980 University of Missouri--Rolla, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

16 Oct 1980