“We are always excited to support a local company and help them find the resources they need to grow,” said Jennifer Daly, CEO for the Greater Peoria EDC. “The renewable field continues to offer incredible opportunities for innovation and Chip Energy’s research shows real promise for them and our entire region.”
Chip Energy Develops Biomass Furnace
Paul Wever, owner of Chip Energy in Goodfield, has had an interest in renewable fuels for the last 8 years. During his pursuit of affordable renewable fuel, Wever met Dr. Paul Anderson who had been developing a novel approach to biomass gasification technology. In 2008, the USEPA awarded Chip Energy a Phase I research and development grant to design, build and test the Micro-Gasification Biomass Furnace. Chip Energy is now combining a small footprint micro-gasifier with a flash boiler to create a more efficient heating system that is both economical to manufacture and easy to operate.
With some help from the Greater Peoria EDC, Wever secured funds through Woodford County’s Revolving Loan Fund to leverage bank financing and a USDA grant to construct the pilot bio-mass fuels structure. In the next phase, which includes a feasibility study and proof of concept, Wever is working with Illinois State University and Northern Illinois University to secure further funding.
The project is projected to create six new jobs. If Chip Energy’s bio-mass fuels structure is successful, it could generate many more jobs in the future.